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Siri Fort

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Alaud’din is the best known of the Khilji dynasty because he extended his dominion to Southern India and established the second city of Delhi, Siri. He created Siri between 1297 and 1307 to defend against Mongol invasions of India and Delhi. In response he built Siri Fort, mimicked massive Turkish ones. The Fort served as the seat of his power during his campaigns to enlarge his territory. Due to frequent Mongol invasions of West Asia, the Saljuqs took asylum in Delhi. The craftsmen of Seljuq dynasty are credited with this era’s architectural monuments in Delhi.

Targhi, a Mongol ruler, besieged the Siri fort when Ala-ud-din Khalji retreated during the Mongol expedition into India. Targhi could not penetrate the fortifications of the Siri Fort and he finally retreated to his Kingdom in Central Asia. But this attack forced Allauddin to strengthen his defenses at the borders which enabled him to keep the Mongols away – Ali Beg and Tartaq and their army – after they attacked and plundered Punjab and Amroha. Alauddin deputed his two generals Ghazi Malik and Malik Kafur to repel the Mongol attack. The Mongol army was soundly beaten before they could return to Central Asia with their plunder; All the generals and soldiers of the Mongol army were captured and brought to Siri where they were trampled to death by elephants and decapitated. The Mongols tried to attack one last time in 1306 AD but Ghazi Malik (who was the Governor of Punjab) annihilated the entire attacking Mongol army (believed to be 50,000 strong). Subsequent ruthless attacks by Allauddin’s army, deep into Mongol territory in Kandahar, Ghazni and Kabul in Afghanistan ensured that Mongols would never attack India again. His military strategies were thus aimed at building an Indian Empire, which he had mostly succeeded. He consolidated his territory, ruled with military might for 20 years and was considered the “first real Emperor of India”.

Siri, which is now a part of New Delhi, was later linked to the fortifications of Jahanpanah. Siri was then also known as “Darul Khilafat” or ‘’Seat of Califate’’ In 1398 AD, Timurlane, the Mongol ruler who invaded Delhi, wrote in his memoirs, “ the Siri is a round city. Its buildings are lofty. They are surrounded by fortifications built of stone and brick, and they are very strong – from the fort of Siri to that of Old Delhi, which is a considerable distance – there runs a strong wall built of stone and cement. The part called Jahanpanah is situated in the midst of the inhabited city. The fortifications of the three cities (old Delhi, Siri and Tughlaqabad) have thirty gates. Jahanpanah has thirteen gates, Siri has seven gates. The fortifications of the Old Delhi have ten gates, some opening to the exterior and some towards the interior of the city.”

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  • Address: August Kranti Marg, Shahpur Jat, Delhi
  • GPS: 28.5503969,77.21069109999996

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