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Tughlakabad Fort

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Ghazi Malik was a feudatory of the Khalji rulers of Delhi, India. Once while on a walk with his Khilji master, Ghazi Malik suggested that the king build a fort on a hillock in the southern portion of Delhi. The king jokingly told Ghazi Malik to build the fort himself when he would become king.

In 1321 AD, Ghazi Malik drove away the Khaljis and assumed the title of Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq, starting the Tughlaq dynasty. He immediately started the construction of his fabled city, which he dreamt of as an impregnable, yet beautiful fort to keep away the Mongol marauders.

Tughlaqabad Fort, stretching across 6.5 km is now a ruined fort in Delhi and was abandoned in 1327. It lends its name to the nearby Tughlaqabad residential-commercial area as well as the Tughlaqabad Institutional Area. Tughalaq also built Qutub-Badarpur Road, which connected the new city to the Grand Trunk Road. The road is now known as Mehrauli-Badarpur Road.

The Curse of Nizamuddin Auliya

Ghias-ud-din is usually perceived as a liberal ruler. However, he was so passionate about his dream fort that he issued a dictate that all labourers in Delhi must work on his fort. Saint Nizamuddin Auliya, a Sufi mystic, got incensed as the work on his baoli (well) was stopped. The confrontation between the sufi saint and the royal emperor has become a legend in India. The saint uttered a curse which was to resonate throughout history right until today: Ya rahey hissar, ya basey gujjar (may it [the fort] remain unoccupied/infertile, or else the herdsmen may live here).

Another of the saint’s curses was Hunuz Dilli dur ast (Delhi is still far away). The Emperor was engrossed in a campaign in Bengal at this time. He was successful and was on his way to Delhi. However, his son, Muhammad bin Tughlaq, met him at Kara in Uttar Pradesh. Allegedly at the prince’s orders, a Shamiana (Tent) fell on the Emperor, who was crushed to death (1324 AD).

Contact Details

  • Address: Tughlaqabad Fort, Tughlakabad, New Delhi
  • GPS: 28.5169126,77.25919380000005

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