Old Fort of Delhi is believed to be situated on the same site where the city of Indraprastha once stood. As per the great Indian epic Mahabharta, Indraprastha was the capital city of the Pandavas. Now standing mostly in ruins, the Old Fort of Delhi once served as the seat of administration of a number of glorious emperors. Emperor Sher Shah Suri got the fort constructed after he demolished Humayun's city, Dinpanah. Also known as the Purana Quila, the Old fort is more or less rectangular in shape, with a course of nearly two km. The legend has it that Sher Shah could not complete the construction of Purana Quila during is lifetime.
It was later completed or at least renovated by Humayun. Infact, the
southern gate of the fort is known by the name of Humayun Darwaza. This
gate as well as Talaqui Darwaza (the forbidden gateway) on the north
combines Islamic pointed arch with Hindu Chhatris and brackets. Old Fort
has 2-km long fortifications, with three gates that have fortresses on
both the sides. Circling the fort is a wide moat, connected to river
Yamuna that once used to flow on the eastern side of the fort.
Excavations were carried out in the Old Fort area that came up with 1000
BC dated pieces of painted gray ware that were said to be connected with
The other attractions of the Old Fort of Delhi include the mosque built
by Sher Shah in 1541, a lake with boating facilities and Zoological Park
situated nearby. Then, there is Sher-Mandal, a double-story, red
sandstone and marble octagonal tower. There is an octagonal chhatri
crowning the tower, adorned with glazed tiles and incised and painted
plasterwork on the inside. Last but not the least, is the sound and
light show of the Purana Quila that showcases 5000 years of history of
the city of Delhi. The nine pools of water come alive in the light and
take you on a journey of the royal past of Delhi.