It’s lonely, it’s lovely
Think frozen music. The Tughlaqabad Fort’s sloping rubble-filled outer walls are spread out on a hillock, like ripples of sound waves extending to infinity.entertainment Updated: Apr 12, 2010 01:25 IST
Think frozen music. The Tughlaqabad Fort’s sloping rubble-filled outer walls are spread out on a hillock, like ripples of sound waves extending to infinity. The third city of Delhi (circa 1324) lies forsaken. Monkeys have taken over the ramparts. Thorny grass has laid siege to palace enclosures. Built in just two years by the Tughlaq dynasty founder, Ghiyasuddin, the fort’s walls with its invincible fortifications of arrow slots and tiers of loop-holes, were designed to repel the Mongol barbarians, who never came. Inside was a city with a palace and citadel for the king, and neighbourhoods and bazaars for his people. The 14th century traveler Ibn Batuta talked of “gilded tiles” and “vast stores of wealth”.
All that has disappeared. There is no water in the seven tanks. Most of the 13 outer gates are blocked by jungle growth. The underground pits and arched passageways of the citadel are home to snakes and wild peacocks. Elsewhere, you find lovers fleeing from the city’s prying eyes. The rest of the rugged landscape is marked with remnants of stonewalls. Only the distant boom of the aeroplanes flying above shatters the fort’s regal silence.
After Ghiyasuddin’s death in a freak accident, his successor forced the city’s population to move into his new capital in central India. The fort fell into disrepair.
Some believe that Tughlaqabad Fort was cursed by Delhi’s Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya. Having a strained relationship with Ghiasuddin, he had said, “Ya rahey ujjar, ya basey gujjar” (“May [the fort] remain unoccupied, or else be occupied by herdsmen).”
With its massive circular towers and collossal bastions built to last for all times, the fort’s desolation is especially melancholic. Tourists rarely come to visit this, Delhi’s grandest fort. You must. Tughlaqabad’s savageness will stay with you long after you have left its seemingly unassailable ramparts.
The third city of Delhi, Tughlaqabad Fort is the place where many of the city’s young romantic couples go to hang out amid trees, bushes and ancient stone walls
The largest fort in Delhi, Tughlaqabad is the destination for the area’s cricket enthusiasts who go there to play during the early morning hours
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