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Old forts of Delhi


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The Three major forts of Delhi which represent Delhi's past very gloriously. The Red Fort, The Old Fort and The Salimgarh Fort. Here we Trace their history and also study about their evolution, conservation measures adopted for them and their present use.

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Old forts of Delhi

  2. 2.  Avaneesh Kumar Rai 4068  Divya Rastogi 4047  Kundan Singh 4064  Pratiksha Srivastava 4048  Priyank Jain 4032  Rajat Saini 4107  Sajan Malhotra 4137  Shashikant Yadav 4070  Vinay Vats 4044
  4. 4. Fort was constructed by Pandavas as Indraprastha 5000 years ago Renovated by Sher shah suri and named Shergarh in mid 16th century Later, His son, Islam shah took over fort and gave charge to his Hindu general, Hemu After death of Islam Shah, Humayun captured fort in 1555, but died in 1556 General Hemu, who was in Bengal, rushed to Delhi and defeated forces of Akbar He declared ‘Hindu raj’ in north India and bestowed the title of Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya. After partition of India, fort became refugee camp for Muslims till 1948 In 1970, it was used as a backdrop for theatre, By National school of Drama
  5. 5.      The single-domed Qila-i-Kuna Mosque, built by Sher Shah in 1541 is an excellent example of a pre-Mughal design. The prayer hall inside has five elegant arched prayer niches set in its western wall. Marble in shades of red, white and slate is used for the calligraphic inscriptions on the central iwan(rectangular hall) A second storey provided space for female courtiers to pray Arched doorway on the left wall, framed by ornate jharokas, was reserved for members of the royal family.
  6. 6.       This double-storeyed octagonal tower of red sandstone with steep stairs leading up to the roof. It was used as a personal observatory and library by Humayun. Tower is topped by an octagonal chhatri supported by eight pillars and decorated with white marble in typical Mughal style. Inside there are remains of the decorative plaster-work and traces of stoneshelving where the emperor's books were placed. This was also the tragic spot where, on 24 January 1556 Humayun fell from the second floor to his death. Entry inside the library is now prohibited.
  7. 7.      Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) carried out excavations at Purana Qila in 1954–55 and again from 1969 to 1973. Painted Grey Ware, dating 1000 BC, and various objects and pottery signifying continuous habitation from Mauryan to Mughal periods. Findings are displayed in an archaeological museum. British first undertook organized conservation activity here, cleared a village, built within the fort walls, called ‘Indrapat’. Near Humayun Darwaza, there is a lot of conservation work still going on.
  8. 8.    This historic Purana Qila or Old Fort is the venue for the spectacular sound and light show. The viewer is transported centuries back in time to witness Draupadi being reduced to a dasi (maid) of Hastinapur, the gallant Prithviraj Chauhan galloping away with the beauteous Samyogita, Sher Shah Suri being blown to bits by misfired cannon, Humanyun tragically tumbling down the steps of his library, Bahadur Shah Zafar surrendering to the British. These and many more such episodes out of Delhi’s 5000-year-old saga can be relived during 62 minutes sound and light show.
  9. 9.      The Archaeological site museum at Purana Qila is located to the right of the main entrance. The exhibits in this museum are largely based on the excavated materials These excavations have revealed evidence of earliest settlement at this site datable to around 1000 BC. In the site museum, various objects and pottery recovered during the excavations from the strata of different periods has been put on display. The museum also has exhibits of antiquities that have been recovered from various parts of Delhi.
  10. 10. Built by Shah jahan in 17th century (1638-1648). Ustad Ahmed Khan was the chief architect. Aurangzeb added the Moti Masjid to the emperor's private quarters Persians(1739-1752), Marathas(1752-1803), Britishers(1803-1947) The Fort continued to be used as a military station even after Independence On 22 december,2003, fort was given to ASI for restoration
  11. 11.     The Lahore gate is the main gate to the Red Fort. Every year since Indian Independence Day 1947, the national flag has been raised and the Prime Minister has made a speech from the ramparts at the Lahore Gate. In the 1980s, the security of the area was increased by blocking the tower windows as a security measure against sniper attacks. A lift was also added to the gate.
  12. 12.     In the Diwan-i-Aam (or the Hall of Public Audiences) the Emperor, seated in a canopied alcove, would hear complaints and pleas of the commoners through a jharokha (balcony). The hall was ornamented with stuccowork and featured a series of gold columns. The Diwan-i-Aam was also used for state functions. The spacious mardana or courtyard behind the Diwan-i-Aam is surrounded by several interesting structures.
  13. 13.     In the Diwan-i-Khas( or the Hall of Private Audiences) the Emperor held private meetings with courtiers and state guests. The hall comprises a rectangular chamber with engraved arched openings supported on piers, on all of its side. At the centre of the chamber, the famous Peacock Throne was placed over a marble pedestal. Nahr-i-Bihisht or the "stream of paradise" flowed through the centre of the hall.
  14. 14.     Private apartments , behind the throne, consist of a row of pavilions that sits on a raised platform along the eastern edge of the fort. The pavilions are connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht, or the "Stream of Paradise", that runs through the centre of each pavilion. The water is drawn from the river Yamuna, from a tower, the Shahi Burj, at the north-eastern corner of the fort. The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals in its architectural elements the Hindu influences typical of Mughal building.
  15. 15.      To the west of the hammam is the Moti Masjid, the Pearl Mosque. This was a later addition, built in 1659 as a private mosque for Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan's successor. It is a small, three-domed mosque carved in white marble, with a three-arched screen which steps down to the courtyard. The Moti Masjid measures approximately 12 × 9 metres, with a height of nearly 8 metres.
  16. 16.      Planning and design of the Hayat Bakhsh Bagh or "Life-Bestowing Garden" was integrated into the design of the Red Fort. The garden comprised many aesthetically designed structures such as, tanks, pavilions, water channels and fountains. The pavilions were decorated with stonework and lit by lamps at night. Two pavilions called Savon and Bhadon stand at either end of the north-south channel. Two smaller pavilions were added in 1842 by the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, one of which still stands along the eastern wall.
  17. 17.  Every year on 15 August, the day India achieved independence from the British, Prime Minister hoists the national flag at the Red Fort, followed by a nationally broadcast speech from its ramparts.
  18. 18.    Every evening there is a spectacular display of history and events related to the city of Delhi in the form of light and sound show organized at the Red Fort. This has become a major tourist attraction at this place as the show brings back the life to the history surrounding the Red Fort. It has enthralled the people who come to see the show with the tale of the Delhi city, rise and fall of empires & emperors and all this melodrama combined into a streamlined show.
  19. 19.       To prevent terrorist attacks, security is especially tightened around the Red Fort on the eve of Indian Independence Day. Delhi Police and paramilitary personnel keep a vigil on the neighbourhoods around the fort. The aerial space around the fort is declared a no-fly zone during the celebration to prevent aerial attacks. Safe houses are picked in nearby areas where the Prime Minister and other Indian leaders can be rushed to in case of an attack. The fort was the site of a terrorist attack on 22 December 2000 ,in what was described by the media as an attempt to derail the India-Pakistan peace talks and relations.
  20. 20. Salimgarh Fort was built in 1546 AD by Salim Shah Suri, son of Sher Shah Suri Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor, converted the fort into a prison The practice was perpetuated by the British who took control of the fort in 1857 During the Uprising of 1857, Emperor Bahadur Shah II operated from this Fort. After the Uprising was put down, the fort was used by the British as an army camp The complex was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007
  21. 21.     It is located where the INA prisoners were incarcerated by the British from 1945 till Independence of India from British rule on 15 August 1947 Many of the prisoners had died within the jail premises. In 2007 , ASI decided to shift the Museum to the new location. A section on Mahatma Gandhi was also proposed to be added to the Museum with full–size depictions of the Jallianwala Baghfiring and the Salt Satyagraha.
  22. 22.      Several other government agencies, including ASI, were also involved with the upkeep of the monuments. The multi control of the Fort was causing problems to the ASI in taking adequate conservation measures to protect and preserve this monument. The Army transferred the fort to ASI’s possession in December 2003 in 2006, the ASI submitted its proposal for World Heritage listing by UNESCO. ASI has undertaken several restoration actions at Salimgarh Fort at a cost of Rs 8 million (US$160,000).