Tughlaqabad Fort is a damned Fort

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Tughlaqabad Fort is a damned fort. Due to the curse of the Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya,  the fort was never inhabited. Though Tughlaqabad Fort is a famous monument of Delhi. The ruins of the damned fort of Tughlaqabad is situated on the hills of Aravali in south Delhi. Tughlaqabad Fort was built by Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq in 1321. Ghiyas-ud-din was the founder of the Tughlaq Dynasty.

Tughlaqabad Fort is a damned Fort

Panorama view of Tuglagbad Fort

The Curse of Sufi Saint Nizamuddin Auliya

The ruins of the Tughlaqabad Fort is located on the Mehrauli-Badarpur road in the Tughlaqabad Institutional area. Tughlaqabad Fort is also included in the list of haunted places of Delhi.

Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq in the court

Painting Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq holding court

The story of this damned fort of Tughlaqabad is also full of curses. It is said that one day Alauddin Khilji’s son and the last Khilji Sultan Qutb-ud-Din Mubarak Shah was walking with his governor Ghazi Malik in the hills of Aravali in southern Delhi, where this damned fort is present today. While roaming, Ghazi Malik, showing Sultan to the hills, said that he must build a fort on this place. Then Sultan jokingly told Ghazi Malik that when he becomes Sultan, then build a fort there itself.

Giyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of Tughlaq dynasty

Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq

Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq captured Delhi

In 1320, Khusro Khan, the slave of Sultan Qutb-ud-Din Mubarak Shah Khilji, took power by killing him. Then Ghazi Khan, along with his son Fakra Khan, killed Khusro Khan and captured the Delhi Sultanate. The same Ghazi Khan became the sultan of Delhi under the name of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq and he laid the foundation of the Tughlaq dynasty. After that, his son, Fakhr Khan, was sitting on the throne in the name of Muhammad bin Tughluq. At the time of Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta came to India.

Mohammed bin Tughlaq

Mohammed bin Tughlaq welcoming Ibn Battuta

In 1321 Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq realized his imagination. He started building an impregnable fort at the same place, which he mentioned to Khilji Sultan Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah. The aim of this fort was to protect its sultanate from the Mongol invaders. He fought many wars from Mongols and conquered them. It is said that he had buried the head of Mongol invaders in the walls of the Tughlaqabad Fort with stones.

Outer walls of the Tughlaqabad Fort

Walls of Tughlaqabad Fort

Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq was so excited about his fort that he issued instructions to all the workers of Delhi that they should work in his fort. For this reason, the work of making Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya’s step-well got stalled. Thus a conflict between Sultan and Sufi saint began. Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya cursed Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, ‘Ya to Ujjar, Ya base Gujjar’. It is said that the fort quickly became desolate and came under the control of Gujjars.

Ruins of Tughlaqabad Fort

Ruins of the turret of the fort

The conspiracy of price Muhammad bin Tughlaq

The second curse of the Sufi saint was ‘Hunza Delhi Durr Hat’. It means- Delhi is far away. This curse came true when Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq was returning after conquering Bengal. His son Muhammad bin Tughlaq had prepared to welcome him at Kada in Uttar Pradesh on the way before arriving in Delhi. It is said that under the conspiracy of the prince, the tents were dropped on the Sultan, under which he stood. Sultan was crushed by falling tents and he died in 1325.

The ruins of Tughlaqabad Fort told the story of its curse

The Tughlaqabad Fort is a symbol of the curse of the Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya

The curse of the Sufi saint did not leave the chase of the Tughlaq Sultans. Muhammad bin Tughlaq left this fort and in 1326-27, in the southeast of the fort, he settled his capital named Jahanpanah. Then in 1327, Muhammad bin Tughlaq was driven to such a frenzy that he transferred his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad in Maharashtra.

The exterior wall of Tughlaqabad Fort

The exterior wall of Tughlaqabad Fort

It is said that the whole of Delhi’s population was moved there forcibly. Thus, not only this fort, the entire Delhi became empty. In 1335, Muhammad bin Tughlaq realized his mistake and he once again transferred his capital to Delhi. But till then Delhi was completely destroyed. After his death, his son Feroz Shah Tughlaq also settled his capital by the name Ferozabad in Delhi

The tomb of Giyas-ud-din Tughlaq

Ghiya-ud-din Tughlaq's Tomb

View of Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq from the fort

Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq’s tomb stands on the southern side of the fort. There are three graves inside the tomb. The grave in the center is that of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. Two other graves are believed to be his wife and son Muhammad bin Tughlaq.

 Tughlaqabad Fort

Tughlaqabad fort and surrounding view of the city

The ruins of Tughlaqabad Fort

The circumference of this huge fort is about six kilometers. In many places, the width of the fort walls is up to 10 meters and the walls are10 to 15 meters high. At many places, the turret height is also up to 30 meters. Although this fort has now turned into a ruin, its buildings are telling that it will have been strong ever. At one time there were 52 gates, 13 of them still exist. Seven reservoirs were built in the fort.

 tughlaqabad Fort

Underground passage of Tughlaqabad Fort

The fort of Tughlaqabad is divided into three parts. The highest point of the fort is called the Vijay Mandal. Here are the remains of many rooms and underground tunnels. Its southeast remains of the Adilabad Fort is still existed. This fort was built by Muhammad bin Tughlaq during his settlement in Jahanpanah, but now neither the remains of the fort are safe nor the remnants of the ancient city are left.

Tughlaqabad Fort

Ruins of the turret of Tughlaqabad Fort

Travel Tips

• Admission fee: Rs. 15 for adult 200 rupees for foreign tourists. There is no entry fee for children younger than 15 years.
• Photography: Still cameras have no charge.
• Time of entry: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seven days a week is open.
• Travel time: 2 hours
• Nearest Metro Station: Govindpuri
• Nearby Attractions: Asola Bhatti Wild Sanctuary, Adilabad Fort
• Essential Instructions: The route of the fort is rugged, wear sports shoes and bring a bottle of drinking water together.

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