Location: The historic citadel called ‘Tughlaqabad Fort’ is one of the devastated monuments located on the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road in Tughlaqabad, New Delhi.

Founder: Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq of Tughlaq dynasty in 1321.

History: Once feud Ghazi Malik advised his Emperor Khalji of Delhi to build a castle on a southern hillock. The king blew his suggestion as joke that let the castle be built by him when he would be descended as an eligible one for the crown.

Thereby, Ghazi Malik beat the Khalji rulers in the battle in 1321 AD and entitled himself as ‘Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq’ beginning Tughlaq dynasty. Subsequently, he ordered to construct his ‘dream castle’ that would be impregnable yet would have dumbstruck model of structure to keep the Mongols looters. But destiny had something else in its store.

The Curse of Nizamuddin Auliya: Although Ghias-ud-din was liberal yet his one sin had settled him as a ‘dictator’ since, being passionate to complete his dream-castle, he ordered all masons to give prior concern to his castle-building work leaving any other construction. Sufi-Saint Nizamuddin Auliya got infuriated over his orders as the construction on his Baoli (well) was going on that was disrupted. Furious Saint and the king had an ardent retaliation that annoyed the saint to such extent that he cursed the king that goes “Ya rahey hissar, ya basey gujjar” (that means MAY THIS FORT REMAIN UNOCCUPIED/INFERTILE OR ELSE THE HERDSMEN MAY LIVE HERE).

The death of the Emperor:

The Emperor’s death is assumed to be a victim of ‘befall of ominous’ since he was cursed by another saint as “Hunuz Dilli Dur Ast” (that connotes DELHI IS FAR AWAY). Having triumphed in the ‘Bengal campaign’, Tughlaq was on his journey to Delhi. He met his son Muhammad Bin Tughlaq at Kara in Uttar Pradesh. It was perhaps the prince’s order that a tent was made fallen on him suffocating to death (1324 AD).

Structure:

  • Area: 6.5 km
  • Stony fort: The massive but magnificent fortification is an epitome of ‘stony-architecture’ where the surrounding ground is irregular.
  • Walls: The walls of the fort mark typical attribute of the architecture built by the ‘Tughlaq dynasty’  which appear 10 to 15 meter in length and are sloppy a bit that are filled with rubbles. These walls are designed with battlemented parapets and provided strength by circular bastions measuring upto two storeys in height. 
  • Gates: The remnant of the fort indicates there used to be 52 gates in it out of which just 13 are left for evoking the history regarding this fort. Seven rain water tanks were constructed for fulfilling water requirement.  
  • Tughlaqabad’s three divisions:
    • Wider city area: The boundary area of the fort was quite wider that was shaped in rectangular grid where houses were to be built.
    • Bijai-Mandal or Citadel: The height of its towers assigned the citadel its name ‘Bijai Mandal’ which comprises the traces of many ruined halls and a long subway.                                                  
    • Surrounded by palaces:  The adjoining area of the fort was supposed to be accommodated with the royal residences. A long subway below the tower is still available as ‘usable’.
  • Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq’s tomb: The graveyard of ‘Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq’ leads to the elevation to the southern outpost that is 600 ft long and erected on 27 arches. It further exhibits way to a former artificial lake evidencing the 20th century portion of the elevated land cut through by the Mehrauli-Badarpur road. The complex of his tomb is accessed through a high gateway built with the red sandstone.  
    • Actual mausoleum of Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq: It is a single-domed tomb (about 8 m X 8 m) with sloppy walls covered by parapets. It’s walls were prepared with granite and its faces were made smooth in structure using red sandstone on which inscriptions are embossed on its panels and arch borders. The edifice has a dome erected on an octagonal drum having shelves of white marble and slate.