I visited the Tughlaqabad Fort through Seek Sherpa today. This is my 4th tour with them and I think… I think… am becoming well known among the Sherpas. This could be a good or a bad thing.
Anyway, why Tughlaqabad Fort? When I was handling sales in Delhi NCR, I had to travel to Faridabad once a month. The toll road was a pahadi road then and unsafe. My manager had asked me to take the longer route through Delhi instead. That is how I crossed this fort every month. And visiting it has been on my bucket list for a long time now.
I think Sherpa Medha mentioned it during the Humayun’s tomb tour and it was at the back of my mind. Since the tour is at 8 am on a Saturday, I had to ensure:
– Am free on Saturday mornings. Generally this is not even a concern but last weekend we were at Corbett and the weekend before that I was stuck in a sales conference and before that I was exhausted (don’t remember why). And next weekend, am working
– I have the car. There is no decent metro station nearby and I need to drive down. Which means KC should be able to find someone to give him a lift for cricket.
Everything fell into place today and I managed to reach the place. I am punctual person… so much so that I end up cursing myself for arriving on time or even before time while everyone else takes their own sweet time. The great part about Seek Sherpa is that the Sherpas are always on time. None of the 4 people I have toured with have ever been late. I appreciate punctuality so much.
Tughlaqabad Fort is hard to miss but the entry is inconspicuous. There is a small parking and a tiny booking window. The ticket costs Rs 5. Yep, only Rs 5. How much conservation and restoration can the government do with such low entry charges?
We started the tour at Ghiyas ud-Din Tughluq’s tomb which is across the road. It is a large fortified structure and surrounded by a patch of green. After 3 historical tours I have started understanding the architectural quirks in the monuments of Delhi. I can spot an inverted lotus, arches, signs of Hindu architecture, the geometry in the construction, direction of Mecca, point out which is the burial spot of a male and which one of a female etc etc. And that’s why a Sherpa is different from a regular guide. A guide will just rattle off facts and figures you don’t give a damn about but with a Sherpa there is a two way communication and the retention % is high. Ok, I totally made that term up… I don’t even know if there is something like a retention %. Is there?
That is the tomb.
The patch of green around this. The tomb was in shambles till 2010. Only because of CommonWealth Games efforts were made to get it in shape. Nope, not going to waste time and energy ranting against Government of India which does not give a fuck about history. We were joking how getting a job at ASI would be punishment posting for government employees.
I love clicking the domes from inside. They make a great screen saver for my phone. Wait, were you expecting something intellectual over here? On this blog? Really?
I am very proud of this picture though the entire credit goes to the view. It was a perfect morning… atleast till 8.30 am after which it got sunny.
As Sherpa Saatvik suggested on twitter- this pic is called ‘Secret Passages of History’
We then crossed the road and entered the Tughlaqabad Fort.
In brief- Ghiyas ud-Din Tughlaq was the founder of Tughlaq Dynasty and built the 3rd city of Delhi Sultanate. He started building a fort stretching to 6 km which would have a city inside. He wanted a very strong fort which could withstand Mongol invasion. According to rumours, the King was killed by his son Mohammad Bin Tughlaq for the throne.
There is an interesting story about Ghiyas ud-Din Tughlaq. Basically, he ordered all the labourers to work on building this fort which pissed off the Sufi saint Nizamudding Auliya since the saint’s construction of a baoli (well) was stopped. The saint cursed ‘Ya rahey ujjar, ya basey gujjar’ which means this fort will either remain uninhabited or Gujjars would live here. As it happened, the king soon died and his son moved to another Fort and Gujjars reside in the area called Tughalaqabad.
It’s sad how the entire fort and structures inside are in ruins. This is a large space and can be restored and converted into a tourist attraction instead.
That used to be the palace. That’s all there is left of it now.
The tomb is connected to the fort through a secret passageway. Sigh. Wouldn’t it be fun to explore the tomb through here?
Nobody knows for sure but that is probably an underground market.
This a baoli (well)
And that is Tughlaqabad which is located inside the fort.
Ok… I overshot the post writing time by 20 minutes and need to rush to wash clothes, manicure pedicure, catch up on pending soaps, play Badminton, re-arrange the cupboard… Why do I feel like I won’t be able to accomplish all of this today? Oh well… need to wake up early because tomorrow… no, no… not putting it here. Else it will get jinxed.