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India: Tughlaqabad Fort

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Tughlaqabad Fort | India | Asia

[Visited: December 2016]

When I reach the entrance of Tughlaqabad Fort, and pay the rickshaw driver the fee we agreed on, I then notice that the entrance fee of the fort is 200 rupees, which is exactly the money I have left from a previous visit. I decide to first explore the ruins, and then worry about the total lack of money (caused by a serious cash problem since the government banned the bigger notes, two of which are in my pocket, but completely worthless). I walk up the stairs, enter through a gate, reject the offers made by guides, and turn left, along a wall. Part of it is arched, and leads to a baoli, a stairwell I step though one of the arches, to reach the edge of the high, sturdy walls I have seen from below when I approached with the rickshaw just before. Below, I see the ruins of the palace, and beyond the enormous defensive towers of the inner fortress.

Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): The high defensive walls of Tughlaqabad Fort

After walking down, I walk through the bush to another section of a ruined wall with arches. After climbing over a wall, I reach the floor of what once must have been a big building, with pillars. Was this part of a palace? When I look over the wall, I see many more ruined walls, overgrown with bushes. I walk up a hill for some good views over the ruins and the fortress which lies still higher. Walking down again, I reach a wide pathway which leads to the upper level of the fortress. A big circular defensive tower with an arched wall inside stands at the beginning of a long wall with arches. When I walk inside the fort, I climb to the highest towers. I now see the people I have seen from a distance: the fort turns out to be a place to hang out, for individuals, but certainly also for couples who look for peace here. From the top of one of the towers, I see the modern side of Tughlaqabad, dwellings below, with a lot of trash around.

Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): The red-and-white mausoleum of Ghiyath al-Din with white dome

The inner part of the fort contains a rectangular mosque, and a decorated arched gate leading to nowhere. There are more towers to explore here, and after walking through an opening in the wall, I reach the outer wall again. Below, I see the traffic on the busy road, and beyond, the mausoleum of the founder of the fort: Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq, hardly visible because of the serious smog that is currently laying a thick layer over the Indian capital. After exploring the secret passageway, which is like a tunnel under the ruins, I descend to the entrance again, cross the road, and walk the causeway to the mausoleum of Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq. In a grass courtyard, surrounded by arched walls, towers the square, red-and-white stone mausoleum. Inside, three tombs: the central, white tomb is of Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq himself, and to his side, his wife and son. The sun filters through the openings in the stone window above, and falls right on his tomb. Behind, I find an octagonal mausoleum with the tomb of Zafar Khan, a 13th century Indian general. In ne of the arched walls, I find a small white tomb, which according to an Indian caretaker, contains the remains of the dog of Ghiyath al-Din Tughlaq. I now walk through the new part of Tughlaqabad to the metro station, where I discover that my metro card fortunately still contains sufficient credit for a ride.

Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): View of part of the ruins o Tughlaqabad Fort
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): Secret passageway under the ruins of Tughlaqabad Fort
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): The tomb of Ghiyath al-Din inside the mausoleum in his honour
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): View of the mausoleum of Ghiyath al-Din from the causeway linking the mausoleum with Tughlaqabad Fort
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): Tomb of Zafar Khan, in a smaller mausoleum near the one for Ghiyath al-Din
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): Defensive tower of Tughlaqabad Fort with arched wall
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): Looking over the ruins of Tughlaqabad Fort from one of the highest points
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): Ruins of defensive tower in the upper part of Tughlaqabad Fort
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): Arched wall in the ruined remains of Tughlaqabad
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): Circular defensive tower of Tughlaqabad Fort
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): Looking over part of the residential area with the towers of Tughlaqabad Fort in the background
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): Looking north from one of the towers of Tughlaqabad Fort
Picture of Tughlaqabad Fort (India): Looking along one of the walls of Tughlaqabad Fort

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