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Siri Fort, New Delhi

Siri Fort Overview

Built during the reign of Ala-ud-Din Khalji, Siri Fort was constructed for the sole purpose of protecting the city from the bombardment of the Mongols. This was the second city that was revealed to the medieval Delhi and was built around 1303. However, today the city lasts in the form of some hardly observable residues. Located in the heart of South Delhi, Siri Fort occupies the today’s’ landscape between the Khel Gaon Marg and the Aurobindo Marg. More specifically this massive fort finds its spot near to the Jat’s Shahpur jat village where the Panwar Gotra dwells and eventually lies at an ancient camp near Delhi which is 5km to the north-east of the Qutab Minar.

Legend
Out of the two views that the historians out forward, the first says that it is named such for the fact that it was based on the severed heads of nearly 8,000 Mongol soldiers who were killed in the war. On the other hand, there has been stories portraying that after defeating the Monogls, the army was brought to Siri and were made to be trampled by elephants after which their heads were hung on the walls of the Siri Fort.

History
 Of the whole Khalji dynasty, Alaud'din is widely known for his determined accomplishment of widening his empire to Southern India and for finding the second city of Delhi between 1297 and 1307. His act of getting constructed the Siri Fort was an answer to the terror of the invasions of Mongolians in India. The Fort mainly was used by the ruler to discuss about the campaigns that were concentrated at the sole motive of augmentation of his territory.

Allauddin had a great taste as far as architecture was concerned and together in harmony with Saljuqs artists’ defined skills, ultimately resulted in construction of an enormous Siri Fort. It has been reported that this monument has been built with the collaborative efforts of a massive no. of 70,000 workers. The city, thus created, was built with an oval plan with number of palaces and other structures finding a spot for them. Initially the city flaunted seven lofty gates further strengthening the security of the city against the brutal Mongolians but today only one gate at the Southeastern side exists.

What marked the pride of the fort once was the Hazar Sutan palace, which was known for its thousand pillars, marbled floors and a picturesque artwork of colorful stones. Its Darwaza (door) is a mantelpiece in its own owing to the beautiful design that it reflects. There are also some residues located in the eastern side of the ruins of the palace which accounts to be flame shaped battlements, loop holes for arrows, and bastions and also were supposed to be the naïve additions of that era. Another structure of the period is the Tohfewala Gumbad Masjid which has been neglected for long and now exhibits only the ruins that make out to be a domed central apartment and sloping wall.

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