Jahanpanah Fort - Quick Guide
Jahanpanah Fort - Overview
Jahanpanah was a fortified city built by Muhammad bin Tughlaq to combat the Mongol attacks. The city has now been ruined but still people can find walls and a few structures built inside the fort. Jahanpanah means Refuge of the world. The city was spread from Siri to Qutub Minar. The city now comes under urban development and many modern structures have been constructed.
Delhi is a Union Territory and the capital city of India. Three sides of the city is bordered by Haryana whereas the fourth side is the state of Uttar Pradesh. The city is spread in a large area and the expansion is continuing. There are many historical monuments in Delhi which the people can visit. Some of these monuments are Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Swamynarayan Akshardham Temple, and many others. Delhi was ruled by many dynasties which include Rajputs, Delhi Sultanate, Mughals, and the British.
Jahanpanah Fort can be visited from 9am to 6:30pm. It takes around three hours to visit the whole fort. Though the fort is ruined but still there are many places that the tourists can visit.
There is no entry fees to visit the fort. People can come any time during the visiting hours and visit the fort without giving any charges.
Where to Stay?
There are more than 2500 hotels in Delhi which range from inexpensive budget hotels to expensive seven-star hotels. Tourists can also stay in tourist hostels and guest houses which provide a comfortable stay. Good service is offered in all kinds of hotels.
Best time to visit
The period between October and March is the best time to visit the fort as the weather is very pleasant. Though the month of December and January are chilly but still the tourists will enjoy their tour. In the rest of the months, the climate is very hot and humid which causes discomfort to the tourists.
Jahanpanah Fort - History
Jahanpanah is now a ruined city and has become a part of urban development. Muhammad bin Tughlaq constructed the fortified city during the period of 1326 and 1327. There were around thirteen gates in the fort for entry and exit.
Muhammad bin Tughlaq wanted to unify the scattered urban settlements and that was the reason he built the fortified city. The areas included Lal Kot, Siri, and Tughlaqabad Fort. Since the fort is ruined so many of the historical aspects have disappeared. Historians have made assumptions that Muhammad bin Tughlaq used the fort as a residence for himself and the royal family.
Historians also believe that there must be a palace where the sultan and the royal family used to live while the population used to live within the wall of the fort. It is also believed that before the construction of the city, the place was a forest or a rural area.
Mosque and Residential Areas
Begumpur Mosque is assumed to be the worship place where only the members of royal family of Muhammad bin Tughlaq could worship. Some other historians believe that the mosque was built during the reign of Feroze Shah Tuqhlaq.
Sarai Shahji Mahal was used as an inn and a mosque was also built nearby the inn. Besides these, there are other monuments like Lal Gumbad, Kharbuze ka Gumbad, tombs, mosques and palaces. Bijai Mandal is a group of buildings whose origin is related to the reign of Alauddin Khilji.
Jahanpanah Fort - Architecture
Jahanpanah Fort had been built in a very large area. The fort has now been ruined but still many monuments like tombs, mosques, palaces and other structures can still be found. Some of those structures are Begumpur Mosque, Bijai Mandal, Kalusarai Mosque, Sarai Shahji Mahal etc.
Adilabad Fort was a small fort built within the fortified city of Jahanpanah. The design of the fort is similar to that of Tughlaqabad Fort. There are four gates in the fort which were located in the direction of southeast, southwest, east and west. The gates in the southeast and southwest have chambers whereas east and west gates led to the courtyard of the fort. A tank called Satpula was built for the water supply.
Begumpur Mosque has now been ruined and only some remnants of the mosque can be seen. The area of the mosque was 90m x 94m. The courtyard of the mosque measured 75m x 80m. Zahir al-Din al-Jayush was an Iranian architect who planned the layout of the mosque.
The date of construction is not known but there are two views regarding it. Some historians say that the mosque was built by Khan-i-Maqbul Tilghani who was the prime minister of Muhammad bin Tughlaq. Others say that the mosque was built by Feroze Shah Tughlaq.
There were three gates to enter the mosque. Each gate had a covered passage. The wall on the western side has mihrab, minarets and a dome in the centre. The prayer hall has carvings but the walls and the columns were mostly plain with no decorative elements. There are chhajjas on each side of the mosque. The Bijai Mandal palace was linked to the mosque through the northern gate. The eastern gate is on the road side and the people can enter the mosque through the staircase.
Bijai Mandal is spread in the area of 74m x 82m. The dome of the palace is square in shape This Toughlaqi structure is octagonal in shape and is built on a raised platform. People can enter the palace through the gates built in all the four directions. The palace had many chambers and a large hall known as Hazar Sutun Palace.
The king and the royal people came here to enjoy the surrounding environment and the music. There are two large openings in order to enter the apartments in the palace. Bijai Mandal is also considered as a palace of Alauddin Khilji
Kalusarai Masjid is located near the Bijai Mandal and is in a very bad condition. Khan-i-Jahan Maqbul Tighlani built the mosque whose design is same as the other mosques built by him. The mosque has small domes which were arranged in sequence. These domes depict the Tughlaqi architectural style.
Sarai Shahji Mahal
Sarai Shahji Mahal was built near Begumpur Mosque by Moghul emperors. Sheikh Farid’s tomb is nearby the palace who built many sarais, a mosque and a village named Faridabad during the reign of Akbar. There are two buildings attached to each other but there is no connecting point internally.
Out of both buildings, the first one is rectangular in shape having a large courtyard in the centre. There is a walled structure in the courtyard in which there are many graves. The second building has a single room which can be accessed through three doorways. There is a balcony over the doorways that is supported by brackets made up of red sandstone.
Lal Gumbad is the dome of the tomb of Sheikh Kabir-ud-din Auliya, disciple of Sufi Saint Roshan Chiragh-e-Dehli. The tomb is situated near Tughlaqabad fort and was built in 1397. The exterior walls of the tomb are made up of red sandstone. The roof of the tomb has a dome which was topped with gold finial.
The entrance of the tomb is on its eastern side which is surrounded by a band of white marble. The gate has an arch with lotus bud design. One more arch is there above the gate having red sandstone jaalis.
Kharbuze ka Gumbad
Kharbuze ka Gumbad is a small pavilion with a tiny dome made up of a stone whose shape is like that of a half sliced melon. There is a cave below the pavilion where saint Kabir-ud-din Auliya used to spend his nights. The canopy is balanced on a pile of stones and supported by pillars.
Jahanpanah Fort - How to Reach?
Jahanpanah Fort is situated in Delhi which is connected to all parts of India through air, rail, and road transport. Let’s take a look at the nearby cities with their approximate distance.
Delhi to Kanpur
By air – 393km
By rail – 440km
By road – 468km
Delhi to Lucknow
By air – 417km
By rail – 512km (via Kanpur) 490km (via Bareilly)
By road – 558km
Delhi to Agra
By air – 180km
By rail – 195km
By road – 217km
Delhi to Jaipur
By air – 241km
By rail – 288km
By road – 268km
Delhi to Bareilly
By air – 217km
By rail – 258km
By road – 259km
Delhi to Moradabad
By air – 154km
By rail – 154km
By road – 166km
Delhi to Gwalior
By air – 285km
By rail – 313km
By road – 329km
Delhi is connected to most of the major cities of India and abroad through air transport. Indira Gandhi International Airport is situated at Palam a place 16km away from Delhi. Both domestic and international flights land here. There are separate terminals for catching domestic and international flights.
Delhi is connected to almost all parts of India except Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram by rail. There are many railway stations in Delhi from where many trains originate, terminate or have stoppage. The main railway stations of Delhi are as follows −
- New Delhi
- Old Delhi
- Hazrat Nizamuddin
- Delhi Sarai Rohilla
- Delhi Cantt
- Delhi Safdurjung
There are other stations where only local trains have stoppage.
Delhi is connected to many cities by road transport. Tourists can catch buses from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, ISBT Anand Vihar, and ISBT at Sarai Kale Khan. Tourists can catch buses for Kanpur, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Udaipur, Agra, and many other cities. AC and non-AC buses run from these terminals. Some long distance buses also have sleeper coach.
Tourists can visit Jahanpanah Fort through various modes of local transport. They can use auto rickshaws, taxis, and local buses to reach the fort. Metro trains also run in the city and the nearest metro station to the fort is Hauz Khas.
Jahanpanah Fort - Nearby Places
There are many monuments nearby Jahanpanah Fort built by various rulers. Description of some of the monuments is given here.
India Gate is also known as All India War Memorial. The gate was built in the memory of 82,000 soldiers who were killed in the First World War between 1914 and 1921. Tourists can find names of around 13,300 servicemen including some soldiers and officers inscribed on the gate. Sir Edwin Lutyens was its designer.
Amar Jawan Jyoti − was built after the war between India and Pakistan in 1971. In this structure, a black marble plinth with inverted rifle is there on which a war helmet is kept and is surrounded by four eternal flames.
Qutub Minar was built by Qutbuddin Aibak and is the tallest brick minaret in the world. In case of height, it is second as Fateh Burj in Punjab comes first. The height of Qutub Minar is around 73m. Mehrauli is the place in Delhi where the monument is located. The minaret is made up of red sandstone and marble. In order to reach at the top of the minaret, tourists have to climb around 379 stairs.
Humayun’s Tomb was built by Akbar and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas. The tomb is located nearby Purana Qila or Old Fort. Humayun’s wife ordered to construct the tomb in 1565 and it was completed in 1572. The tomb of Isa Khan is also nearby.
Isa Khan was a courtier of Sher Shah Suri and fought against the Mughals. Humayun’s tomb also has the graves of Bega Begum, Hamida Begum, and Dara Shikoh. The tomb was built on the banks of river Yamuna.
Red Fort is located in the center of New Delhi and was the home of Mughals for nearly 200 years. The fort was built with red sandstone by Shah Jahan. There were royal apartments connected by Nahr-i-Bisht which was the source of water.
Nadir Shah − plundered the fort in 1747 and destroyed many marble structures. The British also destroyed much portion of the fort during the revolt of 1857. Currently, the fort is used to hoist national flag on 15th August and 26th January.
Jama Masjid was built by Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1645. The mosque is also known as Masjid-i-Jahan Numa. The mosque has three gates, four towers, and two minarets each having the height of 40 feet. The courtyard of the mosque is very large and more than 25,000 people can simultaneously pray here.
Saadullah Khan was the prime minister of Shah Jahan and he supervised the construction of the mosque. The main entrance of the mosque faces red fort and was used by emperors to enter the mosque.