Salimgarh Fort - Quick Guide
Salimgarh Fort - Overview
Salimgarh Fort was constructed by Islam Shah Suri in 1546AD. Islam Shah Suri was the son and successor of Sher Shah Suri who laid the Sur dynasty after defeating Humayun in 1540AD. Humayun defeated Sikandar Suri and again established Mughal empire. He camped in the Salimgarh Fort before attacking Sikander Suri. When Shah Jahan constructed Red Fort, Salimgarh Fort came into the precincts of the fort.
Delhi is a very old city and it is believed that the city was previously Indraprastha, the kingdom of Pandavas. Later it became the capital of many dynasties. Now it is the capital city of India. Many historical monuments can be found which were built by Mughals, rulers of Delhi Sultanate, Rajputs etc.
Salimgarh Fort is opened fort the public from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The fort is opened on all days except Mondays. It takes around one to two hours to visit the fort as there are many structures inside. Since the fort is in the precincts of Red Fort so it may take more time if tourists visit the red fort.
No entry fees is charged for visiting the fort but as the fort is inside red fort so people have to pay for visiting the red fort. For Indians, the cost of the ticket per person is Rs. 30 and for foreigners, it is Rs. 500 per person.
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.
Where to Stay?
There are more than 2500 hotels in Delhi which range from inexpensive budget hotels to expensive five-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. Some of the hotels in the city are as follows −
The Lodhi located at Lodhi Road
The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel located at Shahdara
Welcom Heritage Haveli Dharampura located at Chandni Chowk
The Umrao located at Airport Zone
Piccadily Hotel located at West Delhi
Alpina Hotels and Suites located at Greater Kailash New Delhi
Jasmine Boutique located at Jasola
Hotel Sewa Grand located at Pitampura
Shanti Home located at Janakpuri
Hotel Jivitesh located at Pusa Road
Hotel Shimla Heritage located at Karol Bagh
Hotel Airport city located at Airport Zone
Hotel Elegance located at Paharganj
Hotel Chand Palace located at Paharganj
Hotel Citi International located at Paharganj
Budget or Two-Star Hotels
Sahara International Deluxe located at Paharganj
Hotel Stawell Dx located at Paharganj
Hotel Malik International located at Vasant Kunj
Hotel Golden Wings located at Paharganj
Hotel Corporate Park located at Greater Kailash
Cheap or One-Star Hotels
Hotel Vijay Inn located at Paharganj
Hotel Hans International located at Paharganj
Hotel Shangri La located at Paharganj
Chaman Guest House located at Paharganj
Hotel Park View located at Karol Bagh
Salimgarh Fort - History
Salimgarh Fort under Sur Dynasty
In 1540AD, Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun and established Sur Dynasty that ruled till 1555AD. Sher Shah Suri was succeeded by Islam Shah Suri who built the Salimgarh Fort in an area where there was Yamuna river on one side and range of Aravalli hills on the other side. This was done in order to save the fort from erosion done by the river. In spite of all these protections, Humayun invaded the fort and defeated Sikandar Suri, the last ruler of Sur dynasty.
Salimgarh Fort under Mughals
After defeating Sikandar Suri and capturing the fort, Humayun named it as Nurghar. He did this as he never wanted that the name of any ruler of Sur dynasty shall be mentioned in the court. Shah Jahan built the Red Fort and Salimgarh Fort was included in the red fort complex.
Salimgarh Fort during 1857 Sepoy Mutiny
During the sepoy mutiny of 1857, Bahadur Shah Zafar the last Mughal emperor used to conduct meetings to form a strategy to fight against the British. In order to give the salary to his courtiers he gave some jewels of his crown.
He was also ready to die in order to make the war successful. He decided to lead the attack and asked all people to join him. As per the suggestion of Bhakt Khan, he left the fort and hid himself in Humayun’s tomb. Later on he was captured and made prisoner in Humayun’s tomb.
Salimgarh Fort - Architecture
Salimgarh fort is built in triangular shape. Rubble masonry is used to construct the walls and circular bastions can be found on top of the walls.
Bahadur Shah Zafar Gate
Salimgarh Fort is connected to the red fort through an arch bridge which was built by Bahadur Shah Zafar. The gate between both the forts was named as Bahadur Shah Zafar Gate. Brick masonry and red sandstone was used to construct the gate. British built a railway line by demolishing the bridge which divided both the forts.
Aurungzeb converted the fort into a prison and made his brother Murad Baksh as prisoner. He also imprisoned his eldest daughter Zebunnisa as she became a poetess and wrote poems on the orthodoxy of the emperor. Bahadur Shah Zafar was also a prisoner and the British kept him here. Later he was shifted to Rangoon.
British also imprisoned the members of Indian National Army from 1945 till 1947. After independence the fort was renamed as Swatantrata Senani Smarak to commemorate the prisoners who fought for independence and died in the prison.
Tourists can visit the Swatantrata Senani museum which was the prison where many soldiers of INA died during British period. Colonel Gurubaksh Singh Dhillon chose the place for museum. In 2007, ASI wanted to shift the museum in order to provide better lightening, new galleries, and displays for other structures.
How to Reach Salimgarh Fort?
Salimgarh Fort is situated in Delhi which is connected to all parts of India through air, rail, and road transport. The air transport connects Delhi to all parts of India and many cities in the world. The rail and road networks are also very good that connect Delhi to various small and big cities.
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 Old 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 Pragati Maidan.
Salimgarh Fort - Nearby Places
There are many monuments nearby Purana Qila 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.
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.
Purana Qila was built by Sher Shah Suri, the founder of Sur dynasty. The construction was completed by his son Islam Shah Suri in 1545. Excavations tell that the fort belonged to Mauryan empire.
Later many dynasties controlled the fort. Finally it came into the hands of Mughals and Humayun renovated it after defeating the last ruler of Sur dynasty.