What is the first thing that pops in your head, when you hear it? Taj Mahal! Food! Spices! Cows on the streets! Sarees!
Perhaps, all of these, right? And you can’t deny the fact that you thought about things like overpopulation, traffic, the dense crowd and noises coming from everywhere, all the time. India is a country, densely populated. Especially the big cities like Mumbai and Delhi.
So whenever you are travelling, there comes a time when you get tired of visiting different monuments and tourist destinations which are frequently visited by others making them really congested. You just want to go and see the place from a different, non-tourist perspective. The not-so-crowded and untouched places.
If you want to find a calm and a peaceful place in Delhi, away from the crowd, the noise and the fuss, then you definitely should pay a visit to “Purana Qila” (Old Fort). It is one of the oldest forts in Delhi, located at Mathura Road, Pragati Maidan.
As we hurdled towards the massive gate of the fort, we entered a new world giving us all kind of ancient vibes. Initially, I thought it’s just a park because of all the greenery but after walking a few meters, it didn’t take me long enough to realise how massive this fort was, fortified with huge walls from all around. So, we randomly started walking to look around the exquisite architecture.
As we walked around, the first structure we came across was the “Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque”. Comely as it looked as the sun glared upon it. We stayed there examining the inscriptions on the wall, wishing we could understand them but all we could do was to appreciate how sightly it was carved.
We continued on our path which further led to an open area, rather a big garden where the “Sher Mandal(Libarary)” stood. The library is a double-storeyed octagonal structure with a dome on the top which is usually closed for visiting.
As we wandered across the beautiful garden we found the ancient “Hammam Khana” or the ‘bath house’ in the centre. The ‘bath house’ had a rather peculiar architecture. It was a big covered tank having stairs on either sides, which converged into it. On the inside it had holes from where the water would come in or out.
We reached the “Humayu’s Gate“ right after that. It’s the eastern gate of the fort which is different than all the other gates as it had semi-circular stairs going down to a tunnel like path which opened outside the fort.
We decide to walk along the boundaries of the fort, where we found some interesting spots. There was a spot from where you could see the “Humayun’s Tomb”, there were these places which we’re able to climb on to get a really beautiful view.
As we continued walking along the wall, we realised we can actually walk on top of it after seeing a few people doing it. Of course there were no railings on either sides it, and it being really high gave us quite an adrenaline when we were going through the narrow paths.
We reached the “Talaqi Darwaza(North Gate)“. This part of the fort was the most unaffected by time. After which we just roamed around the beautiful gardens and parks which you can’t often see in Delhi.
The peaceful and calm vibes that “Purana Qila“ gives you, will make you want to come back everyday.
If you visit Delhi, definitely keep it in your wishlist.
Mathura Road, Pragati Maidan
New Delhi, India
Indian national: Rs20.
Foreign national: Rs200.