Located in the capital city of India, Delhi, Tughlaqabad Fort has seen some glorious days in the past but now stands abandoned and almost forgotten with the passage of time. With a past of more than six centuries, this ancient fort deserves a spot in the list of the worth-visiting, offbeat historical places of Delhi.
Tughlaqabad Fort is now nothing more than ruins standing in dilapidated condition. People who are interested in history, stories, architecture, and photography would definitely like this place.
In this post, you will get to know –
- Where is Tughlaqabad Fort situated?
- How do I get to Tughlaqabad Fort?
- Entry fee and timings
- Who built the city Tughlaqabad?
- Why was Tughlaqabad Fort built?
- Why was Tughlaqabad Fort abandoned?
- Who said Delhi is still far away? Who said “Abhi Dilli door hai”?
- Is Tughlaqabad Fort haunted?
- What is the best time to visit Tughlaqabad Fort?
- How long does it take to visit Tughlaqabad Fort?
- Is it wheelchair friendly?
- Tips for visiting Tughlaqabad Fort
This post can also be read in Hindi by clicking here: दिल्ली के अभिश्रापित तुग़लकाबाद किले का इतिहास।
Where is Tughlaqabad Fort situated?
Tughlaqabad Fort is situated on Mehrauli-Badarpur road in Tughlakabad, Delhi. It is perched on a rocky hill which is a part of the Aravallis mountain range.
Doctor Karni Singh shooting range and Okhla industrial area are also located nearby. Important biodiversity area stretching from Sariska Tiger reserve to Delhi is in the vicinity.
How do I get to Tughlaqabad Fort?
You can reach Tughlaqabad Fort by hiring an auto or cab. Metro can also be taken for the nearest metro station, Govindpuri. From Govindpuri Metro Station auto can be hired for arriving at the Tughlaqabad Fort. The fort complex has sufficient parking space for cars. One can also take DTC buses that run on Mehrauli Badarpur road regularly.
Entry Fee to Tughlaqabad Fort: 30 rupees per person for Indians 300 rupee per person for foreigners
Timings for Tughlaqabad Fort: All the days of the week 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Address of Tughlaqabad Fort: Mehrauli Badarpur Road, Tughlaqabad, Delhi
Read about time ravaged monuments and interesting nuggets of history about the tomb of Balban and Quli Khan, the 16th-century step-well Rajon ki Baoli, the mystique surrounding the Jamali Kamali mosque, attached to the tomb of the Sufi poet Jamali and more: Mehrauli Archaeological Park – A date with Djinns & HIstory.
Why was Tughlaqabad Fort built?
Who built the city Tughlaqabad? Tughlaqabad was built by Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq as his capital city for the new founded Tughlaq dynasty.
The main purpose of building a strong massive fort was to protect the Sultan and the Sultanate from the Mongol invaders. The construction of this fort started in 1321 and was completed in just 4 years.
But unfortunately, the fort didn’t see good times for long and was abandoned soon in 1327.
There is an interesting story behind the construction of this historical fort. It is said that once Ghazi Malik ( later on known as Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq) suggested his Khalji master build a fort on a hill in the south of Delhi.
The king took a jibe at him and told him to build a fort for himself at that place when he becomes the king.
As fate would have it, after driving away from the Khaljis, Ghazi Malik assumed the title of ‘Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq’ and founded the Tughlaq dynasty.
Soon after, he began the construction of the city of his dreams- Tughlakabad, at the place he had imagined it to be.
The walls surrounding the fort were 10-15 meters high and a few meters thick. These were made using big blocks of stones The construction of the fort was done in such a manner so as to make it look imposing, solid and grand.
The layout of the fort appears to be rectangular and divided into three parts.
One part comprises the city area with houses, then there is a palace and the third one is a rectangular enclosed area that served as a citadel.
The city is believed to have had 52 gates but only 13 remain now.
The fort has the remains of houses, bazaars, water tanks, underground passages, etc.
These underground passages could be the secret escape routes used by the royals to move to the safer places when needed. There is a large open space where one can have a comprehensive view of the fort.
The fort stretches in an area of around 6.5 kilometers.
The Mausoleum of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq is located in a separate courtyard. A causeway leads to the dried-up lake where lies the tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.
There are three graves inside- one his own and the other two are believed to be his wife’s and son’s. The tomb made up of red sandstone and white marble is simple but elegant.
Massive stone walls surround the planned city which had the typical features of the monuments of the Tughlaq architecture.
Though most of the fort is in ruins the place looks clean.
Fort of Adilabad which was built years later by Ghiyasuddin’s successor Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq is visible from Tughlakabad fort. The fort is similar in style to Tughlaqabad fort but smaller in scale.
The Tughlaqabad Fort is a protected monument which means that it has been declared to be of national importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958. Hence, destroying or defacing it in any manner is punishable.
Why was Tughlaqabad Fort abandoned?
When Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq became Sultan, he was so obsessed with his dream of building this fort that he issued an order that all laborers in Delhi must work for his fort.
A Sufi saint Nizamuddin Aulia was getting work done on his baoli (stepwell) which had to be stopped in between due to these orders of the Sultan.
Upset with this, the Saint cursed Sultan’s fort to be abandoned uttering the words, “Ya rahe ujjar, ya basey gujjar” which means “either (it) stays abandoned or inhabited by tribals”.
And that is how it stays even today- abandoned and in ruins. You may find some monkeys or goats around the place.
Who said Delhi is still far away? Who said “Abhi Dilli door hai”?
Legend has it that Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq disliked Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya because he was respected and admired by a lot of people in Delhi.
Despite Ghiyasuddin being the ruler of the Sultanate, Nizamuddin was a very popular personality. When Ghiyasuddin was campaigning in Bengal, he sent a message threatening the saint Nizamuddin Auliya to quit Delhi before his arrival.
The Saint then calmly uttered these words in Persian “Hunooz dilli door ast” meaning “Delhi is still far away”.
The Sultan met with an accident before he could reach Delhi and lost his life. Thereafter, the saying became popular “Abhi Dilli door hai” which means that ‘destination is still far away.’
Is Tughlaqabad Fort haunted?
Many stories are popular about the Tughlaqabad Fort being haunted.
The fort is situated in a secluded area and has been in ruins for centuries now. It is not a popular tourist destination so it does not receive as many visitors as other tourist places in Delhi.
The ambiance of this place may give negative vibes to some people.
The legend about the curse of the Sufi Saint made people believe that this is not an inhabitable place for humans.
It is also believed that many people who were given death punishments, were executed in this fort. The age-old stories and deep-rooted beliefs often make people believe that it is haunted.
Visit Qutab Minar, World’s Tallest Brick Minaret in Delhi, India. Click to read night tourism, Qutub Festival, entry timing, fees, places to visit and MORE: Qutab Minar: Plan your visit to Delhi’s Iconic Monument.
What is the best time to visit Tughlaqabad Fort?
October to March is a good time to visit Tughlaqabad Fort. Delhi gets scorching hot during summers. Hence, not a good time to visit.
How long does it take to visit Tughlaqabad Fort?
One to two hours is sufficient to visit this place.
Is it wheelchair friendly?
No, the fort is constructed on hilly terrain and is not wheelchair friendly.
Tips for visiting Tughlaqabad Fort
- The place is located in a deserted area so it’s better to go there with a group of friends or with family. It’s a suitable place for a day outing or picnic.
- Wear comfortable shoes as the visit involves lots of walking and some climbing.
- Carry drinking water and something to eat as there are no food joints or restaurants inside.
- It can get too hot during the day time specially in summers so it is better to visit this place in the morning. Carry your sunglasses.
- The place is not suitable for people having difficulty in walking.
- There are no toilet facilities inside so it’s better to use the loo before you arrive at this place.
- Being an offbeat destination in Delhi, it is less crowded and offers good photography opportunities.
- You can pay for the ticket with cash or cashless payment mode. Cashless payment offers you some amount of discount on the entry fee. Better carry change and small denomination currency notes for payment.
interesting Delhi Travel Blog Posts:
Click to read how to reach from Delhi to Agra by road, air & list of best trains, travel tips for Taj mahal, Top Places to Visit beyond the Taj Mahal: the Best way to travel from Delhi to Agra: Road, Rail or Air.
Window Shopping, Street Shopping, ethnic shopping or simply people watching, the Vibrant Delhi markets will charm you. Check out when to visit, what to buy & where: 13 Best Markets For Shopping In Delhi: What To Buy & Where?
Experiencing a traveler’s diarrhea? Learn the causes, symptoms, how to prevent & what to do when infected & how to Make your own ORS at home: Delhi Belly – ‘shit happens’ and here’s how you can avoid it!
Wondering what to do in Delhi with family? Take a sneak peek at what to expect, things to do and points to remember before visiting India’s first Madame Tussauds Museum housed in the Regal building in Delhi: How MADAME TUSSAUDS MUSEUM isn’t as Bad as You Think!