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Did You Know These Ancient Cities of Delhi?

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Updated: Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 11:02 [IST]
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History plays an integral role in the evolution of a place. Likewise, the present day Delhi is a by-product of age-old influences and dynasties that ruled this region. We all know the Delhi is a one of the top historic destinations in India. However, a walk down the memory lane of this city will reveal many more interesting things. Old Delhi and New Delhi is all we know but do you know about the other ancient cities of Delhi that had a huge impact on this place?

Ancient Cities of Delhi

Quila Rai Pithora
Photo Courtesy: Anupamg

Lal Kot - Quila Rai Pithora

Tomar Rajputs were happily ruling their region with Lal Kot (Fort) as its centre. Meanwhile, Prithviraj Chauhan came and snatched it from Tomars. Thus, Lal Kot became a citadel and the grand Quila Rai Pithora Fort took its place. Delhi's first ancient city of Quila Rai Pithora came into exitence. Bits and pieces of this city can be seen around area of Qutub Minar even to this day.

Ancient Cities of Delhi

Mehrauli
Photo Courtesy: Riyaz Ahmed Khan

Mehrauli

Mehrauli marks the beginning of Delhi Sultanate (Muslim rule). While Prithviraj Chauhan was boasting over his acquisition of Lal Kot, Mohammad Ghori (an Arab ruler) was plotting to get inside this fort city. Finally he succeeded in killing Prithviraj Chauhan and stationed his viceroy Qutubbuddin Aibak at Quila Rai Pithora. Aibak was a very ambitious viceroy, so he created the city of Mehrauli right after the death of Muhammad Ghori. Thereby, becoming the first ruler of Sultanate in Delhi. Mehrauli was the first capital of Mumluk dynasty, also known as Slave Dynasty.

Ancient Cities of Delhi

Siri
Photo Courtesy: Varun Shiv Kapur


Siri

It was the time of Ala-ud-Din-Khalji, the second dynasty to ruler the Delhi Sultanate. The city of Siri was established around the Siri Fort. This was also the time when Mongols had an eye on Delhi. Ala-ud-Din-Khalji built the Siri Fort to defend against the Mongol rulers and easily succeeded in driving them out of India. It is said that Ala-ud-Din-Khilji ruled most parts of India for about 20 years. Now, this ancient city of Siri is part of New Delhi. Darul Khilafat (Siri ) played an integral role in the administration and hence it is one of the successful ancient cities of Delhi.

Ancient Cities of Delhi

Tughlaqabad Fort
Photo Courtesy: Anupmg

Tughlaqabad

A minister in the Khilji Dynasty casually suggested the King to build a fort in Southern part of Delhi. So, the King jokingly told this minister to built his own fort when he becomes the king. His grit and passion towards building a fort was so much that, he took the name of Giaz-ud-Din-Tughlaq and threw out the Khilji Dynasty. That is when Tughlaqabad was established and his dream-project Tughlaqabad Fort.

Unfortunately, Ghias-ud-Din-Tughlaq was cursed by a saint and his fort was not completed. The effect was the curse was such that either the fort will be empty or it will be occupied by Gujjars. Interestingly, Tughlaqabad fort was occupied by Gujjars after some time. So, the whole idea of an impregnable city of Tughlaqabad came to a dead end.

Ancient Cities of Delhi

Firoz Shah Kotla
Photo Courtesy: Vu2sga

Firozabad

Firoz Shah Tughlaq's Firozabad is one among the ancient cities of Delhi. This city was a passionate project of Firoz Shah Tughlaq. It was during his time the Firoz Shah Kotla palace and Hauz Khaz complex was further developed. Today, we can see the historic remanants of Feroz Shah Kotla along with the Ashoka Pillar (built during the Mauryan Empire) in Delhi.

Ancient Cities of Delhi

Shergarh
Photo Courtesy: Varun Shiv Kapur


Dinpanah and Shergarh

The Mughal Emperor, Humayun had began the construction of Dinpanah fort. However, it was completed only after the invasion of Sher Shah Suri. The founder of Sur Dynasty not only completed Dinpanah but also gave it the name as Shergarh. Thus, establishing yet another city of Delhi. However, Shergarh didn't develop as a popular city.

Ancient Cities of Delhi

Old Delhi
Photo Courtesy: Varun Shiv Kapur

Shahjahanabad

As the name suggests, it was city of Shah Jahan. Yes, we know him as the creator of the world famous Taj Mahal. Shahjahanabad was the capital of Mughal Empire during his rule. Even the famous Lal Quila (Red Fort) and today's Chandni Chowk was part of Shahjahanabad. Shah Jahan's penchant for art and architecture reflected even this city. Shahjahanabad was the last among the ancient cities of Delhi.

After Aurangzeb, British took over this region and made it Lutyen's Delhi! This is the story of all the seven ancient cities that gave a base to New Delhi which celebrated 100 years of its service as the capital of India.

Remains of each of these are found scattered across Delhi. Surely, these are also the best offbeat places to be covered in Delhi tourism.

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