PURANA QILA (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – History)

News-CRUX-10     5th April 2024        
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Context: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has planned to further excavate the Purana Qila site near the kunti temple.

Purana Qila

  • About: The fort is one of the oldest in Delhi, situated along the Yamuna river, known as Indraprastha or Pandavon ka Qila or Old fort.
  • Evidence: Mentioned by the Greek traveler Megasthenes in the 4th century BCE as one of the seven cities of Delhi, showcasing its ancient roots.
  • Constructed by: The 2nd Mughal Emperor Humayun, later completed by Afghan Sher Shah Suri, serving as the inner citadel of Din Panah during Humayun's reign.
  • Architectural Features:

oRed Sandstone Citadel: Rectangular in shape, Purana Qila's walls were crafted from red sandstone, showcasing Mughal architectural prowess.

oStrategic Moat: A wide moat, connected to the Yamuna river, surrounded the fort, adding to its defensive capabilities.

  • Unique Structures:

oSymbolic Gateways: Humayun's construction of the massive gateway and walls laid the foundation for Dinpanah, featuring Indo-Islamic architectural elements.

oIconic Landmarks: Inside the fort, visitors can explore the Qila-i-Kuhna mosque, Sher Mandal tower, a stepwell, and remnants of the extensive rampart, each reflecting historical and architectural significance.

  • Previous Findings of the Excavation: Shards of Painted Gray Ware Pottery, Vaikuntha Vishnu Sculpture, terracotta plaque portraying Gaja Lakshmi, erracotta ring well, well-defined four-room complex from the Sunga-Kushan period and 136 coins, 35 seals and sealings, and various copper artifacts.