Purana Qila ( पुराना क़िला )

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Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque

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Purana Qila, situated on the banks of Yamuna, was constructed by the Pandavas as Indraprastha 5,000 years ago, during the period of the Indus Valley civilization. This is suppose to the oldest known structure of any kind in Delhi.

It is also believed that this is where Humayun’s capital Din Panah was located. Later it was renovated and named Shergarh by the first Afghan emperor of India, Sher Shah Suri. The Hindu king Hemu (Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya), often referred to as the last Hindu emperor of India, was crowned there after defeating Akbar’s forces in the Battle of Delhi (1556) on 7 October 1556.

The Fort was supposed to be unlucky for rulers who occupied the site; Humayun, Sher Shah Suri, and Hemu all had but relatively brief tenures ensconced there – Humayun on two separate occasions, having lost the fort to Sher Shah only five years after erecting it, and dying within a year of recapturing it 15 years later. Akbar did not rule from here and Shahjahan built a new fort in Delhi known as Lal Qila (“Red Fort”).

During the Partition of India, in August 1947 the Purana Qila along with the neighbouring Humayun’s Tomb, became the site for refuge camps for Muslims migrating to newly founded Pakistan. This included over 12,000 government employees who had opted for service in Pakistan, and between 150,000–200,000 Muslim refugees,[14] who swarmed inside Purana Qila by September 1947, when Indian government took over the management of the two camps. The Purana Qila camp remained functional till early 1948, as the trains to Pakistan waited till October 1947 to start.

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