Feroz Shah Kotla – The Fort
April 17, 2011 2 Comments
Dark skies with a hint of rain in the air made the ruins of Feroz Shah Kotla look amazing. Guess it did the same for many other people who had come there with their DSLR’s (mostly new) hanging from their necks. (Reminded me of the recent article on DSLRs I had read). For some whom I overhead, this was a just ‘some old fort’ with good photography opportunities.
For me it was an extension to the visit of the ancient college at Hauz Khas where Feroz Shah Tuglaq was also laid to rest. Feroz Shah was a reformer who built hospitals, colleges, mosques, reservoirs for irrigation. Many of them were part of Ferozabad – the fifth city of Delhi. This city extended upto Hauz Khas and Feroz Shah Kotla was the city’s highlight. Timur, who plundered the city some years later, too was impressed by this fort and very gladly took away all the ornamentation. The rest of the building material from the city was taken away for construction of Shah Jahan’s Shahjenabad.
One thing that still eludes my understanding is the fascination with pillars. There is a pillar in the Qutab Complex(one of the first cities in Delhi), here at Ferozabad and one in the latest city – the Luytens (inside Rashtrapati Bhavan).
Unlike the other two pillars, the one in Ferozabad is given special attention. It is placed on a 3 story high platform.
Also present inside the fort is the Jami Masjid, which impressed Timur so much that he took masons from here and built a replica in his hometown, Samalkhand(Uzbekistan). Interestingly, I found Diyas lit and people performing a prayer ritual in a true Hindu religion fashion near the stairs leading up to the masjid. Perhaps it is a good representation of the communal harmony that existed at the prime of this fifth city. In fact it was this tolerance towards Hindus which prompted Timur to invade India apart from the wealth – which can be only imagined adorning these ruins now.