Sometimes the quest for one particular experience leads to multiple, unexpected lessons and riches. Rediscovering the history of Delhi Sultanate was one such multi-layered pursuit of the bygone era, culture and gastronomy. While researching for the story, I walked through time from the fourteenth century Fort city of Tughlaqabad to savouring the spice trail of the 17th century Shahjahanabad.
Decoding the rise and fall of Tughlaqabad
Tughlaqabad Fort ruins, Delhi, India
For years, Tughlaqabad Fort had been at the top of my ‘Places to visit in Delhi’ list, but somehow, I kept missing it. However, it finally happened on a soothing winter morning. I decided to give my Gobhi ka parantha (Cauliflower bread) and adrak waali chai (ginger tea) a miss to explore the ruins of the imposing Tughlaqabad Fort. A fortified city, which was a dream of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, the first ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty.
A kid resting inside the Tughlaqabad Fort, Delhi, India
At 7:30 am, along with my historian guide, Kanika, I walked into the gigantic stone structure, with sandstone walls stretching up to 10–15 metres high. Despite being reduced to a tumble-jumble of intricate fortress walls and bastions, the massive, formidable structure with sloping walls and archways spoke highly of the architectural skill of that era. It was built in a short period of four years (1321–25) as a stronghold against the marauding Mongol attacks. The 6-km long irregular rectangular Fort has two parts — the citadel and palaces on the southern side and the city on the Northern side.