All of us know of the cricket stadium of Kotla Firuz Shah. Right behind the stadium is the ruined city of Kotla Firuz Shah, the complex which gives the stadium its name. The city was constructed by third Tughluq king, Firuz Shah Tughluq in the 14th century. Our heritage walk to Kotla was organized on Sunday evening which saw a good number of devotees who were in the complex to pray to the djinns. The local tradition is that this is the abode of djinns. The city is believed to have extended from a hunting lodge called Kushak –i-Shikar (presently at Northern Ridge) to Hauz Khas (in south Delhi). The city continued to be inhabited till 18th century but was abandoned later because it had no wall to give protection against dacoits and looters. At present, there are only three prominent monuments which remain standing in the citadel area: Jama Masjid, the pyramidal building with Ashokan Pillar on it and a circular baoli.
Archive for the ‘Kotla Firuz Shah Heritage Walks’ Category
‘I’m going to Kotla Firoz Shah’— say these words to a Delhi-ite, and more often than not, his/her first impression would be that you are going to watch a cricket match at the stadium by that name. Yet, just behind the stadium lies the Kotla Firoz Shah monument complex, housing the ruins of the fifth city of Delhi. With numerous arches and pathways with steep steps, the ruins are surrounded by lush green lawns. Birds of prey are constantly gliding around the area, making for quite a dramatic setting. It is not surprising then, that people think this area is haunted. The ruins were almost deserted on a Sunday morning, but that is not always the case. Popular belief about the presence of djinns brings throngs of people to the complex on Thursdays. They carry offerings and bring their wishes/prayers written on a piece of paper, in the hope that the djinns would fulfill their desires.
There are very few of us unfamiliar with the craze that seizes Delhi when cricket matches are held at Kotla cricket stadium in Delhi. But how many know of the monumental ruins that stand adjacent to it? The citadel of Kotla Firuz Shah, the remains of the capital city of Firuzabad. In fact, it is the citadel which gives the stadium its name. Built in the 14th century by Tughluq king, Firuz Shah, there are only three monuments left in this citadel. Yet, these three have spectacular stories associated with them, both of the past & the present. (more…)
I would like to start off writing about this heritage walk with an anecdote about a family who were trying to reach the venue on the morning of the 10th. This couple & their girl of 10 years of age are regulars on our heritage walks. Their taxi driver stopped outside the Old Fort & told them that this is the only qila/old ruin around here, so this must be Kotla. The girl took one look at the walls of the old fort & promptly informed her family that this does not look like a Tughluq period building & they should keep looking for Kotla! (more…)
Among the many cities in Delhi one counts, our heritage walk this Sunday explored one of the lesser known of all these. The Tughluq king, Firuz Shah built a new capital city for himself, along the banks of the Yamuna and called it Firuzabad. This is present day area around ITO and Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. It is believed to have been almost twice the size of Shahjahanabad (Shahjahan’s capital, the old Delhi of today) extending from Pir Ghaib in the northern Ridge to Hauz Khas in the south. Today only the inner citadel of this massive city survives, known by the name Kotla Firuz Shah. Continue Reading This Post