Known to be the site of the ancient capital of the Pandavas, Purana Qila or Old Fort has a long and eventful history that outshines many other medieval monuments. This monument, which was once at the centre of a tussle between the Mughal emperor Humayun and the Afghan Sher Shah Suri, has seen remains of the Mauryan, Sunga-Kushana and Gupta empires as well. But the history of Purana Qila didn’t end there. One of the many important chapters in the history of the site was the partition of India, which saw thousands of refugees coming in and staying at the monument. This walk intends to unravel the history of this monument that travels across ancient, medieval and modern eras, revealing an old fort that belonged as much to the refugees as it did to the Mughals, Afghans or Pandavas.
The walk will begin at the gate of the monument located beside the Delhi Zoo. The first stop will be the museum that houses all the artefacts collected during excavations. Post the museum, we will cover each monument, starting with the Qila-i-Kuhna mosque, and then Sher Mandal which also houses the infamous stairs that led to the demise of Humayun, and the gates or darwazas with stories of their own. Finally, there will be a tour of the wall surrounding the Qila beyond which the Yamuna flowed at one point. The end of the walk will have a 15-minute short interactive session of spin-a-tale where the participants will be asked to narrate a story of their own situated in the monument itself.
This guided tour is free.