Puja day in Tughlaq ruins

Hurry up, mom

The last time I visited Tughlaqabad Fort, a small shrine was drawing a crowd for puja. Despite multiple trips to the fort, which is my absolute favorite hideaway in Delhi, I have yet to discern just who this shrine celebrates.

A small stream of worshippers continued even in the afternoon heat, as they carried food and items for puja. Festive times for a fort that is usually home to herdsmen and a handful of tourists who escape the beaten path.

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Abandoned to the herdsmen

The 14th-century fort, Tughlaqabad, is a tourist haven that tourists seem to have forgotten. So today, it’s more likely the home of a few people grazing their goats, donkeys and cattle. See below.

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Visions of the 14th century

Bovine wanderer

Welcome to Tughlaqabad, a fort built in the 1320s and shortly abandoned. Today, it sits on the southern edge of Delhi and remains a largely ignored tourist attraction home to random herders and a handful of Hindu devotees who visit an open air shrine.

The circumference of the fort is measured in kilometers. Adjacent to the site are a beautiful tomb and a smaller fort.

It’s a spectacular place to spend an afternoon and one of Delhi’s fantastic if often overlooked historical sites. See below

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Sunset on the Tughlaq empire

Profile for the ages

In what is now Begumpur in South Delhi, trash covers the ruins of Jahanpanah — which literally means refuge of the world — and obscures the 14th century monuments there-in. The city was the fourth iteration of Delhi and built under Muhammad bin Tughlaq in 1326-27.

There’s really not much to look at — degraded structures sit next to an open dumping ground, gaggles of men gather to drink or play cricket and children huddle and watch. Any bit of history about the place is not listed on placards on site. Wikipedia provides basics and a more studied look can be found in William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns.

But it still makes a good silhouette at sundown.

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