Qila Rai Pithora

Qila Rai Pithora
The Chauhan prince of Sakambhari, Vigraharaja IV captured Delhi from the Tomar Rajputs in the latter half of the 12th century. The grandson of Vigraharaja IV, Prithviraja Chauhan III, built Qila Rai Pithora, the first city of Delhi, by extending the citadel of Lal Kot, and constructing huge ramparts and moats around it. The city derived its name from the title of Prithviraja Chauhan and thus came to be known as Qila Rai Pithora, with Lal Kot as its southwestern base.

At present the ruins of Qila Rai Pithora have been conserved in a 20-acre DDA Conservation Park at Mehrauli. The park has an 18-foot high statue of Prithviraj Chauhan and a library, and is being developed as a tourist destination that will house an interesting museum and artifacts belonging to the medieval period.

Qila Rai Pithora

 

The ruins of Qila Rai Pithora can be reached by taking the Delhi-Qutab or Badarpur-Qutab roads, just past the Adhchini village. The ruins of the ramparts of the extended city are rubble-built and are 5 to 6 meters in thickness, with a height of 18 meters on some sides and are surrounded by a wide moat from the outside.

The city had a number of imposing gateways and bastions. According to Timur, Qila Rai Pithora had 13 gates. The great traveler, Ibn-Battuta, mentions that Badaun Gate, one of the remaining gates, was the main entrance of the city. The other existing gates of the city are Hauz-Rani and Barka gates. The boundary walls are well lit up in the evening and it looks very beautiful when one views the ramparts through the camera arrangement placed atop the Qutab Minar.