Thursday, March 15, 2012

Siri Fort - A Symbol of Strength and Barbarism

The Black and White Thursday photos of the week which I am posting today depicts the Siri Fort (The third of the seven cities to be built in the area of New Delhi) which was the seat of the Delhi Sultanate of Ala ud din Khilji and his Khilji dynasty. The word Siri is derived from the Hindi word Sir (Head). Read on to know how the fort earned its name 'Siri Fort'. It was built around 1303 AD keeping the strengths of the strong Mongol Army and their repeated invasions of India in mind. It was the first fort in India to be constructed entirely by Muslims. The structure of the fort was in an oval shape and was modeled over the large Turkish forts.

 Severed heads of thousands of Mongol prisoners were hung from these walls to serve a reminder to the Mongols as to what would happen to them if they invaded India again ! 
Observe the protected passageway between the walls (to the left) for movement of the soldiers during action and the gaps in the wall for archers to shoot down at the invading armies

Targhi, a Mongol ruler besieged the Siri Fort following Khilji's retreat during the Mongol invasion of India. The siege was not successful and Targhi retreated to his Kingdom in Central Asia (Afghanistan). In the next Mongol attack which Khilji repulsed with the help of his Generals Ghazi Malik and Malik Kafur the captured soldiers were brought to Siri and trampled upon by elephants and their severed heads were hung from the walls of the Siri Fort (this is the incident from where the name Siri origins)

The only other portion of the rampart of the fort which stands intact revealing the height of the walls. The Siri Fort had seven gates to enter and exit.

The strong fort got reduced to its current ruinous state because of local rulers especially Sher Shah Suri in around (1540-1545) took away building materials to built his own city nearby.

A view from atop the battlements. The ruins of the fort are spread over 1.7 square kms or 0.7 sq miles

(Black and White Thursdays are a series which is not only meant to highlight the beauty of the human civilization but also to provoke thought amongst readers.. The thought being 'WHY' is this place or monument so magnificent ? How much work might have gone into creating it ? What has that place or monument gone through in all this time ? It is somewhere in questions like these that we find the true reasons which make these destinations wonderful. As I say all the time, 'Every destination, every monument, every artifact, every stone has got a story to tell'. Whether we listen to it or not makes the difference.)

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