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Tour 20th September2006

Guides: James,Ursula, Pia, Catherine


Tughlakabad is considered the third city of Delhi, built by the Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlak and reigned from 1320-24.  The city was contained within fortified walls that have a perimeter of about 4 miles.  Within the outer walls there was then a Inner Citadel and a Palace. Ghiyasuddin's tomb is outside the walls within its own fortifications.  It was connected to the city by a causeway that bridged a lake that has now dried out and the causeway itself has been breached to accommodate a busy main road.  Today the area is mainly overgrown and in ruins.  Some parts of the old city have been encroached by modern developments and there are also the remains of buildings constructed by the Mughals in the 16th Century.


This panorama was taken from a high point within the citadel and shows Ghiyasuddin's tomb to the left.

The modern buildings to the right of this picture are within the old city walls.  The skyscrapers of central Delhi are just visible on the horizon in the left of the picture.


Ghiyasuddin was a Slave General of Ala-ud-din and also served the next ruler Ala-ud-din's son Mubarak Khan.  It is once said that Ghiyasuddin pointed the area out to once of these rulers (it is not certain which) and said ' this is an excellent place for a city ' to which he received the reply 'So build it when you are Sultan!'

Ghiyasuddin seized his chance to become Sultan when Mubarak was murdered by his friend (and probable lover) Khusrau Khan.  There was no direct descendant to Mubarak and Khan tried to take power, but Ghiyasuddin had him arrested and executed for the murder. So Ghiyasuddin was then able to take the throne and founded the Tughlak Dynaysty.

He then started building his city, it was completed within two years, not unusual in medieval India.  The speed it thought to have been achieved by each army commander having a section of wall to complete and then the main gates would be built to connect these section ironing out any problems with alignment.

 The current entrance to the city which was in its time was only a minor or private entrance as it connected the rear of the citadel to Ghiyasuddin's tomb.










The main city and citadel walls. The central mound was the high point from which the panoramic pictures were taken. It is called the Burj Mindal or Victory Tower, and foundations are still visible. 


The main walls of the city are up to 30 m high in places and between 3 to 4 m thick, consisting of a dry rubble interior and the faced with dressed stones.

The walls have a big incline for defensive purposes and many arrow slits constructed at various angles to enable fire at enemies at different distances from the fort.

This type of construction is termed battering.




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