April 1, 2023
  • Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) undertook excavations in 1969-73, 2013-14 and 2017-18.
  • Identified as ancient settlement of Indraprastha (capital of Pandavas), a continuous habitation of 2,500 years was established in earlier excavations.
  • Findings from earlier excavation include:
    • Painted grey ware from 900 BC, an earthen pottery sequence from Maurya to Shunga, Kushana, Gupta, Rajput, Delhi Sultanate, and Mughal periods.
    • Artefacts such as sickles, parers, terracotta toys, kiln-burnt bricks, beads, terracotta figurines, and seals.
  • Purana Qila was built by Mughal Emperor Humayun as a part of his new city of Dinpanah in the 16th century.
  • Apart from archaeology, textual sources such as Ain-i-Akbari of Abul Fazal (16th century), mention that fort was built at site of Indraprastha.

Architectural features of Purana Qila Complex

  • Qila-e-Kuhna mosque
    • Built by Sher Shah. It reflects a transitional stage between architecture of Lodhis and Mughals.
  • Sher Mandal
    • Built by Sher Shah, an octagonal structure built in red sandstone and decorated with white and black marble inlay.
    • Humayun made it into a library and died after falling from the steps of this structure.
  • Other structures
    • A Baoli for managing water supply and a hammam (bathhouse) is present.
    • Lal Darwaza and Khairul Manazil are considered part of this complex.
    • Three majestic Gateways: Bada Darwaja, Humayun Darwaza, and Talaqi Darwaza.
    • Wide moat linked to river Yamuna.
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