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FerozShah Kotla

Location:Near the famous Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium, off Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, between old Delhi and New Delhi

Time to visit: Open on all days

Timings: Sunrise to sunset

Admission Fee: Foreigners: INR 100/ citizens: INR 5, open to all, avoid prayer timings.

Photography charges: INR 25

How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this monument, which is located between old Delhi and New Delhi, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or take the metro rail.

Nearest Railway Station: Old Delhi Railway Station

Nearest Metro Station: New Delhi Station

Functional Metro Station:New Delhi Station

Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport

Time required for sightseeing: Approx 1 hour

Located near the famous Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium, off Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, FerozShah Kotla was the imposing citadel of Ferozabad, the Fifth city of Delhi. The great builder and Emperor Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351-88), nephew of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq and successor of Muhammad Tughlaq built the city of Ferozabad with its citadel in 1354. It is said that this city was spread over a very large area, extending from Hauz Khas in the southwest to Pir Ghaib in the north, where there is a hunting lodge built by Feroz Shah.

Designed by Malik Ghazi and Abdul Hakk, Feroz Shah Kotla was then popularly known as Kushk-I-Feroz, which meant Feroz's palace. Consisting of three rubble-built walled rectangular enclosures, it forms an irregular polygonal plan with its eastern wall in one alignment. The eastern wall of the citadel was built on a bank of the River Yamuna. It is said that Feroz Shah erected this citadel here in spite of having three palaces in Delhi because of the shortage of water in those areas. Among the three enclosures of the citadel, the central one is the largest and is presently called as 'Kotla Feroz Shah' as one can only find the ruins of the northern and southern enclosures amidst the modern constructions. The central enclosure had an imposing main gateway from the western direction and bastions on either side flanked it, the ruins of which can be seen even today. Often compared to the 'Windsor Palace of London', Timur was spell bound with the beauty of the palace. The palace was finally abandoned in the year 1490 AD.

Structures within FerozeShah Kotla

Presently nothing much survives in and around this once beautiful palace, which has now been developed as a beautiful garden, as the successive rulers used most of its ruins for the construction of later cities in Delhi. However, the remaining structures are still so interesting that it is among the favorite tourist destinations of the capital.

Ashokan Pillar of 3rd Century BC

Located north of Jami Masjid in the citadel stands the 13 meters high sandstone Ashokan Pillar on a rubble-built three-tired pyramidal structure. Feroz Shah Tughlaq brought this 27 tonne pillar to Delhi from Topar in Ambala, where the great Emperor Ashoka erected it. The pillar is similar to the one fixed on the ridge, which was also brought by Feroz Shah. The transportation of both the pillars were done with much care and precautions to avoid any damage.

The pillar has seven main inscriptions or edicts of Emperor Ashoka, apart from some figures and many minor inscriptions. Written in Brahmi script in the Pali language, James Prinsep first deciphered the edicts in 1837. Like all Ashokan Pillars, this pillar also served the purpose of spreading Buddhism and its doctrines among the people. Though made of sandstone, the pillar was so polished that till date it looks as if it is made up of some metal. The pillar was later called as Minar-i-Zarin as Feroz Shah ornamented the pillar during his reign. The best time to see the pillar is in the afternoon on a bright day as the pillar glitters like gold when the suns rays fall on it.

Jami Masjid

The southern and western walls with the gateway today are the surviing remnants of one of the largest mosques of the Tughlaq period, the Jami Masjid. Located just next to the Ashokan Pillar, the mosque rests on a series of cells on the ground and is still in use. Built of local quartzite stone, the prayer hall and cloisters on the sides of the courtyard, which were used by the royal ladies have all disappeared. The mosque has its entrance from the northern direction and was once connected to the pyramidal structure by a bridge. It is said that there is also an entrance to the mosque from the underground cells. Originally covered with lime plaster, Timur visited the mosque to say his prayers in 1398 AD. He was so impressed by its beauty that he erected a similar mosque at Samarkand in Iran. Later in 1759 AD, Emadul Mulk, the prime minister of the Mughal Emperor Alamgir Sani murdered his emperor here.

Baoli and other structures

Located northwest of the Ashokan pillar, just in the center of the garden is a fine large circular baoli or step well. The baoli has subterranean apartments. It has a large underground drain for the water towards its eastern side. Like all other baolis, this baoli also served as a cool retreat in summer and was used by persons of royal lineage.

Apart from these monuments there are ruins of many other structures, which have not been identified as yet, because of their present dilapidated shape. For example the foundation structure of a square hall to the north of Jami Mosque and behind Ashokan Pillar, the southern most building of central the enclosure where one can find mosaic work and many more.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Khuni Darwaza, Red Fort , Chandni Chowk, Salimgarh Fort, St James Church and Rajghat

Nearby Places to Eat

Karim Hotel, Ghantewala sweet shop, food stalls near Jama Masjid, Paranthewali Gali, Natraj hotel, Chor Bizarre at Broadway Hotel, Daryaganj's Flora, Peshwari, Moti Mahal Restaurant, Worker's canteen of Inter-State Bus terminal and many roadside food stalls in Meena Bazaar.

Nearby Shopping Venues

Chatta Chowk (traditional and contemporary jewelry and handicrafts), Chandni Chowk (curios, souvenirs, silver and glass bead jewelry) Nai Sarak (books), Chor bazaar (electronic goods) and Daryaganj book market (on Sunday).

Last Updated On: 2011/07/01