One of the best attractions to visit in the capital city is the Feroz Shah Kotla Fort. Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq built this in 1354 and today it is one of the oldest structures in Delhi. Tughlaq built this to shift his capital from Tughlaqabad to Firozabad as there was a shortage of water in the former capital. This fort was built on the banks of Yamuna river. It also houses some marvellous gardens, mosques, palaces etc.
The City of Djinns
Feroz Shah Kotla fort is synonymous with djinns (genie). Over the decades, it has hosted Sufis, fakirs and unknown saints. This is a place where belief and spirituality push the limits of logical explanations. Even today, people write letters to the Djinns, stick coins to the walls of the mosque. Some even offer milk, sweets, fruits and meat to them. People try to appease the ‘djinn spirits’.
Since many centuries, people have believed that the fort is home to djinns and devotees often come here seeking blessings of them.
In Islam, it is believed that while light created angels and clay created humans, djinns were brought to life by smokeless fire. People, who believe in supernatural powers, come here and write letters mentioning their problems, and leave them behind for the supernatural powers to take care of.
People believe that djinns are also capable of living thousands of years, and just like humans, are capable of bearing a family too.
A huge iron gate stands at the entrance along with the boundaries of the bastion that is as high as 15 metres. The ruins also have a stepwell (baoli), which is still in good condition. The Fort also has an Ashokan Pillar, brought by Feroz Shah from Ambala to Delhi. It is 13 m high and bears the inscriptions of Ashoka’s principles.
The Fort has a lot to offer to its visitors as it has magnificent palace rooms, mosques with all its mysteries. It is a very peaceful place away from the hustle-bustle of the city that rushes around it.
This mosque is one of the most ancient and largest surviving parts of the Fort which is still in use. The ruins also have large courtyard and a Prayer Hall. The Prayer Hall was once used by the ladies of the royal family. The masjid showcases the Tughluq architecture.
The Masjid is connected to the Ashokan Pillar on the northern side. Sultan Timur had visited this masjid in 1398 AD to say his prayers. Inspired by its beauty, he constructed a mosque in Samarkand in Mawarannahr which, was an exact replica of this Masjid.
The best time to visit the Fort is after 4.30 pm in the evening. It will at least take two hours to roam around the entire complex.
Wear a good pair of shoes or comfortable flip-flops as a lot of walking is required here. Also take your sunshades depending upon weather.