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The Kotla of Firoz Shah with the Ashokan pillar viewed from the west, with the gateway of the adjacent mosque (top right), View from the south of the Kotla (bottom right)

The Kotla of Firoz Shah with the Ashokan pillar viewed from the west, with the gateway of the adjacent mosque (top right), View from the south of the Kotla (bottom right)

Author: Metcalfe, Sir Thomas Theophilus (1795-1853)

Medium: Ink and colours on paper

Date: 1843

Shelfmark: Add.Or.5475

Item number: ff. 49v-50

Length: 25.8

Width: 42.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

[From 'Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi’, an album consisting of 89 folios containing approximately 130 paintings of views of the Mughal and pre-Mughal monuments of Delhi, as well as other contemporary material, with an accompanying manuscript text written by Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe (1795-1853), the Governor-General’s Agent at the imperial court. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of the National Art-Collections Fund.]

Feroze (‘Propitious’) Shah’s (‘King’) Laut (‘Pillar. Club’) is situated in the immediate environs of the city on the High road from the Dehlie Gate towards Muttra. The building on which the Laut now stands was constructed by the Emperor Feroze Shah as a Shekargah or Hunting place. He reigned at Dehlie between the years AD 1351 and 1388 in the last of which he died at the age of 90. But the pillar must have been erected as a Hindoo Monument at a much earlier period, for one of the inscriptions records a date of 1220 of the Hindoo Era, corresponding with AD 1164, or 29 years before the conquest of Dehlie by Shahabodeen (‘Strength of the Faith’) Ghoree (‘name of a particular family or dynasty’). The height of the pillar now visible above the building is about 37 feet, and its circumference where it forms the terrace is about 10 feet 4 inches; it is composed of a single stone, and tradition asserts that only 1/3 is visible, the remaining 2/3 being buried in the earth. The structure originally consisted of three stories, and used, accorded to current opinion, partly as a menagerie and partly as an aviary.
The Emperor’s reign of 38 years though not brilliant in other respects was distinguished for the enlightened spirit of his Regulations and the extent and utility of his Public Works amongst the latter and the greatest of all is the canal from the Jumna to the district of Hansie and Hissar and still called by his name.
The second view represents a portion of the old Palace built by the same Emperor, but now past falling into decay. On my first arrival in Dehly in 1813, and indeed for many
[The Kotla of Firoz Shah with the Ashokan pillar viewed from the west, with the gateway of the adjacent mosque. Firoz Shah Kotla, the citadel of the city of Firuzabad, was founded by Feroz Shah Tughlaq (r.1351-88) in 1354. Firuzabad extended from Hauz Khas to the banks of the Yamuna. Only some ramparts and ruined structures survive. The remains of a pyramidical structure, topped by the Ashokan pillar, stands out. The pillar was brought here by Feroz Shah from Ambala, and is the second column of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (r.c.272-31). It was the first Ashokan pillar to be deciphered by James Princep in 1837, giving the key to the Brahmi script.]
Inscribed: naqsha-i kotla-i Firuz Shah Badshah. Mazhar ‘Ali Khan.
years subsequent, the Hall of Audience here represented was in perfect condition. The roof has of late fallen in with part of the front walk, and a portion of the room in which the Emperor Alumgeer the 2nd was murdered, and by the door way nearest to the river (as shown in the drawing) stills exists, through which the lifeless body of the Emperor was cast out upon the sand, where it lay for several days uninterred and almost unnoticed.
[View from the south over the ruined palace and mosque of the Kotla on the river bank, towards the Ashokan pillar. Once the largest mosque in Delhi, now only the rear wall survives. It is believed that Timur, the Mongol conqueror, who sacked Delhi in 1398, came to this mosque for his prayers. ]
Inscribed: naqsha-i qil‘a-i kotla-i Firuz Shah bar lab-i darya.
In the background are seen the minarets of the Zeenut ool Musajid (vide page 33 [f. 36]) and the Bridge of Boats constructed by the local authorities over the River Jumna. The Emperor Ahmud (‘Praiseworthy’) Shah {‘King’) having been deposed and blinded in July AD 1734 [i.e. 1754], by Ghaziodeen (‘the Hero of the Faith’) his commander in chief, one of the Princes of the Blood Royal, a son of the former Emperor Jahandar

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