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The Purana Qila, Delhi

The Purana Qila, Delhi

Artist: Abbott, Sir James (1807-1896)

Medium: Pencil and ink on paper

Date: 1858

Shelfmark: WD3459

Item number: 3459

Length: 331

Width: 547

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pencil and ink drawing of the Purana Qila at Delhi by Sir James Abbott (1807-1896) in 1858. Inscribed on the front is: 'J. Abbott 1858'. On the original mount: 'Ruined Fortress of Inderprust, the original Delhi. Site, coeval with Troy: existing ruins built by Sher Shah, circa AD 1545'.

The medieval fort of Purana Qila or Old Fort was built between 1538 and 1545 by the Mughal emperor Humayun and his intercessor Sher Shah Suri, on the site of the ancient city of Indraprastha, home of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata Epic. The buildings of the fort include a large mosque, palace pavilions, a step-well, guard rooms and a library. The masjid, or mosque, was built by Sher Shah in 1541 and is a good example of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The building is faced in a mixture of marble and red sandstone with further coloured marbles inlaid in geometric patterns on both interior and exterior surfaces. The moat around the fort was once supplied by the river Jumna which flowed along the eastern base of the fort.

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