First City Gates in Delhi
The period between 731 and 1311 saw the construction of 13 gates that were built on the 'First ancient City of Delhi' named 'Lal Kot' and later extended to be called 'Quila-Rai-Pithora' during the rule of the Slave Dynasty that can be seen in Mehrauli and Qutb Complexes in Delhi. Out of 13 gates, 5 gates are completed destroyed and only 9 gates are visible but in ruins and have been deemed as protected monuments by INTACH and the Archaeological Survey of India or ASI. They have also taken up the responsibility to renovate and preserve 4 of the identifiable gates out of the actual ones named Alai Darwaza, Badaun Gate, Barka Gate, Budayuni Gate, Chaumukha Gate, Fateh Darwaza, Hauz Rani Gate, Ranjit Gate and Sohan Gate. These Gates can be seen within large gaps that lie in the rubble ramparts and long stretch of Lal Kot city built with a thickness of 16 feet to 20 feet.
The Alai Darwaza or 'Alai Gate' was the only gate constructed in 1311 by Alla-Ud-Din Khilji who had actually planned to construct four gates but could not due to his early demise. This gate is seen on the southern part of the Qutub Complex in Delhi and is made out of red sandstone in rectangular shapes. It has a white marble inlay where inscriptions and verses from the Holy Book, Quran and Hadis have been engraved elaborately. The Islamic architecture of this square shaped Gate measuring 56 feet in height depicts horse-shoe shaped arches on three sides fringed with Lotus Bud carvings, anther semi-circular arch on the Northern side and a Dome.
The Budayuni Gate was in fact known to be the prime entrance point into the city and well guarded to prevent intrusions of Mughals and other races. This gate has also seen a lot of bloodshed as it was the venue where people who were found guilty were tortured and then beheaded. Alla-Ud-Din Khilji actually emptied his wine caskets and broke his most expensive chinaware cutleries at this gate resolving to quit drinking alcohol completely.
The Chaumukha Darwaza or 'four-face Gate' lies near the Qutub Complex of Delhi and is being maintained by ASI under Grade-B as per the archaeological value. It seems to have been constructed for defence purposes by Sultan Ghiyaas-Ud-Din Tughlaq of the Tughlaq dynasty and very thick in structure with paved stones engraved in a grid like pattern and has a horned exterior. Some people state that this gate was the art work of Thomas Metcalfe who built it to add an elegant outlook for his retreat and resembles his mansion named 'Dil-khush' which is seen in ruins today.
The Fateh Darwaza or Gate is seen lying very close to the famous 'Fateh Burj' or 'Fateh Tower' and measures over 79 feet in diameter with convoluted features.
Hauz Rani Gate
The Hauz Rani Gate was one of the most prominent features of this city but is also seen in ruins.
The Ranjit Gate was once a grand entrance of the Turkish dynasty and was built to prevent outside intrusions into the city. It lies on the northern wall of the Lal Kot city also seen in complete ruins and yet to be listed amongst the protected UNESCO Heritage sites.
The Sohan Gate lies behind a huge bastion named the 'Sohan Burj' or 'Sohan Tower' and is believed to be where an ancient Sun Temple once existed.