The Tughlaqabad Fort came into existence like a lost fairytale of a bygone era also known as the ‘Cursed Fort’ situated on the Mehrauli-Badarpur road in South Delhi and also reachable from Khanpur in Delhi. It is a tale of a slave named Ghazi Malik, who served Sultan Mubarak Khilji of the Khilji dynasty and suggested that the Sultan should build a massive Fortress on the southern region of Delhi atop a hill and the Sultan jokingly commented that Ghazi can build one when he becomes the Sultan and destiny smiled upon this slave. The Sultan’s own words came true and Ghazi drove away the entire Khilji Dynasty from Delhi. He conquered over the city as the new Emperor and re-christened himself as Ghiyaas-Ud-Din Tughlaq. He named this city as Tughlaqabad and started to design his dream fort that would not only be beautiful and majestic but also impregnable by enemies. In 1321, the construction of Tughlaqabad Fort commenced and was speedily completed within 4 years.

The reason for the short-lived reign of the Tughlaq dynasty was believed to be due to Saint Nizzamuddin Auliya’s curse. It is said that the Tughlaq Sultan got so engrossed in the speedy construction of his fort that he instructed all the workers, artisans and labourers to dedicate all their time on completing this fort. This however, obstructed the work of Saint Auliya’s ‘Baoli’ or ‘Well’ and he confronted the Sultan with his concern. Instead, the Sultan paid no heed to his requirements and the Saint cursed the Sultan by uttering ‘Ya Rahey Usar, Ya Basey Gujjar’ which means ‘May the fort remain unoccupied or may the herdsmen occupy it’ and another curse stated ‘Hunuz Dilli Dur Est’ which means ‘Delhi is still far away’ and thus that is what exactly happened, in 1324, the Sultan was returning from Bengal after a successful campaign and on the way met his son, Muhammed Bin Tughlaq in Uttar Pradesh in Kara. The Sultan camped there with his son and in a tragic incident lost his life. It is believed that his son, the Prince ordered for the roof or Shamiana to fall over the Sultan crushing him to death making it look like an accident. Since, the death of the Sultan, the Fort remained unoccupied and was finally abandoned in 1327.

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