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Castles Legends: 7 Cities of Dehli - ebook/pdf
Castles Legends: 7 Cities of Dehli - ebook/pdf
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Wydawca: E-bookowo Język publikacji: polski
ISBN: 978-83-957893-4-2 Data wydania:
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Kategoria: ebooki >> fantastyka >> fikcja
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There are many versions of the different cities of Delhi. Some say there were 7 cities, some say 9, some historians also claim that there were 12 or 14 different cities in total, starting from the mythological times to this day. For our convenience, we have selected the most famous version of the seven cities of Delhi and merged the overlapping locations of different cities in one single chapter, like that of the legendary, pre-historic city of Indraprastha and the Purana Qila in the medieval city of Dinpanah, which share the same location and therefore have been clubbed together. This book will drive you through legends of all of them.

 

This e-book was created as part of the Castles.today project that seeks to promote history and tourism by presenting high-quality content related to castles and forts scattered around the globe. We offer you a brief escape from the daily routine, allowing you to travel back in time to the era of princesses and knights strolling through chambers and castle walls.

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Castles Legends 7 Cities of Dehli Author: Sammik C Basuu Illustrations: Agata Krzyżanowska This e-book was created as part of the Castles.today project that seeks to promote history and tourism by presenting high-quality content related to castles and forts scattered around the globe. We offer you a brief escape from the daily routine, allowing you to travel back in time to the era of princesses and knights strolling through chambers and castle walls. Castles Legends: 7 Cities of Dehli Copyright © Castles Michał Nowakowski Written by Sammik C Basuu Illustrated by Agata Krzyżewska Proofreading by Joanna Zahorska Typesetting by Smart DTP Project coordinator: Michał Nowakowski Edition: e-Book 2020 ISBN: 978-83-957893-4-2 More legends you can find at: www.castles.today or in the app Table of contents The Legend that is Delhi .................................................................... 3 1. The Legends of Purana Qila (The Old Fort) .................................... 6 The Palace of Illusion ............................................................................ 6 Dreams and Jealousy ............................................................................. 7 The Indian Nation .................................................................................. 7 Nur the Mighty Elephant ...................................................................... 8 The Legend that is Delhi To this day, the historical city of Delhi has been standing since mytho- logical times, encompassing New Delhi, the capital city of India, since it gained independence in 1947. The area in and around the pres- ent-day Delhi has been the site of many ancient cities. Earlier histor- ical accounts suggest seven cities waxed and waned there, but the number of settlements was up to nine or ten. Revisiting the sites of these ancient cities is to suddenly see a glimpse of Delhi’s past lives. “If there is one place in India which gives one a sense of experiencing thousands of years of history at once, it is Delhi,” says writer Rana Safvi, author of Where Stones Speak: Historical Trails in Mehrauli. From being the site of the fabled city of Indraprastha from the epic Mahabharata, which was the capital city of the Pandava princes and of the first united empire in India, to the new city of Delhi built under the British, Delhi has seen the rise and fall of many empires. Delhi holds many stories and legends owing to the rich history and cultural legacy of the area around it. From Raja Dilu in the 1st century AD to the Tomars and Chauhans building up Qila Rai Pithora and Lal Kot; from the advent of the Muslim rule to the prosperous age under the Khiljis, the Tughlaqs, the Surs and the Mughals; from the invasions and destruction done by Tamerlane, Nadir Shah, Ahmad Shah Abdali and Ghulam Qadir to the great mutiny of 1857 and the destruction of the old city by the British; from the building of the new city by the same British to being the famed capital of the largest democracy of the world, this city has seen everything. Each of these cities grew round a palace – a fortress of a particular dynasty and every dynasty wished to have new headquarters for consideration of prestige. Even kings of the same dynasty were driven by this ambition and pursued it if they had the means to do so. With each successive reign, some 3 The Legend that is Delhi distinctive architectural features were added or some changes in the urban morphology occurred. Often, some important new buildings of monumental size would be erected, such as a mosque or a tomb, a palace, a fortress, or a victory-tower. The first Prime Minister of the independent India Jawaharlal Nehru called Delhi the grave of many empires and the nursery of a republic. With every step we take in this city where every other building is re- plete with historical significance, we can trace India’s journey through the bright and dark times it has experienced over the ages. Legends and stories present us with a discovery of the seven cities of Delhi, and when explored layer by layer, they give a reader an idea of the wonder that India used to be. There are many versions of the different cities of Delhi. Some say there were 7 cities, some say 9, some historians also claim that there were 12 or 14 different cities in total, starting from the mythological times to this day. For our convenience, we have selected the most famous version of the seven cities of Delhi and merged the overlap- ping locations of different cities in one single chapter, like that of the legendary, pre-historic city of Indraprastha and the Purana Qila in the medieval city of Dinpanah, which share the same location and there- fore have been clubbed together. The seven cities are as follows: ● Indraprastha, whose location more or less coincides with the later city of Dinpanah around the Old Fort or Shergarh. ● Qila Rai Pithora ● Siri Fort and the city of Siri ● Tughlaqabad 4 ● Jahapanah – Adilabad ● Firozabad around Kotla Firoz Shah ● Shahjahanabad The two additional citadels of Shahjahanabad are Lal Qila or Qila – e – Mubarak and Salimgarh. Because of the multiple citadels of Sha- hajahanabad, as well as because of Shahjahanabad itself being huge with many other important structures, these two citadels have been handled separately under two additional chapters . 5 1. The Legends of Purana Qila (The Old Fort) L et us start with the oldest city that Delhi comprises, name- ly, Indraprastha. According to the legend, Indraprastha was founded by the Pandava princes during the epic ages described in the Mahabharata. Legend has it that when Arjuna, the middle Pandava prince, burnt down the Khandava forest, he saved the family of Moy, an architect and builder of vast experience. To show his gratitude, Moy built the unique city of Indraprastha of unparalleled charm along with its exquisite palace to serve as the capital for the Pandavas in their new kingdom. The ruins of this city were discovered near the old fort in today’s Delhi. Archaeologists dated this historical monument to anywhere between 3400 and 4000 BC, which makes it about 5500 to 6000 years old. The Palace of Illusion T his palace was built by the demon and construction maes- tro Moy, who was saved by one of the Pandava brothers, Arjuna, while burning down the Khandav forest to build up the legendary city’s of Indraprastha, or the abode of Indra, the king of Gods. The unparalleled beauty of the palace sparked extreme envy in Duryadhana, a cousin of the Pandavas and the eldest of the 100 Kaurava brothers. This instigated a dangerous game of treachery of the Kauravas, who manhandled the Pandavas’ wife Queen Draupadi. The irreversible game of politics brought the entire country at war that broke out between the Kauravas and the Pandavas’ supporters, bringing an end to the classical age in the history of India. 6 The Indian Nation Dreams and Jealousy T he most interesting aspect of the city of Indraprastha was the Palace of Illusion. As described in the Mahabharata, the palace had terraces that looked like ponds and ponds that looked like land. The mystery that surrounded the entire architecture added to its irresistible charm. As described in the epic story, the palace housed real gardens with fruit and flowers made of gems and precious stones, and artificial gardens with real fruit and flowers for visitors to enjoy. For all these reasons, that place was called the Palace of Illusion. According to the legend, it was because of this illusion that Duryadha- na fell into a stream he took for land. The already embarrassed prince was badly mocked by Queen Draupadi, who said that that was what hap- pened to a blind man’s blind son. Already jealous of his cousins’ pros- perity, Duryadhana could not take this mockery passively, as his father was actually a blind man. This event, as the legend says, instigated him to start scheming against his powerful cousins to bring their downfall, in- cluding the infamous slander of Draupadi, in which Lord Krishna prevent- ed the ultimate humiliation of the queen at the hands of Duryadhana’s brothers by supplying her with countless layers of clothing to save her from becoming forcefully undressed using his sheer magic. Eventually, this event followed by a twelve-year-long exile of the Pandavas led to the great Kurukshetra War, which was the ultimate fight of good against evil. The Indian Nation L egend has it that in the Palace of Illusion in Indraprastha a concept of united Bharath (or India) was born. It was there that Lord Krishna killed the evil Shishupala to embark 7 1. The Legends of Purana Qila (The Old Fort) on a journey to conquer evil with good. And it was there that the sec- ond Kaurava brother Dushyashana tried to strip Queen Draupadi off her clothes in front of the whole council. Lord Krishna responded to Draupadi’s prayers, giving her endless amount of clothes to save her honour. After being dragged to the council by her hair, Queen Drapadi promised to her husbands, the five Pandava princes, that she would not tie her hair until she drenched it with Dushyashana’s blood. It was Bhima, the second of the Pandava princes, who fulfilled this promise during the Kurukshetra War by ripping Dushyashana’s chest open and taking his blood to the Queen, so that she could wet down her hair with it and finally tie her hair after 13 long years. Nur the Mighty Elephant T he old fort itself is the theme of numer- ous legends, from being the center of Dinpan- ah, the new city founded by Mughal Emperor Humayun, through serving as the famed capital citadel of the Sur Em- pire, named by Sher Shah Suri as Shergarh, to housing the re- named fort of Nurgarh under the Mughals after they reconquered Del- hi. It is said that after Humayun retook Delhi from the last Sur Sultan, he entered Shergarh on his favorite elephant Nur, who was wounded in wounded in the ‘earlier’ battle to recapture Delhi but still carried the emperor into the citadel, breaking the main arch gate made by the Sur 8 Nur the Mighty Elephant Sultans in the process. Soon after, the famed elephant died and Huma- yun renamed Shergarh as Nurgarh in his memory. Centuries before the Shergarh – Dinpanah, Delhi’s first medieval set- tlement was the city around Lal Kot and Qila Rai Pithora. This city was a continuation of the 1st-century AD town of Dilu and has its share of fantabulous legends. 9
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