February 15, 2009

Purana Qila

I went for a walk in Purana Qila (the Old Fort next to Delhi’s High Court) the other day. It’s surprisingly well-maintained inside. There are lawns and it isn’t very dirty. One can walk around the ‘perimeter’ of the fort – or at least those who have a head for heights can. On one side there’s nothing but a wall which is a few feet in breath and has a drop of about three feet on one side and at least fifty on the other – or what seemed like fifty to me. I could be wrong but I doubt it.

There are a few buildings which survive inside the compound of the fort. One of them apparently once housed a library whose stairs the Mughal Emperor Humayun fell down and died.

What struck me as a bit strange though is that there were notice boards all over the place which said that the buildings were protected monuments but there were surprisingly few boards which said what in God’s name the buildings actually were.

That’s one thing which I find strange about Delhi – the place is full of old structures. Few people know what they are. And even fewer care.