Qila Rai Pithora
|Qila Rai Pithora|
Outer Wall of Lal Kot and Rai Pithora
|Built for||Prithviraj Chauhan|
|Original use||Fortress and jail|
|Owner||Government of India|
Qila Rai Pithora, also known as Rai Pithora's Fort, was a fortified city built in the 12th century by Chauhan king, Prithviraj Chauhan. Chauhan Rajputs had taken over the city of Delhi, from Tomar Rajputs. It also incorporated, much older Lal Kot built earlier by 8th-century Tomar Rajput ruler, Anang Pal I. Qila is a Persian word meaning a fort or castle. At that time it was either called Durg or Garh Rai Pithora. Durg and Garh are a Sanskrit words meaning Fort and/or citadel. It was from the fort that the Tomar, Chauhan and the Slave Dynasty ruled over Delhi from 12th to 13th century.
In 1160 AD, the Chauhan rulers took over Delhi from Tomars, along with it the fort city of Lal Kot, the first extant city of Delhi. Thereafter Prithviraj Chauhan whose capital was Ajmer in Rajasthan, enlarged the Lal Kot, which had large rubble walls and ramparts, and renamed it Qila (Fort) of Rai Pithora or Qila Rai Pithora. The combined fort extended to six and a half km, and city existed with the fort, while older Lal Kot served as the citadel.
Prithvi Raj Chauhan ruled Delhi for 30 Years until Afghans started attacking in 1190s. He valiantly defeated Muhammad Ghori in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191. Prithvi Raj Chauhan became over confident. Muhammad Ghori re-organised his forces and defeated Prithviraj in the Second Battle of Tarain, ending their dynasty. Before returning, Muhammad Ghori appointed his slave general Qutubuddin Aibak to look into the matters of this region. This in turn established Muslim rule in India, with his Mamluk dynasty also known as Slave dynasty, the first Sultanate of Delhi. However, Aibak didn't extend or change the fort structure, it remained same through his early successors as well.
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- James D. Tracy (25 September 2000). City Walls: The Urban Enceinte in Global Perspective. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-65221-6. Retrieved 7 August 2013.