I have already recommended various parts of South Delhi in my list of 10 must visit offbeat places in Delhi. But I did not specifically mention Qila Rai Pithora because it is very difficult to pinpoint on the map. It is the Rajput fortress that protected the oldest historical city of Delhi. It covered a vast area of South Delhi but now only parts of it are visible. Some parts of these massive, 5-6 metres wide, 11th-12th century fortifications have been protected and probably even restored. It also had as many as 13 gates as entry points to the city but they remain only in archaeological maps. Unprotected parts have already been encroached out of existence or probably they lie underground some residential area that cannot be excavated.
I guess there are a few more visible parts of it that I have not been to. But I think I have now visited the three important stretches of whatever remains.
Qila Rai Pithora Complex, Press Enclave Road
It is adjacent to the Qutub Golf Course and not very far from Malviya Nagar Metro. It is the “official” Qila Rai Pithora monument now. It has been developed like a park, complete with a library and an imposing statue of Prithviraj Chouhan, who is credited for expanding most of these fortifications, although that did not save him from being the last of his lineage.
Qila Rai Pithora Complex, Mehrauli Badarpur Road, Saket
It is actually one of the better looking stretches, somewhat hidden by thick bushes and nearby parks. But it is very near to the Saket Metro station and once you get inside and climb up the walls, you get a completely different view.
Walls of Lal kot, Sanjay Van
Original fortification was called Lal Kot which may be even older. It was expanded later by Prithviraj. The older potion now lies in neglect inside the protected forests of Sanjay Van between Mehrauli and Vasant Kunj. Last winter I walked through the hillocks inside the forests. It is almost a mini trek replete with nilgais and peacocks in the jungle. I met a group of locals who were cooking on the wall, enjoying the winter sun.
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