The Garden Guide

Purana Qila (Old Fort)

This is believed to be the site of of the first Delhi - the Indraprastha ('City of Indra') described in the Mahabharata epic. It was also chosen by the Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1533 as the site for his fortfied city. He called it the Din-Panah (Refuge of Religion) and it is now called the Purana Qila (Old Fort) to distinguish it from the Red Fort built by a later Mughal ruler. The walls of the fortress are moated and spectacular. The area within is now managed as an English-style municipal park. For garden historians the most interesting features are the mosque court, with a central pool, and the garden pavilion (Sher Mandal) which Humayun used as a library - and where he had the accident which caused his death. The Sher Mandal is likely to have been surrounded by geometrical flower beds and there is every reason for them to be re-created.

Delhi, India

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