Laughing through centuries

On an average, how much time do you spend to think of a title for your blog post? I hope at least a few seconds? But we Indians have a shortage of time. So we call the oldest known structure of any type in Delhi as. . . ummm. . . “Old Fort“. Well it is old, and it is a fort. So ‘Old Fort’ it is.
I wonder how this might have happened. The person in-charge asks his employees : “Hey I need a name for this structure.”
Employee 1 : “Tell us more about this structure, sir”
Boss : “A magnificent castle of sandstones, it has 18m high walls which traverse a whopping 1.5km. It was renovated by two of the strongest rulers who walked on Indian soil in the 16th century and was first built around 2500 B.C.!”
Employee 2 : Oh I see ! So it is an old fort !
Boss : YOU ARE A GENIUS ! *grabs his cheeks and kisses the forehead* ! INDEED IT IS ‘OLD FORT’ Β !

Let’s have a look at its entrance before going into names further.

Main entrance of Old Fort : Bada Darwaza

“Bada Darwaza” – that translates to “Big Door”. Please my lovely readers, observe two minutes of silence for the team who was assigned the task of naming this castle. I mean, what the fuck were they thinking? Did they think they did a very cool thing? Was that for publicity? Guess we’ll never know. Let’s enter the big door to see what’s inside now.


So while walking down this lovely road let us know about the funny people who have lived here. The fort is believed to be constructed 5000 years ago during the period of Indus Valley civilization by a few fictional characters from the story of Mahabharata (Pandavas). Wait a minute ! Fictional characters built a real fort ! I am telling you there is something spooky with this place !

This was renovated in 1545 A.D. by Sher Shah Suri, the first Afghan emperor of India (also known as Sher Khan (Tiger Lord) because he once killed a fully grown tiger with his bare hands and took WWE to a whole new level). This was probably the time when the United States had no idea that Afghanistan had oil, so the Afghanis had the liberty to boss around its neighbours who were still celebrating the discovery of Zero and thinking of themselves as geniuses.

But then, the Hindu king ‘Hemu’ (also known as Vikramaditya. Shouldn’t it be the other way round? Why is the real name smaller and cuter than the nickname?) attacked Sher Shah’s son and became the king in 1556. But just after a few months, one of the greatest Mughal emperors, Akbar defeated Hemu and to create terror among Hindus, hung his torso outside this fort. WOAH Dude ! I could not bear the smell of a dead rat! You preserved a dead body outside your home? You must be having an eternally stuffed nose!

Now we reach the end of the above road and see this beautifully beautiful, perfectly perfectΒ Qila-i Kuhna Mosque – translated as ‘Old Fort Mosque’. No, I am not making any jokes on the name now.

The backside
The front
The front
The inside - 1
The inside – 1
The inside – 2
The upside
The upside
The view outside
The view outside

Now I’ll show you what is the more tragic than the Hemu’s death and its show off, and at the same time more funnier that Russel Peters. Please welcome the Sher-Mandal. Built by Sher Shah Suri as the “Pleasure Resort”. That man ruled India for 5 years! Less than most democratic parliamentarians do! He built a road from Bengal to Afghanistan and numerous other structures, defeated the mighty Mughals, supported the uprising in Bengal and got time for pleasure! Men were always men. There is more to it. But have a look at it first.

Sher - Mandal
Sher – Mandal
Sher - Mandal
Sher – Mandal

Yes, both the times, the clicking of couples outside the pleasure resort was co-incidental and have no relation with anything – living or dead πŸ˜›

So the story goes like this – After the Mughals defeated the Afghans, Emperor Humayun who had earned the title of ‘Insan-i-Kamil’ (Perfect man) with his peaceful personality converted this pleasure resort to a library. One fine day, when he was having some me-time in his library, he heard theΒ Adhan (call for the prayer) and rushed to the staircase. Next – Humayun fell down and broke his crown, there’s no Jill to come tumbling after. And a great emperor died by falling from his staircase. That’s why they say – good guys really get heaven, while bad guys get the girls.

So that’s how I had a great day today talking to these walls and listening to their stories. I hope you too had fun. Please tell me you did because you don’t want to experience what Hemu experienced. (Just kidding).
Thank you for reading my longest post. Leaving you now with some more pictures of this marvelous castle standing through the ages.
SDC12820 SDC12822SDC12803SDC12838

If you liked this, you’d love to read what the lovely Millie ThomΒ has to say about Castles in WalesΒ as this trip was inspired by her wonderful insight into history.

64 thoughts on “Laughing through centuries

  1. Himali Shah June 26, 2015 / 7:17 am

    Wow !! Old Fort is amazing when seen through your lenses. And I loved the way you brought up the who nomenclature of OLD FORT πŸ˜πŸ˜›

    Liked by 2 people

    • Prateek Kohli June 26, 2015 / 7:21 pm

      Haha ! Thank you so much, Himali. It is heartening to hear you liked the idea. But if we set the humor apart (which is a bit difficult), the place is a really serene one πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Himali Shah June 27, 2015 / 12:43 am

        Yes I really liked the place, would surely love to visit it some day πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hannah June 26, 2015 / 7:17 am

    Hahah…history with a tinge of comedy!
    And yes, we’re quiet literal with the naming process! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    • Prateek Kohli June 26, 2015 / 7:42 pm

      I just hope that the comedy didn’t ruin the history πŸ˜€
      Glad you could relate to it. Thank you, Hannah πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hannah June 28, 2015 / 1:17 pm

        No, no it didn’t ruin it!
        It was a refreshing take on history! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Soumya Mishra June 26, 2015 / 7:21 am

    History just got interesting. πŸ˜› I wish they taught History like that in schools! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sonya Kassam June 26, 2015 / 7:29 pm

      Yes that is exactly what my though! After helping my daughter cram a gazillion dates of Aztec history, this post was a refreshing history lesson. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Prateek Kohli June 26, 2015 / 7:38 pm

        I can really relate to you and your daughter regarding the ordeal of cramming up the dates that we can always look up when needed :/
        Though I was mesmerized by the story of this fort when I read it, tried to make it humorous while hoping not to ruin it πŸ˜€
        I am happy you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for taking the time out and read ^_^


    • Prateek Kohli June 26, 2015 / 8:03 pm

      Haha that’s a huge compliment πŸ˜€ Thank you so much. If I can teach history – something I was never able to learn, then I can be proud of myself πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jpennerzook June 26, 2015 / 7:46 am

    I definitely agree with previous comments that you’re a remarkably funny history instructor. I’d enroll in your class!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Prateek Kohli June 26, 2015 / 7:51 am

      Haha! Thank you so much ma’am. The words mean a lot coming from you πŸ™‚
      I hope your novel is very near to the release date now? πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • jpennerzook June 26, 2015 / 7:58 am

        Quite true about the humorous historian! 😊
        How thoughtful of you to remember the book release date! In fact, it JUST hit several markets and I will post an update today.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Prateek Kohli June 26, 2015 / 8:04 am

        Oh congratulations to you ! *Happy* !! Waiting for the post and the book πŸ˜€

        Liked by 2 people

  5. manvishah June 26, 2015 / 7:58 am

    Haha, that was a nice way to put it all in πŸ˜€ Fun post πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Dileep Sankhla June 26, 2015 / 8:22 am

    You’re just like Flynn of ‘The Librarian’ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. isra7726 June 26, 2015 / 8:43 am

    If I were the education minister, I would make sure you rewrite ALL the history books that this country reads :p . Wish this was the way we were taught at school, I would have ace-d throughout.
    The place is beautiful, the first pic couldve easily been a castle in scotland πŸ™‚
    would love to see many more such posts.. and BTW, nice title :p

    Liked by 3 people

    • Prateek Kohli June 28, 2015 / 3:08 am

      Haha ! Though I read this comment a little late, but reading it on an early Sunday morning made my day! Thank you so much for these wonderful words for the post and the title πŸ˜€
      And yes, if we ignore the “R ❀ S" on the inner walls and the Kurkure packets lying around, the place could be confused with the castles of Scotland πŸ˜‰


      • isra7726 June 29, 2015 / 5:20 am

        I couldnt see them in the pic you posted, well taken I must say.
        LOL on R ❀ S + Kurkure.. also your funny take on the couples in your photo πŸ˜€ i can understand your frustration of clicking a pic without people in them.. never happens πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli June 30, 2015 / 3:41 am

        You understand ! There are just too many people wherever you go πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Prajakta June 26, 2015 / 9:00 am

    What a riveting narration of our history Prateek! I like how you liked your titbits through it – very apt πŸ™‚ Especially the “men will be men”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Prateek Kohli June 28, 2015 / 3:11 am

      Thank you so much, Prajakta. I was scared that the essence of the history and the fort do not get neglected by my lame takes on it. Your comment made my day. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. InkMode June 26, 2015 / 9:29 am

    The post is unique in itself. Perfect blend of humor and history.
    Great work πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  10. sumyanna June 26, 2015 / 9:38 am

    Lovely pictures and very interesting tale. I stayed for the entire tour! Loved it!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. AdiC June 26, 2015 / 9:57 am

    Would you care to teach me history along with physics? *innocent eyes*

    I absolutely love your picture captions. As much as your post πŸ˜‰

    We’ve seen such names all over the place actually. Calcutta’s new market, burra bazaar! And then there’s Buland Darwaaza. And Red Fort. Oh White House too!! And why leave the Chinese behind? Their Great Wall! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

    • Prateek Kohli June 28, 2015 / 3:03 am

      Haha now that I think of this, that is actually true ! I thought only the old fort people were lazy and unimaginative πŸ˜€
      The Taj Mahal people were the creative lot πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  12. maryam191 June 26, 2015 / 11:22 am

    It’d been long when I last visited Delhi. As long as 11 years. I could still recall this place through your pictures, their names. I enjoyed this post thoroughly. Is it really your longest post? I must say, it was perfectly entertaining πŸ™‚

    What kind of guy do you think you are ? πŸ˜‰
    Remember- good guys go to heaven and bad guys get the girls πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    • AdiC June 26, 2015 / 12:52 pm

      I love that question you posed to him! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 3 people

      • AdiC June 26, 2015 / 1:31 pm

        Haha! Someone’s in demand now! πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

  13. ShethP June 26, 2015 / 2:25 pm

    Hehehe. Glad I can say that I take at least a few seconds to think about the title… But, I have to say – the title to this post is captivating! πŸ˜›
    By the way, what makes you believe that the Mahabharat was a myth? πŸ˜€

    Psst… The king got way more done in five years than what we can expect in twenty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli June 28, 2015 / 2:55 am

      Haha Thank you so much for reading and the wonderful comment πŸ™‚
      And since I am not sure that it wasn’t a myth, I called the characters fictional.
      Also, undoubtedly Sher Shah would be a good example to set the bar of development high for today’s leaders πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Beth June 26, 2015 / 10:17 pm

    It’s beautiful, Prateek. Since Americans have no spectacular forts or historical buildings much older than 250 years (which would almost be modern architecture on India’s long timeline), I was confused because I’d assumed that the Red Fort in Delhi was the only “Old Fort” there. This fort you blogged about looks like it should never be missed on any tour of Delhi.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Prateek Kohli June 28, 2015 / 2:48 am

      Yes ma’am, whenever you plan to visit here, this is a much more magical and more quite place than the Red Fort which is always flooded with people, as it is home to many government offices now.
      And I agree Indians have an ancient heritage but I also hope that we get over it soon and try to walk with the pace of Americans πŸ˜€
      I would try to visit the red fort soon and dedicate the post to you. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Cynthia June 27, 2015 / 2:08 pm

    Wow ! This was super-fun read πŸ˜€
    Wish I had found your blog earlier πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli June 27, 2015 / 2:56 pm

      Thank you so much! I am glad you said that ^_^
      It is a delight to discover your blog πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  16. milliethom June 27, 2015 / 3:13 pm

    I absolutely love your unusually long post, Prateek – particularly the humour that comes with it. Your excellent comentary gave me a great giggle for today. And what a place that Old Fort is! It’s magnificent. I really like red sandstone. There are many buildings around the UK built from it, too. 1545 sounds about right for such a structure to have been renovated from an older one. Was that a joke about the earlier strucure being 5000 years old, or is it actually true (minus the fictional characters?) Great tale about the library and Humayan’s tumble in which he broke his unfortunate royal crown, too
    Wonderful photos and an excellent tour!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli June 28, 2015 / 2:39 am

      I am glad and relieved that you liked it ma’am. I feared that the essence and beauty of the fort doesn’t get destroyed with the humour πŸ˜€
      Glad to be a contributing factor in your giggles today. And yes ma’am it is true that the outer walls were built during the Indus-Valley civilization and it is still a mystery how did they do it. Through excavations, evidences have been found that kings from the Mauryan period (300 BC) have also lived here. πŸ™‚
      Once again, thank you so much for your time and lovely words. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • milliethom June 28, 2015 / 1:00 pm

        I’ve just replied to you wonderful pingback, Prateek, and can only add here that I find all this fascinating. The building of that original structure must have been about the same time the ancient Egyptians were building the first pyramids. The mind boggles at the architectural skills thes peoples possessed so long ago. Wonderful post! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

    • Prateek Kohli June 30, 2015 / 3:39 am

      Thank you so much! I am really glad you liked it. πŸ™‚ Salamat πŸ˜€


  17. izza ifzaal July 2, 2015 / 11:28 pm

    I love history n thanks for the info! ! The clicks were apt! !
    Shouldn’t it be the other way around “good gurls get bad guys ” ?:p

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli July 3, 2015 / 6:45 am

      Thank you! πŸ˜€
      And I feel girls get to decide what they get. And the good guys are easy to ignore πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Kritika Vashist July 6, 2015 / 4:17 pm

    I am amazed at your writing skill. Wonderful! How have you been? πŸ™‚


  19. petite poetries and more July 9, 2015 / 6:54 pm

    You’ve added great fun to a boring history. I had to control my laughter remembering my room mates are asleep. πŸ˜‰


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