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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Delhi Monuments: Salimgarh Fort

Recently, the Salimgarh Fort (located just next door to the Red Fort) is in the news. The Government is planning steps to make this into a tourist destination and ensure that it is well looked after. But what exactly is the Salimgarh Fort ?
The fort is somewhat polygonal in shape and is bounded by solid masonry walls. You can enter the fort from the northern gate that is also called the Bahadur Shahi Gate (so named because Bahadur Shah Zafar constructed it in 1854-55 AD. The gate is built of brick masonry with red sandstone sparingly used. The fort used to enclose numerous lofty bastions but unfortunately only the ruins of those can be seen now.
The Salimgarh Fort was built in 1546 on an island of River Yamuna by Islam Shah Suri, son and successor of Sher Shah Suri. In 1622 AD, Jahangir constructed a bridge and connected the fort to the mainland, later removed by the British when they built a railway line through it. This grand structure was then connected to the Red Fort by Shah Jahan, and the fort finally became a state prison during Aurangzeb’s rule. The British continued using it as a prison, and the leaders of Indian National Army were imprisoned here in 1945, whose memorial has been developed inside the fort. The fort has now been renamed as Swatantrata Senani Smarak (Freedom Fighters' Memorial).
Salimgarh Fort is located at a distance of 1 kilometer north-east from the Red Fort on the Ring Road after crossing the National Memorial.
The preferable timing for visiting the fort is between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the fort is open on all days.

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