Qila Rai Pithora and Lal Kot

Lal Kot and Qila Rai Pithora

Lal Kot and Qila Rai Pithora are known as the first city of Delhi. Lal Kot was founded by Anangpal Tomar I in the 8th century AD. Anangpal Tomar II ruled in the mid-eleventh century and build the Lal Kot (literally, the Red Fort). The Chauhan kings of Ajmer gained control of Lal Kot sometime in the twelfth century. Prithivaj Chauhan, also known as Rai Pithora, ruled Ajmer and Delhi between 1169 to 1192 and extended Lal Kot by building bastions around and the entire fort came to be known as Qila Rai Pithora.

Today, we can see the ruins of Qila Rai Pithora in Saket and Mehrauli areas in New Delhi. The areas of Qila Rai Pithora have been developed into heritage parks with lush green lawns and walking trails. The ruins are mostly walls at the boundary. The Rai Pithora Cultural Complex is located on the Press Enclave Road, close to the Malviya Nagar Metro Station. Inside the complex, there is a statue of Prithviraj Chauhan and a library. There are ruins of Qila Rai Pithora around the complex.

The statue of Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan at Rai Pithora Cultural Complex

A wall at Qila Rai Pithora

Walls at Qila Rai Pithora

Walls at Qila Rai Pithora

Chaumukha Darwaza

Chaumukha Darwaza

Chaumukha Darwaza was an entry point to the city of Lal Kot. It can be seen just behind the Qutub Minar Complex. Chaumukha Darwaza literally means four-faced gateway. It has four openings, one on each side, which is unusual for a gateway. It was initially constructed in the eleventh century. What we see today was rebuilt during the Tughlaq dynasty in the fourteenth century.


There are more ruins near the Qutub Minar complex. Close to the Saket Metro station, there is the fort wall running along the way to the Garden of Five senses. Behind the wall, a nice park with ample lawns and walking tracks has been been developed. Somewhere close to the park is an old watch tower held precariously on top of high rocks.

Fort wall

Watch Tower


Filed Under: Travel


  • http://shovonc.wordpress.com Shovon Chowdhury

    I drive by all the time. Thanks.

  • http://www.wheelzindia.com/delhi/taxi_booking.aspx Taxi in Delhi & NCR

    I have never heard about Qila Rai Pithora, today i have read about this on your blog. It is such a very beautiful place.

  • http://www.amarghosh.com Amar N Ghosh

    I am new to delhi and exploring history of Delhi especially in Qutub area. Please suggest how to go to the watch tower (your last pic), I have seen it from Adam khans tomb but not able to understand how to go there. Please help.

    Also how to go to Chaumukha Darwaza? is it in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park?