There is something very interesting about the beauty of things and places that have turned old. For example, the old clock that hangs in your grandmother’s room or that car that your father or grandfather had purchased. A certain charm accumulates with such things that have been in our possession or existence since a very long time. The scenario is similar with age old buildings and monuments. Despite the skyscrapers and the highly advanced residential and commercial structures constructed today, the world is always fascinated by the structures of the old times that were built centuries ago. Most of such structures are highly unique and owing to their antique value, are frequented by people who are hungry for a bite of historical places. Salimgarh Fort of Delhi is one such destination that deserves and attracts the attention of all such tourists who find solace in exploring a historical place.
The fort was constructed in 1546 by Salim Shah Suri of the Suri Dynasty, nine years before the Suri dynasty ended after Humayun defeated Sikander Suri.
The location finalized for the construction of the fort was an elevated plain. It was a part of an island on the Yamuna river, which is now a part of Delhi. This elevated plane plain ensured that the fort was saved from any kind of erosion occurring through the flow of water. The mountain ridge beside the location of the fort made it all the more secure, as enemies would have a hard time to penetrate into the fort.
Humayun, who had earlier lost Delhi to the Suri rulers, recaptured the fort later and renamed it as Nurghar. Shah Jahan, a Mughal emperor, who had contributed his efforts in establishing Shahjahanabad camped here before conquering Delhi.
At the time of First War of Independence against the Britishers, Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal emperor operated from the fort. Despite several meetings held to discuss war strategies, Zafar left the fort to hide at the Humayun’s tomb, from where he was captured by the British army.
For some time after the upraising, the British army used the fort as an army camp. Starting in 1945, the fort was used as a facility to hold the Indian National Army prisoners. The imprisonment of freedom fighters led to the renaming of the fort as Swatantrata Senani Smaraka.
Unlike many other historical monuments in the country, the Salimgarh Fort has been well preserved ever since it’s significance was realized. Several restoration projects have been carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) that has helped to restore the glory of this historical place.
What to See
The Swatantrata Sangram Museum, opened in 1995, and later shifted to a new location close to the old museum premises must be visited during your trip to the fort.
From the fort, you can watch the River Yamuna flowing by and the passenger vehicles and the trains passing through the respective routes.
Eat, Drink, Collect
The closest restaurants and outlets that serve meals and snacks include Moti Mahal Restaurant, Natraj Hotel, Chor Bizarre at Broadway Hotel, Karim Hotel, Pashawari, etc. There is a Paranthewali Gali, a lane where you will get a variety of parathas. Apart from the regular outlets, several stalls are also operational in the vicinity of the fort.
After you visit and explore the fort and eat to the core, you can head to the nearby areas such as Chhatta Chowk in Red Fort, where you can buy artifical jewelry and handicrafts, or Chandni Chowk to buy silver jewelry, souvenirs, curios, etc.
The Chor Bazaar is where you can buy electronic goods and to buy books, you can head to the Nai Sadak.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit this fort is from the months of October through March. The fort remains open from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm.
There are no admission charges or any other permits required for using camera inside the fort premises.
How to Reach
To reach to the Salimgarh Fort, you can board a metro train for the Kashmiri Gate station, the closest station to the Red Fort Complex. From here, you can walk towards the complex or hire an auto rickshaw.
Alternately, you can board a local bus or hire a private taxi or cab as per your convenience.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi ensures that tourist from other parts of the world are able to visit this city and the various tourist destinations, apart from Salimgarh Fort.