Adilabad Fort (also known as Muhammadabad) is located about 1km east of the entrance to Tughlakabad Fort, on the opposite side of the Mehrauli-Badarpur road. Combining this fort along with Ghiyasuddin Tughlak’s Tomb and Tughlakabad Fort makes for a great day exploring this heritage area of Delhi.
Adilabad is thought to have been built by Muhammad Tughlak, Ghiyasuddin’s son, and on the approach up to the fort you can clearly see the parallels between this and the nearby Tughlakabad Fort built by his father. The walls and bastions are almost identical in construction, and in many respects this is mini-version of Tughlakabad Fort.
However, once inside there are some noticeable differences. Initially I was a little surprised to see the area within the walls landscaped with well maintained planting and manicured lawns, almost like I was entering a small park. Where are all the buildings, or at least the remains of them ?
The simple answer to that question is that there are no buildings. Excavations in 1946 recorded evidence for a single stone building which was interpreted as a palace. The report then proceeds to say :
“…as a palace, the plan leaves much to be desired, with only two rooms and a large courtyard.”
So the exact purpose of Adilabad Fort remains a mystery. It’s so small compared to most forts in India that I struggle to see what function it could have served, especially being located so close to Tughlakabad Fort. What structures that may have once stood here must have been of temporary timber-framed construction, or perhaps the entire fort was abandoned not long after the walls were completed.
Between the fort and Ghiyasuddin’s Tomb is a large expanse of flat wasteland, punctuated by a number of electricity pylons. It seems like a popular place for informal games of cricket, and also for grazing buffalo. So I couldn’t resist taking a few shots of them, although the foggy/smog conditions didn’t really help matters.
If you have time it is well worth a quick visit to Adilabad, it only takes about 40 minutes from the car park to walk up to the fort, look around, and be back where you started. Conversely, if you think you won’t have time to take in everything at Tughlakabad Fort, this place gives you a good sense of Tughlak era forts without any entrance fee.
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