Although Feroz Shah Kotla isn't as famous as some of Delhi's better-known UNESCO World Heritage sites, these ancient ruins provide a fascinating insight into what life was like in the area centuries ago. At the heart of the fort is a third-century sandstone pillar, known as the Ashoka Column, which stands 43 feet (13.1 meters) high.
Feroz Shah Kotla was constructed in the 14th century under Feroz Shah Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi, who created the city of Firozbad as the capital of the Delhi Sultanate. Although much of the complex has fallen to ruins, many of its most important structures remain intact, including an enormous mosque (the Jami Masjid) and a circular stepwell (baoli).
Although the fort is one of Delhi’s lesser-known archaeological sites, it’s sometimes visited on tours that focus on off-the-beaten-track Delhi attractions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear comfortable shoes; the terrain here is rocky and uneven in places.
- Make sure to bring lots of water and wear sunscreen, as there isn’t a lot of shade here.
- The fort is not wheelchair accessible.
- Nearby points of interest include the Gandhi Museum and Raj Ghat.
How to Get There
Feroz Shah Kotla is in the eastern part of Delhi, right on the border of New Delhi and Old Delhi and is adjacent to the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, a cricket stadium used for international matches. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Connaught Place and under a 10-minute drive south of Gandhi Museum and Raj Ghat. It’s a couple of minutes' walk from the Delhi Gate station on the Violet Line of the Delhi Metro.
When to Get There
This fort is open every day from sunrise to sunset, though it's best to visit early morning if you want to avoid the strong midday sun. Thursdays are the most popular day for local visitors, as it's believed that genies (djinns) come to the fort on this day of the week to grant wishes.
The Djinns of Kotla Fort
According to local legend, the fort is haunted, and since the 1970s, people have been visiting here in large numbers on Thursdays to leave letters to djinns. You'll likely see letters written to the head djinn, named Waale Baba, tied to the railings around the Ashoka Pillar.