History Shrouded by Falsehood:
Hindu Forts and palaces of Delhi and Agra –
Bharatiya Ithihasa Sankalana Samiti, Tamilnadu.
Ph 044 – 24330150.
A group of nationalist historians authentically believe that all the historical forts and palaces of Delhi and Agra at present attributed to Muslim rulers , were, in fact, built by the Hindu kings before the onslaught of Muslim invaders. In order to give these monuments an Islamic face, the Muslim rulers removed all the Hindu symbols from the monuments and buried them some where within the boundaries of these monuments.
Delhi fell to the Muslim invaders in 1192A.D. When Mohamed Ghouri defeated Emperor Prithviraj Chauhan in the second battle of Tarain. So it becomes evident that before this war, Delhi was ruled by Rajput kings. It is evident from this incident that before this war Delhi was ruled by Emperor Prithviraj Chauhan and his predecessors and that all these great forts and grand palaces in the North belong to Hindu Kings. So the question arises – what happened to these forts and palaces and where they have gone? It looks as though they have vanished into thin air and came down as Moghul structures.
History tells us that after capturing Delhi, Mohamed Ghouri conqured the forts at Ajmer (in Sanskrit Ajeyameru) in the same year and later he entrusted to his slave Qutub-ud-din, the conqured territory and left Bharat for Ghazni. Later qutb-ud-din captured forts at Gwalior, Meerut, Ranathambhor, Varanasi and so on, all of which belong to Hindu Kings. Again the same question arises – Hindu Kings had so many forts in different places, how come they had none in Delhi.
Hence these nationalist historians believe that the Muslim invaders did not build a single fort or a palace or any other mansion either in Delhi or in Agra and that all the existing forts and palaces, as we see them today were originally built by Hindu Kings well before the arrival of Muslim invaders. The Muslim aggressors occupied those forts and palaces by force and converted them into their own royal courts and palaces.
Qutb-ud-din’s court chronicler Hasan Nizami in his court journal writes : “ when he (Mohamed Ghouri) arrived at Delhi, he saw a magnificent fortress which in height and strength has no equal nor second throughout the length and breadth of seven climes.” The question is which was thw fort Mohamed Ghouri saw? He must have seen the Red Fort. There was no other fort in Delhi that could match the description by Hasan Nazami.
But it has been written in the History text books that Shaw jahan after getting on the throne of Delhi decided to set up a new capital to be called Shawjahanabad in Delhi and as part of that plan he built the Red Fort. In 1638 A.D. Shawjahan began in Delhi the construction of a new capital that of Shawjahanabad, to contain within its perimeter a sumptuous palace-fortress for the accommodation of the imperial household and the court….The palace – fortress, The Red Fort as it is known because of the Red sandstone fabric because of its rampart walls has been designed on an unprecedented scale with all the amenities of the busy and luxurious life of an imperial house and court provided for within its walls in a regular systematic order”2 Our historians falsely tell us that it took 10 years to build the fort. “The fortress with its walls, palaces, pavilions and gardens was completed in 1648 when an auspicious day the emperor entered it ceremonially and inaugurated the capital city”.
Surprisingly the negationist historians write in another place, “The Diwan-i-am in Delhi fort, it has to be noted, is also in red sandstone and it is definitely known to have the work of Shawjahan. Behind Diwan-i-Am and separated from it by the Machchini Bhawan stands the Diwan-i-Khas that was created, according to the inscrptionit bears in 1636-37”3. The question therefore arises – How could Shaw Jahan complete the construction of Diwan-i-Am and Dian-i-Khas, which were integral parts of the Red Fort nearly one or two years of before the commencement of the construction of the Red Fort itself?
At the same time, our negatinist historians that while the construction of the Red Fort was in progress, Shah Jahan undertook massive renovation and repair work of the older palaces and write, “ Shahjahan’s alteration and replacements in the earlier palace – fortresses were carried out on a grandiose scale apparently inspired by the desire to impart to the palaces and other appurtenances an appearance to suit the prevailing character of the court”4. They also say that, as part of that reconstruction work, Shahjahan built a naubat Khana near the Diwan-i-Am and had Persian couplet inscribed-“if there is a paradise on the earth, it is this, it is this, it is this” on Diwan-i-Khas5. These descriptions make one wonder about Shahjahan’s authorship of the Red Fort. Had the Red Fort , with all its appurtenances, been a new creation of Shahjahan, how could the need for reconstruction and remodeling of those newly built mansions and palaces arise simultaneously? Furthermore, where were the older palaces mentioned above and what was their origin?
So, if we place together all the information mentioned above, it becomes evident that there was an existing fortress in Delhi, built many years before the time of Shahjahan, and Shahjahan undertook renovation and reconstruction work mainly to remove all stone carvings bearing Hindu symbols and Sanskrit inscriptions and to convert all the Hindu temples inside the fortress into mosques, with a view to giving the entire edifice a Muslim face which our nationalist historians describe as an attempt to give the fortress “an appearance to suit the prevailing (i.e.Muslim) character of the court”.
Shahjahan’s authorship of the Red Fort becomes all the more suspect when one finds that there is an indirect mention of the Diwan-i-khas in “Tabaquat-i-Nasiri” by the Muslim chroniclerMinhas-us-Siraj. He writes that nearly 400 years before the time of Shahjahan, Bhuktiyar Khilji, the then chief warlord of Bihar, came from Bihar to Delhi to meet Sultan Qutb-ud-din. During this visit Bhuktiar Khilji fought a duel with an elephant which took place in a white marble palace in Delhi”.6 Now the question is what other Marble palace big enough for holding a duel with an elephant, could be than the Diwan-i-khas in the Red Fort?7 This incident conclusively proves that the Red Fort in Delhi with Diwan-i-Khas as its integral part, existed more than 400 years before the time of Shahjahan.
Moreover, another Muslim chronicler zia-ud-Barmi in his “tarikh-i-Firozshahi” writes, “Towards the end of the year 695H(1296AD), Allauddin Khilji entered Delhi in great pomp and with a large force. He took his seat upon the throne in the Daulat-khan-e-julus and proceeded to the Kushk-e-lal (red palace) where he took his abode.”8
THE FORT OF AGRA
Like the Red Fort in Delhi, the Fortress at Agra also suffers similar misrepresentation. The invincible fort at Agra, as we see it today, was not built by any foreign Muslim invader and its authorship is falsely attributed to Akbar. This marvelous exhibit of Hindu architecture was also built by the Hindus well before the arrival of the Muslim invaders. Like the Red Fort in Delhi, they forcefully occupied it and used it as their royal court as well as a residence.
During the time of Mahabharata, Agra belonged to the kingdom of Mathura ruled by the oppressive king Kamsa who used his prison at Agra to incarcerate his political rivals.
Muslim chronicler Abdulla in his “Tarikh-i-daudi writes,; He (Sultan Sikandar Lodi) generally resided at Agra. The same chronicler Abdulla says that Mohamed Ghazni captured and ruined Agra”.9 Another Muslim chronicler nizamuddin Ahemad in his “Tabaquat-i-Akbari writes, “In the year 972H(1565AD)the command was given by Akbarfor building a new fort of hewn stone at Agra instead of the old citadel which was of bricks….. the foundation was laid and in four years the fortress was completed”.10
A Muslim poet named Diwani-i-Salmanwho lived during the time of Muhammad Ghori wrote some poems of historical value. In one of his poems he said that during the time of mohammad ghori, the fortress of Agra was under the control of a Rajput King Jaipal. In the poem describing the Agra Fort he wrote: “The Agra fort is built among the lands like a hill and its battlements are like hillocks. No calamity had ever befallen its fortification, nor had deceitful time dealt treacherously with it”.11
So the rational conclusion is that, there was a massive fort made of stone, at Agra under the control of the Rajput king jaipal and Muhammad Ghori occupied it by defeating Jaipal in the year 1192AD. Thereafter, the fort came under the control of the Mughals, Akbar undertook repair and renovation work of the then existing fort.
Whether it is the Red Fort in Delhi or the fortress at Agra, Hindu style of architecture particularly the Gujarati and Rajasthani style, is very prominent in the construction of the interior palaces, court halls and so on. Especially, the pillars and the gateways of these halls and courts bear pure Hindu style of stone carving.
It is important to note here that there are other evidences which prove that the fort of Agra was there during he time of Babur. Babur set his foot in Agra for the first time on May4th 1526 and before that his son Humayun had taken control of the fort. Thereafter, Babur left Agra on February11, 1527, and proceeded to face Maharana Sangram Singh in the battle of khanua, leaving the care of the fort to his son Humayun. So the rational conclusion is that there was a massive fort at Agra under the control of the Rajput king Jaipal, and Mohammad Ghori occupies it after a fierce battle in the year 1192. So a thorough scientific and archaeological investigation is urgently called for revealing the truth and settling all contrary views.
1. H.M.Elliot and J.Dawson The History of India as told by its own Historians (in 8 volumes) Lowprice publications, New Delhi (1966) II P.216.
2. R.c.Majumdar (Gen.Ed) History and culture of the Indian people (in 13 volumes)
Bharatiya Vidy Bhavan, Mumbai (1996) vol.VII P.787-788
3. R.C.Majumdar (Ibid) Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan , Vol.VII , pp784-785
4. R.C.Majumdar (Ibid) Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan , Vol.VII , pp783
5. R.C.Majumdar (Ibid) Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan , Vol.VII , pp789
6. H.M.Elliot and J.Dawson(Ibid) Vol III, P.306
7. R.C.Majumdar (Ibid) Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan , Vol.VII , pp790
8. H.M.Elliot and J.Dawson(Ibid) Vol III, P.160
9. H.M.Elliot and J.Dawson(Ibid) Vol IV, P.450
10. H.M.Elliot and J.Dawson(Ibid) Vol V, P.295
11. H.M.Elliot and J.Dawson(Ibid) Vol IV, P.522