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Lal Kot

Delhi’s Red Fort, also called Lal Quila, is by far one of the most iconic structures in Delhi. However, little did we know there is another Red Fort in Delhi called Lal Kot, built much before the Red Fort we see today. Lal Kot was built by Anangpal Tomar in the eighth century. Both are separate structures, so do not confuse them.

If you are interested to know more about Lal Kot in Delhi, we have prepared a comprehensive guide for all history buffs. Take a look.

Architecture of Lal Kot in Delhi

Lal Kot in Delhi is the original Red Fort of Delhi. It has an elliptical plan with massive towers and several gates with outworks. The most famous of the gates include:

  • Ghazni
  • Sohan
  • Ranjit

The recent excavations revealed ruins of several structures within the Lal Kot in the Delhi area. The strong stone-built walls of the ramparts are 2.5 to 3 meters thick. Apart from ‘brick revetment’ built over them, the walls had to impose ‘local quartzite blocks’ and semi-circular bastions at irregular intervals.

Lal Kot History

King Anangpal, a Tomar ruler, constructed the first Red Fort of Delhi, Lal Koti, around 1050 A.D.

According to some historians, Lal Kot in Delhi was built by Anangpal I in 731 AD. Anangpal II rebuilt it in the late 11th century when he shifted the capital from Kannauj to Delhi.

Lal Kot in Delhi brought the focus and attention back to Delhi, which had been deserted for over a thousand years after the Pandavas left Indraprastha, the first city of Delhi.

Lal Kot in Delhi later became the southwestern base of Qila Rai Pithora, built by Chauhan Prithviraj III.

Come and enjoy the historical splendor of the Lal Kot in Delhi.

Fast - Facts

Famous as the first Red Fort of Delhi, Lal Kot in Delhi was built by the Tomar ruler, King Anangpal. It was built as his citadel around 1050 A.D. 

The fast facts about Lal Kot in Delhi include:

  • Location of Lal Kot: The ruins of the citadel of Lal Kot can be seen along the Badarpur-Qutab road, Delhi-Qutab road or Mehrauli-Qutab road
  • Special Feature of Lal Kot: it is the first Red Fort of Delhi.
  • How to reach Lal Kot: take local buses to reach this sacred monument or hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail.
  • Nearest International Airport from Lal Kot: Indira Gandhi International Airport
  • Nearest Metro Station of Lal Kot: Central Secretariat
  • Nearest Railway Station of Lal Kot: Nizamuddin Railway Station
  • Best time to visit Lal Kot: Sunrise to Sunset
  • Lal Kot open on: Open on all days

Tourist Attractions near Lal Kot in Delhi

  • Qutub Minar: Built in the early 13th century, it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Alai-Darwaza: Built in 1311 by Ala-ud-din-Khilji, it was a part of Ala-ud-din-Khilji’s extension of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque.
  • Quwwatul-Islam Mosque: the oldest surviving mosque in India was begun by Qutbuddin Aibak in AD 1192 to celebrate his master, Mohammed Ghuri’s victory over the Rajputs.
  • Iron Pillar: situated in the courtyard of the Quwwat Ul Mosque, it bears a Sanskrit inscription in the style of the fourth-century Gupta rulers.
  • Alai Minar: located in the north of Qutub Minar, it was planned by Alauddin Khilji as a rival to the Qutb Minar when he returned in triumph from his Deccan campaign.
  • Tomb of Iltutmish: Built in 1235 AD by Sultan Illtutmish, it is located just outside the extension of the Quwwatul Islam masjid.
  • Imam Zamin’s Tomb: the octagonal tomb of Imam Mohammed Ali was revered as Imam Zamin.
  • Ala-ud-Din Madrasa: an Islamic school in the Qutb Minar complex 


Shopping Venues near Lal Kot in Delhi

Delhi is a shopper’s paradise. You can visit the shopping areas near Lal Kot in Delhi and make some good purchases from the following shopping centers:

  • Ambavata Shopping Complex
  • Mehrauli
  • Hauz Khas Village
  • Residential Market of Vasant Kunj
  • Sahara Mall
  • D.T. Mall in Gurgaon

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Q: Who destroyed Lal Kot in Delhi?

Ans. The Turks invasion of Delhi destroyed Lal Kot in AD 1192. The temples were destroyed, and their pillars were used to build the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Delhi’s first mosque.

Q: Is Red Fort built from the ruins of Lal Kot?

Ans. Absolutely not. Lal Kot was built much before today’s Red Fort. Lal Kot was the ‘real’, the ‘first’ Red Fort of Delhi, which was built in AD 1052 destroyed by the Turks in AD 1192.