Farrukh Nagar Fort – A Stoic Witness to Past Glory

Published: 04th May 2011
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The town of Farrukhnagar of the Gurgaon district on the outskirts of Delhi has always outshone its neighbours. This is in no small part due to its history of Baloch and Mughal rulers, under whose influence it was crafted into one of the loveliest metropolitan gems that intermarried the best of both Mughal and post-Mughal architecture.

The town, which counts as one of Gurgaon’s nine administrative districts, is located in the Punjab’s Haryana State, only 21 kilometres away from Gurgaon itself. The township was founded in the 18th century by Faujdar Khan, who ascended to governorship under the Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar.

A visual narrative in the type of elegance and grandeur that is the hallmark of Mughal artisanship, the town is laid out in an octagonal shape and boasts many monuments such as the Jamal Masjid. At the heart of the marketplace stands the grand Sheesh Mahal, built upon the auspices of Emperor Farrukhsiyar himself. Farrukh Nagar thrived for many years on its salt trade and many merchants and affluent citizens made their contribution to the beauty of the cityscape by erecting a multitude of lavish abodes, some of which are still seen today. The murals and frescoes within these old havelis are one of their most exquisite features.

Of the many heritage buildings that have stood witness to the township’s history, the Farrukh Nagar Fort occupies a special place in the hearts of locals. Built by the town’s founder, the 18th century fort today lies in ruins, a bare shadow of its former stolidity. Yet, these ruins themselves are fraught with mystery and a sense of history emanates from its broken facades.

Of the original five gateways, only 3 today remain. The Dilli Darwaza or the Delhi gate is the frontal gateway with its massive edifice and bastion. It was restored to a semblance of its former majesty by the INTACH’s conservation efforts as recently as 2009, as were the other surviving portals Patli Darwaza (Patli gateway) and Jhajjari Darwaza (Jhajjari gateway).

Although the fort is now ruined and tentatively repopulated, the premises once housed a total of 4000 people within its walls.

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