Delhi Gate

The masterpiece of Akbar’s time, Delhi Gate was built between 1568-69 to the western side of the fort and served as the principal gateway of the fort. It was purposefully designed to enhance the security of the fort. A wooden drawbridge was used to cross the moat and reach the fort from the mainland. Sharp curves, trap points and brick-paved ramp were devised to obstruct the path of the invading army. High and mighty bastions further strengthened the fort. Inside, there was another gateway by the name of Hathi Pol or Elephant-Gate. It was so named because of the two lifesize sculptures of elephants were erected here in such a manner that their upturned trunks made an archway. Today, one can see only the pedestals of these masonry elephants.

Two beautiful and ornamented double-storeyed bastions that are octagonal in shape and are crowned by a chhatri protected this entrance. It was spacious enough to contain series of living rooms, verandahs and pavilions. Delhi gate was profusely ornamented with all the techniques then in use. Stone carving done in geometrical, floral and stylized design, carving in bold relief, brackets with elephant heads, intricate jalies, stucco decoration on arched niches, soffits and semi-soffits with arabesque, geometrical and stalactite designs and blue, green, yellow and deep red glazed tiles graces its friezes. One can still see the inlay work in white marble and the panels alternately depicting a Gaja-Vyala and a pair of ducks. Gaja-Vyala is the depiction of a lion, horse, bird and elephant fighting simultaneously with seven elephants.

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