INTRODUCTION AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF QILA LAL KOT
The Tamar dynasty founded Lal Kot in 736. The Prithviraj Raso names the Tomar Anangpal as the founder of Lal Kot. King Anangapal Tomar (his name is inscribed on the Iron Pillar of Delhi) founded Lal Kot. The words Lal Kot basically mean ‘Red Fort’ but it should not be confused with the Lal Qila (Red Fort) built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the year 1648 A.D. Lal Kot was basically a walled citadel or Military Garrison which also served as the capital of the kingdom of Tomars. Prithviraj took over and extended for his city Qila Rai Pithora by making extensive renovations to the structure and extended the citadel by building massive ramparts around it. It was made into a thirteen gated fort. The combined fort extended to six and a half km, and city existed with the fort, while older Lal Kot served as the citadel.However, the Chauhan’s didn’t rule long over the city, in 1190s the Afghans started attacking. Though Chauhans defeated Muhammad Ghori in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191, a year later in 1192, his general Qutubuddin Aibak defeated Prithviraj Chauhan in the Second Battle of Tarain, ending their dynasty. This in turn established Muslim rule in India, with his Mamluk dynasty also known as Slave dynasty, the first Sultanate of Delhi. However, Aibak didn’t extend or change the fort structure, it remained same through his early successors as well.
The ruins of the fort ramparts are still partly visible in the area around Qutab Minar. During the ear of Tomar and Chauhans magnificent temples were built in Delhi. It is believed that twenty seven Hindu temples complex existed at the site of Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque and Qutub Minar. The Iron Pillar standing at Mehrauli in utter defiance of rust and ravages of time tells the glory and prosperity of the Rajput dynasty. The Iron Pillar however was not originally in the Qutub Complex and it would appear that it was transported to its current location, perhaps by the Tomer ruler, Anangpal-II from Udayagiri in Central India. The remains of Rai Pithora can still be seen in the present Saket, Mehrauli, Kishangarh and Vasant Kunj area.