Fact CheckHistoryIndia

King Anangpal Tomar built Lal Kot and not Lal Qila. Lal Qila was built by Shah Jahan


Samrat Anangpal Tomar 2nd (1130-1151 AD)

Founder of Red Fort (Lal Quila) !!

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It is claimed that Red Fort which is also known as Lal Qila was built by Samrat Anangpa Tomar 2nd (1130-1151 AD), and not Shah Jahan. This claim is widely shared on social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook. This claim is viral for the last few years and has resurfaced again now. Some of the posts with such a claim can be seen here, here and here.

What is the truth?

When searching with relevant keywords we found that Lal Qila or Red Fort was built by Shah Jahan and not Anangpal Tomar. The Unesco website mentions that the Red Fort Complex was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad – the new capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan. The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity under the Shah Jahan based on Islamic prototypes.

The Archaeological Survey of India website mentions that the capital was transferred from Agra to Delhi by Shah Jahan in 1638. His famous citadel, the Lal-Qila, or the Red Fort, lying at the town’s northern end on the right bank of the Yamuna and south of Salimgarh, was begun in 1639 and completed after nine years.

When searching about Anangpal Tomar, we found that he built Lal Kot and not Lal Qila. The Delhi Tourism website mentions that “Anangpal, a Tomer ruler possibly created the first known regular defense- work in Delhi called Lal Kot- which Prithviraj took over and extended for his city Qila Rai Pithora. The ruins of the fort ramparts are still partly visible in the area around Qutab Minar.”

The Hindu article mentions Lal Kot, built by Raja Anangpal Tomar as the original Red Fort of Delhi. Hence the confusion as both Lal Kot and Lal Qila is referred to as Red Fort though they both are in two different locations. The article mentions that “much before the Lal Qila, there was another Red Fort in Delhi called Lal Kot, which was built by Anangpal Tomar in the eighth century. It is the original Red Fort of Delhi. Lal Qila was not built on the ruins of Lal Kot; they are quite far away from each other.”


It is found that two different monuments Lal Kot and Lal Qila in two different locations are referred to as Red Fort. Lal Kot, the original Red Fort was built by Anangpal Tomar in the eighth century, and Lal Qila, now called Red Fort was built by Shah Jahan in the 1600s.

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