History, alcohol and craft
Sandwiched between two of modern Delhi’s most prominent landmarks –Pragati Maidan and the National Zoological Park– The Purana qila is appropriately named. It is old, of course , the citadel here dates back to the 1530’s –but there are many older monuments in Delhi
What makes Purana qila special as far as antiquity is concerned is that this is believed to be the site of one of the oldest settlements in Delhi : Indraprastha , the legendry capital of the Pandavas . Within Purana qila itself there’s enough to see : one of the most elegant and exquisite mosques in Delhi : the building in which the second of the Mughal emperors Humayun fell to his death : three fine gateways and more Today, Dinpanah is known as Purana Qila (also sometimes referred to as Pandavon ka Qila – The fort of the Pandavas ) , an oblong octagonal fort and an important landmark in Delhi. The rubble and dressed stone walls of the fort complete a circuit over a mile long , pierced by three impressive gates : The Bada Darwaza , The Talaaqi Darwaza and the Humayun Darwaza . The walls themselves are as high as 20 meter in places and approximately 4 meter thick.
An alcohol-friendly shrine :Outside the Purana Qila (Old Fort) in Delhi is a historic temple, the Bhairav Temple. The temple is unique because of the traditions of worshipping followed here. Dedicated to Lord Bhairav, the Rudra avatar (angry incarnation) of Lord Shiva, the temple attracts several devotees across the year. Legend has it that the temple was established by the Pandavas when they were constructing their capital in Indraprastha. Many believe that the temple is the site where Bheem (the second of Pandav siblings) prayed and attained his powers. The complete name of the temple is ‘Pandav Kaleen Sri Kilkari Bhairav Mandir’. The temple is known throughout for being alcohol friendly and devotees carry alcohol to serve it to Lord Bhairav.
The Kilkari Bhairav Temple is different from other temples where people usually offer flowers and sweets. The offering and Prasad at the temple is alcohol. Devotees who wish to make offering to the deity should buy alcohol from a registered legal shop and then visit the temple. There are no such shops in the vicinity of the temple. Meat is also offered at the temple. People visiting the temple premises with their kids are advised to be mindful of their children.
People who believe in tantric siddhis visit the temple regularly. There are several dogs inside the temple premises and also outside the temple. Devotees should be aware that the dog is considered as the means of transport of Lord Bhairav and hence should not be harmed.
Crafts Museum: Home to numerous artworks and artefacts, the Crafts Museum at Pragati Maidan was developed mainly as a reference centre for the craftsmen of the country to help and encourage them. A collection of over 20,000 items of folk and tribal arts, crafts and textiles from various parts of the country can be found here. The main attractions include bronze images, lamps and incense burners,ritual accessories, utensils, carvings, papier mâché, ivories, dolls,toys, puppets, masks, jewellery, paintings, terracotta and textiles.
The Textile Gallery showcases the amazing textile heritage of the country. Saris like Chanderi, Kota, Ikat, Benarasi, Taant,Paithani, Valkalam, Bandhej and Kanjivaram are on display. Embroidered clothes such as Lucknowi Chikan, Kantha of Bengal, Punjab’s Phulkari and many more beautiful pieces can be seen here.
Designed by Charles Correa, the museum also houses various styles of huts found throughout the country, thus introducing the visitors to “rural” India. There is a “visual store” for reference with about 15,000 objects, which can be used by scholars, designers, craftsmen and others for study and research. The Crafts Museum Shop sells books, postcards and a whole range of exquisite contemporary handcrafts.