Jahanpanah – literally, ‘Refuge of the World’ – often known as the fourth city of Delhi, came to be established when Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the second Tughlaq sultan set out to establish a new city for himself in about ad 1326. It is said that the sultan wished to unify the scattered urban settlements in the area, including the old city of Lal Kot, the military cantonment of Siri, and the citadel of Tughlaqabad into one city by enclosing them within a single walled area. Such an ambitious project is quite conceivable if one considers Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s reputation for being a megalomaniac, with a fascination for projects of massive scale. He is known to have ordered the entire population of Delhi, especially the courtiers and their families, to relocate to the new capital he established at Daulatabad in the Deccan, and then having them recalled when the move failed to achieve the desired result.

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