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.