Barsi Gate (Hansi)

Hansi, Haryana

#Historical and Heritage


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This huge gate presents a beautiful example of Sultanate architecture. Out of the five gates of walled ancient city of Hansi, this is the only one that survives as an ancient structure. This ancient gateway was built by Sultan Alaud-din Khilji in 1303 AD as per the Persian inscription. It is a pointed arch gate. Subsequently, it was repaired in 1522 AD during the rule of Ibrahim Lodhi. This gateway, served in the ancient times as the main entrance to Hansi, is over 30 metres high.

This monument has served as the main entrance of city for more than 850 years now and has allowed generations of Hansi-ans to pass through. Barsi Gate is one of the dearest landmark of my city and being an Hansi-an, I think that we should be extremely proud of having such a beautiful monument in our city.

Had it not been Col. James Skinner, we would perhaps not be able to conclusively attach a timeline to this gate. It was in 1815, when James stumbled upon an inscription, used as a construction block in one of the buildings of the fort of Hansi. He had it removed from there and kept it with himself. It was from there, that this Sanskrit inscription was translated by two remarkable scholars Captain Edward Fell and Captain James Tod.

As it was the tradition during early medieval periods that every new generation of conquerors had tried to leave behind its own marks of greatness by rubbing off the deeds of its predecessors especially when the predecessor belonged to a completely different set of ideals and beliefs. History of Hansi is a proof of this.

With one inscription lost, Hansi received another equally remarkable inscription which happens to be among the earliest Persian inscriptions in the subcontinent. This inscription was fixed on top of Barsi Gate in the year 1303 (Hijri 703) and is still there. This one is glorifying the Khilji Dynasty ruler , Alauddin Khilji. 

At least now we can safely say that the gate has been around in its present form for more than 700 years now. How much of it has been contributed by the previous rulers, we cannot say conclusively.

Barsi Gate has been repaired several times since then.

Earliest available proof of its repairing is on a Persian inscription above the sentry room on the left side of gate. It bears the year 1522 AD (Hijri 928) and was erected during the reign of Ibrahim Shah Lodhi.

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