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Home>>North India>>Delhi>>Historical>>Red Fort

Red Fort

Red Fort

Red Fort, Red Fort historical, Red Fort travel, Red Fort tourism, Red Fort Historical Place, travel to Red Fort MonumentRamparts and Gateways
After Shifting his capital to Delhi from Agra in 1638 Shah Jahan commenced the building of Shahjahanabad, and a little later, on the 16th April 1639, he also laid the foundation of his castle, Lal-Qila (Lal-Qal'a) or Red Fort, known also by other names in contemporary accounts. Red Fort was finished after nine years on the 16th April 1648. The entire fort is said to have cost about one crore of rupees, half of it on the palaces.

The Red Fort, One of the most spectacular pieces of Mughal structural design is the Lal Quila or the Red Fort. Built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan between 1638 and 1648, the Red Fort has walls extending up to 2 kms. in length with the height varying from 18 mts. on the river side to 33 mts. on the city side.

The entry to this marvelous fort is from the Lahori Gate or the Chatta Chowk. Lal Quila is now a busy market place called the 'Meena Bazaar'. This bazaar has an outstanding collection of antiques, miniature paintings and proficiently crafted fake ivory jewellery. The bazaar also sells some fabulous carpets beautifully woven. Just beyond the Chhata Chowk, is the heart of the fort called Naubat Khana, or the Drum House. Musicians used to play for the emperor from the Naubat Khana, and the arrival of princes and royalty was heralded from here.

The Red Fort or Lal Qila of Delhi was built by the great Mughal ruler Shah Jahan. The Red Fort of Delhi is situated in the heart of Old Delhi and was previously known as Qila-e-Mu'alla of the Shahjanabad, Shah Jahan's new capital.

Construction of Delhi Red Fort or Lal Qila started in 1639 and within a span of 9 years, the huge structure was built. It took more that 10 million rupees throughout the reign of Shah Jahan to build this structure in red sandstone. The Red Fort or Lal Qila is octagonal in shape. The Red Fort Of Delhi is 900 meter by 550 meter. A moat lays exterior the Red fort which was previously connected with the Yamuna River. The Red Fort is in fact a discouraging structure.

The Red Fort or Lal Qila of Delhi has some major attractions inside the fort. They are as follows:

  • Mumtaz Mahal

  • The Rang Mahal

  • The Khas Mahal

  • The Diwan-i-Am

  • The Diwan-i-Khas

  • The Hamam

  • The Shah Burj


On 15th of August every year the National Flag of India is hoisted at the Red Fort or Lal Qila by the Prime Minister of India, celebrating India's independence. Red Fort or Lal Qila has got two major gates, Delhi gate and Lahore gate and Lahore gate is measured to be the main entrance. Red Fort has undergone many changes and in the 18th century some sections of the palace got injured by the attacks of the looters.

The Fort sports all the obvious trappings befitting a vital centre of Mughal governance: halls of public and private audiences, domed and arched marble palaces, plush private apartments, a mosque, and elaborately designed gardens. Even today, the Fort remains an impressive testimony to Mughal grandeur, despite being attacked by the Persian Emperor Nadir Shah in 1739, and by the British soldiers, during the war of independence in 1857.

Red Fort, Red Fort historical, Red Fort travel, Red Fort tourism, Red Fort Historical Place, travel to Red Fort MonumentThe Rang Mahal or the 'Palace of Colours' as it is known, holds a spectacular Lotus shaped fountain, made out of a single piece of marble, and housed the Emperor's wives and mistresses. The palace was festooned with excellent paintings, gold bordered projections, mosaics of mirrors and the upper limit was made with gold and silver which wonderfully reflected in a central pool in the marble floor. The other attractions enclosed within this monument are the hammams or the Royal Baths, the Shahi Burj, which used to be Shahjahan's personal functioning area, and the Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque, built by Aurangzeb for his personal use.

Even today, the Lal Quila is an eloquent reminder of the glory of the Mughal era, and its magnificence just leaves one awestruck. It is still a peaceful haven of peace, which helps one to break away, from noisy and busy life outside the walls of the Fort, and transports the visitor to another realm of existence. Sound and light shows or son et lumiere as it is better known, highlighting particular phases of history are held here. The shows are in Hindi and English with tickets costing Rs. 20, obtainable at the Fort. The English seasons are from November to January at 7.30 p.m., in January to April and September to October at 8.30 p.m. and from May to August at 9 p.m.

Naubat-or Naqqar-Khana
The Naubat or 'Naqqar-Khana' (drum house) stands at the entrance of the palace area, and was used for playing music five times a day at propitious hours. It was also called "Hathipol", as visitors dismounted from their elephants (hathi) here. Faced with red stone, it is a large three-storeyed building, rectangular on plan. Carved designs on its red stone walls appear to have been originally painted with gold, while the interior was painted in other colours. Several layers of these paintings can be traced even now in the entrance chamber

The later Mughal kings Jahandar Shah (1712-13) and Farrukhsiyar (1713-19) are said to have been murdered in the Naubat-Khana. The War Memorial Museum is now housed in its upper storey.

The emperor received the general public here and heard their complaints. A marble dais, inlaid with precious stones, stands below the throne and was used by the prime minister for receiving the complaints and petitions.

At the back of the canopy the wall is faced with beautiful panels inlaid with multicoloured stones, representing flowers and birds. These panels are said to have been executed by Austin de Bordeaux, Florentine jeweller. In the central panel on the top is shown the Greek god Orpheus with his lute. The panels were much damaged and at one time removed to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but were restored in 1903 at the instance of Lord Curzon.


Red Fort, Red Fort historical, Red Fort travel, Red Fort tourism, Red Fort Historical Place, travel to Red Fort MonumentMumtaz Mahal
There existed initially six main palaces along the river front, with the 'Nahr-i-Bihisht' (stream of paradise) flowing through them. One of these to the north of the Mumtaz-Mahal, called 'Chhoti Baithak', has disappeared.

The emperor received the general public here and heard their complaints. A marble dais, inlaid with precious stones, stands below the throne and was used by the prime minister for receiving the complaints and petitions.

At the back of the shelter the wall is faced with beautiful panels inlaid with multicoloured stones, representing flowers and birds. These panels are said to have been executed by Austin de Bordeaux, Florentine jeweller. In the central panel on the top is shown the Greek god Orpheus with his lute. The panels were much damaged and at one time removed to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but were restored in 1903 at the instance of Lord Curzon.

Diwan-I-'Am
The Diwan-i-'Am (hall of public audience) is the next building reached by the visitor. Originally, it had a courtyard on its front. The hall proper, three bays in depth, originally ornamented with gilded stucco work and hung with heavy curtains, is raised on arches springing from pillars and has an impressive facade of nine openings of engrailed arches. At its back stands a marble canopy or baldachin, covered by its 'Bengal' roof, under which stood the emperor's throne.

Hammam
On the north of the Diwan-i-Khas lies the bathroom set or Hammam, consisting of three apartments separated by corridors. The floors and dados of these apartments are built with marble, inlaid with floral patterns of multicoloured stones. The two rooms on either side of the present entrance were used. It is believed, by the royal children for their bath.

The eastern apartment, with three fountain basins, one of which is reputed to have emitted rose-water, was used mainly as the dressing room. There is a basin in the middle of the central room. The western apartment was used for hot or vapour bath, the heating arrangement being fixed in its western wall.

Moti-Masjid
To the west of the Hammam lies the small mosque, called the Moti-Masjid (pearl mosque), built by Aurangzeb for his personal use. The prayer-hall of the mosque is inlaid with outlines of 'musallas' (small carpets for prayers) in black marble, and it stands at a higher level than the courtyard.

The hall is surmounted by three bulbous domes, originally copper-plated, which appear to be too constricted at the neck. The eastern door is provided with copper-plated leaves. The mosque was also used by the ladies of the seraglio.

Hayat-Bakhsh Garden And The Pavilions
The area north of the Moti-Masjid is occupied by a garden, called the Hayat-Bakhsh-Bagh (life-bestowing garden), divided into squares on the pattern of Mughal gardens with causeways and channels between them. It finds mention in the contemporary accounts, althouth its present layout in new. At the north-eastern corner of the garden is a tower, called "Shah-Burj", now domeless, which suffered much during the Mutiny. A similar tower known as Asad-Burj stands on the south-eastern corner of the fort. The water for feeding the Nahr-i-Bihisht was apparently lifted up to the Shah-Burj from the river and then carried by channels to the various palaces.

The present pavilion adjoining the tower on the south was perhaps built during Aurangzeb's reign. In the centre of the north wall is a marble cascade sloping into a 'scalloped' basin.

Two other marble pavilions in the centre of the northern and southern sides of the garden are known as 'Sawan' and 'Bhadon', two principal months of the rainy season, either because they represent those months or were used during those months, but which one is Sawan and Bhadon is not exactly certain. The northern one is provided with a tank with niches for candles in its sides, so that the water cascading over them would create a picturesque effect.

On the elevated strip of land along the eastern wall stood two small marble pavilions, built by Bahadur Shah II, the northern one known as Moti-Mahal and the southern one as Hira-Mahal. The former was removed after the Mutiny; the latter still stands. In the centre of the garden is a large tank with a red stone pavilion in its middle, originally connected by a causeway with the garden. It is known as Zafar-Mahal, after the Nom de Plume of Bahadur Shah II, by whom it was built, in about 1842.

An Extravaganza of Song And Light
Red Fort, Red Fort historical, Red Fort travel, Red Fort tourism, Red Fort Historical Place, travel to Red Fort MonumentA "son et lumiere" is presented at the fort every evening, which recreates the magic of events related to the Indian history, particularly those connected with the Red Fort. The show starts after sunset and lasts for an hour.

Timing:
7pm February-April & September-October, 7.30pm May-August, 6pm November-January.

 

More Historical Places in Delhi

>> Abdul Nabi Mosque

>> Qutub Minar

>> Raj Ghat

>> Archaeological Museum

>> Rail Transport Museum

>> Chiragh

>> Chauburji

>> Begumpuri Masjid

>> Chandni Chowk

>> Red Fort

>> Idgah

>> Chor Minar

>> Crafts Museum

>> Darya Khan Tomb

>> Ferozeshah Kotla

>> Flagstaff Tower

>> Fort Of Salimgarh

>> Gandhi Memorial Museum

>> Hashtsal Minar

>> Humayun Tomb

>> Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya ...

>> Jamali Kamali Mosque And Tomb

>> India Gate

>> Jahaz Mahal

>> Lodi Tomb

>> Moth

>> Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum

>> Jantar Mantar

>> Kabuli Khuni Darwaza

>> Kucha Katras

>> Kushk Mahal

>> Lal Gumbad

>> Safdarjung Tomb

>> National Museum

>> Mutiny Memorial

>> Najaf Khan Tomb

>> Nilli Masjid

>> Old New Secretariats

>> Siri Fort

>> National Gallery Of Modern Art

>> National Science Centre Museum

>> Parliament House

>> Purana Quila

>> Sangeet Natak Akademi

>> Rashtrapati Bhavan Rajpath

>> Sanskriti Museum

>> Sultan Ghari Tomb

>> Tibet House

>> Tughlaqabad  

 

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