One of the surviving relics of Delhi's glorious past is the massive Red Fort. Also known as Lal Quilla., this formidable fort of Mughal grandeur is positioned in the walled city of old Delhi.
Constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, Red fort is a monument of historical and political significance. Every year on the occasion of Independence day (15th August) and Republic Day (26th January), both Prime Minister and President of our country addresses the entire nation from Red Fort only. In the year 2007, due to its archaeological value, UNESCO has also declared Red Fort as a World Heritage Site.
Architectural Significance Of Red Fort:
Originally referred as Quila-i-Mubarak, this architectural masterpiece was the erstwhile residence of royal family. It took long ten years (1638 to 1648) to complete its construction. As the name suggest, Red fort is a monument made up of red sand stone. This prime attraction of medieval city of Shahjahanabad, covers a semi-octagonal area of almost 2km. The longest wall of the fort faces the town in the west and Yamuna river in the east.
Red fort is an important testimony of brilliant Mughal architecture that exists during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan. Later Arungazeb and other successive Mughal rulers has contributed a lot in the construction of this “pride of India.” The art work of this fort is a fusion of Persian, European and Indian art. The walls of the Fort are smoothly dressed and decorated by heavy string courses along the upper section. Red fort has two main gates namely Delhi gate and Lahore gate, which is a three storey huge gate.
Important Buildings of Red Fort:
Red Fort is an impressive structure that encloses some beautiful monuments within its territory. Some of the most important monuments of this fort are Diwan-i-Aam, Nahr-i-Behisht, Zenana, Moti Masjid, and an exhilarating garden named Hayat Bakhsh Bagh.
Diwan-i-Aam: This is a hall for public audience. Earlier during the Mughal era, the Emperor used to meet his subjects. Diwan-i-Aam has a bedecked throne-balcony, a seat for the emperor, which enhance the beauty of this hall.
Nahr-i-Behisht: Nahr-i-Behisht or “stream of paradise” is a water channel that joins the row of pavilions. These pavilions are available in the imperial private apartments that lies behind the throne. The water that continuously runs through these pavilions are drawn from Yamuna river, from Shah Burj ,a tower located at North-eastern corner of the fort.
Zenana: Zenanas are the two southernmost pavilions of the palace. The Mumtaz Mahal, now converted into a museum and Rang Mahal which is famous for its glided, decorated ceiling and marble pool, also fed by Nahr-i-Behisht. In the by gone era, both these palaces used to housed emperor's wives and mistresses. Mumtaz Mahal displays several weaponry, textiles, carpets, ornate chess sets and and hookahs.
Moti Masjid: Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque is located at the west of the hammams or baths. This mosque was built in the year 1659, as a private mosque for Aurangzeb. This three domed mosque is carved in white marble, with a three-arched screen which steps down to the courtyard.
Khas Mahal: It is the private palace of the emperor, divided into separate chambers for worship , sleeping and sitting.
Diwan-i-Khas: It is the hall of private audience and constructed north of Khas Mahal. Here, the emperor used to address the highest nobles of the court.
Hayat Bakhsh Bagh: Hayat Bakhsh Bagh, or "Life-Bestowing Garden"is a formal garden which is cut through by two bisecting channels of water.
Things To Do In Red Fort:
Beside sight seeing, there are many things which you can enjoy within the premise of Red fort.
Shopping: Red Fort is a fabulous place to shop. There are various shops available inside the Red Fort complex which are stuffed with traditional souvenirs, junk accessories, and clothes .
Light and Sound Show: Another main attraction of Red Fort is the Light and Sound Show. Every evening a mind blowing show of light and sound is organize by the Delhi Tourism Board that show cases the glorious history of Red Fort.