Delhi houses one of the prominent heritage site “Red Fort”, is located beside the Yamuna River in the heart of Delhi. I must say that, when you are in Delhi, plan a visit to this place at least once to witness the magnificence of the Mughal Empire. The Red fort is not only considered as a historical monument, but Pride of India. On every Independence Day, the national flag is hoisted by the Prime Minister at the Lahori gate which is the main gate of Red Fort. I would suggest you to watch and enjoy the 60- minutes, Sound and Light show, this show takes you back to the history of Red Fort, starting from Mahabharat era to British era.
Red Fort’s majestic appearance and diligent architecture attracts visitors over and over again to explore its fascinating history associated with Mughals. To start with the history of this place, it dates back 2 centuries ago, the Fort was designed by the royal architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri and constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1648 during Mughal rule. You can witness the architectural skill and creativeness of the Mughal architects by exploring this 254 acres building.
Red Fort got its name by the red massive walls of the fort which are 2.5 kms in circumference and 33 meters in height, built using red sandstone. Among the four gates of the fort, Delhi gate and Lahori gate are most important, because these 2 gates lead to significant places of the city. Water gate is located at the southeastern end of the walls and the Khizrabad Gate was meant only for the emperor’s use.
You can spend hours admiring the architectural style of the fort which reflects Indo Islamic style of architecture. The Fort features, the Public Audiences Hall, the Private Audiences Hall, the Pearl Mosque, Royal Baths and Mahals. Take your time to explore all the aspects of these splendid buildings. Each building has so many embellishments and beautiful architecture to explore.
As you enter the fort, you walk through a flea market selling the jewelry, cloths and handicrafts for tourists. Then comes, Naubat Khana or Naqqar Khana which is located at the entrance of palace where the royal musicians would play music. Mumtaz Mahal and Rang Mahal are the two pavilions, each pavilion is embossed with motifs which replicates a blend of Timurid and Persian traditions. This is specially designed for the royal ladies, as the name “Rang” denotes, you can see the place is painted with bright colours and embossed with mirrors, at present Mumtaz Mahal is used as Red Fort Archaeological Museum.
Diwan-i-Khas is another public hall which is specially designed for emperor to conduct private meetings, this place is decorated with natural stones and marbles. Diwan-i-Khas is a public audience hall building measuring 27.5 length and 14.3 meters width. This building houses Shah Jahan’s jharoka, where he met his nobles and common people, the upper portion of the building is decorated with coloured stones and embossed with exceptional pictures. Meanwhile, the walls are decorated with black marbles and inlaid with rare stones. The surroundings of this building are adorned with black marbles inlaid with rare stones. These stones were embellished with the motifs forming a pattern of birds and flowers.
Apart from these buildings, palace houses few royal baths like Hammam which are designed only for Royal people. Later in 1659 a three-domed private mosque named as Moti Masjid was constructed by Aurangzeb for his private worship. This building is embellished with white marbels and pearls.
Bahadur Shah II rule was the end of Mughal power in India, nearly 75% of the buildings were destroyed by British force, after Bahadur Shah’s defeat against British force. After the war, Bahadur shah was exiled and British took over the control of Red Fort. Most parts of the fort were repaired later, but few buildings like Hira Mahal and Princes quarters such as Shahi Burj and Hayat Bakhsh Bagh faced terrible damage.