Red Fort, Shah Jahan's elegant citadel in red sandstone, was built on the
western bank of the river Yamuna. Shahjahan, started the construction of
this massive fort in 1638, when he shifted the capital from Agra to Delhi.
The fort was completed along with the huge city of Shajahanabad after nine
years on 16th April 1648. This sandstone fort possess grand audience halls,
marble palaces, once embedded with precious stones, a market place where the
royalty used to shop, a mosque, gardens with marbled fountains, plazas,
Design & Structures of Red Fort
There are 15 distinct structures within the fort with the first being the
Lahore Gate and the last one the Moti Masjid.
The Lahore Gate :
The Lahore Gate of the
palace is veiled by the Babar added by Aurangzeb, a Mughal emperor. The gate
is from where the Prime Minister addresses the nation and unfurls the
National Flag on August 15, Independence Day.
Chatta Chowk :
The entrance of the Gate leads
through a long covered bazaar called the Chatta Chowk. From Chatta Chowk
follows the Naqqar Khana(Drum Room) also called Naubat Khana or the Welcome
Room, which earlier formed part of a square enclosure with apartments for
the umrah (Nobles) on duty. It was at this point that everyone other than
the Emperor had to dismount from their elephants and walk towards the
magnificent Diwan-e-Am(hall of public audience) where the Emperor used to
listen to the grievances of the common man.
Naqqar Khana :
The Naqqar Khana is 49 feet
high with an open arched hall at the top which served as a music gallery
from where the strains of music filtered down to welcome the Emperor or to
bid him a safe journey. The War Memorial Museum is housed on the first
floor. The Diwan-e-Am is built of red sandstone and is set atop an
impressive plinth. The southwest and northwest corners of the pavilion are
articulated by small chhattris.
The Fort also houses the
Diwan-i-Am or "the Hall of Public Audiences", where the Emperor
would sit and hear complaints of the common folk. His alcove in the wall was
marble-paneled, and was set with precious stones, many of which were looted,
after the Mutiny of 1857.
The Diwan-i-Khas is "the
Hall of Private Audiences", where the Emperor held private meetings.
This hall is made of marble, and its center-piece used to be the "Peacock
Throne", which was carried away to Iran by Nadir Shah in 1739. Today,
the Diwan-i-Khas is only a pale shadow of its original glory, yet the famous
Persian couplet inscribed on its wall reminds us of its former magnificence:
"If on earth be an eden on bliss, it is this, it is this, none but
Sound And Light Show
A sound and light show is held every evening giving an idea of the Mughal
history, both in Hindi and English. The timings for summer Hindi 7 p.m. to 8
p.m. and English 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., and for the winter they are in Hindi 6
p.m. to 7 p.m. and English 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.