Built of red sandstone, The Red Fort or the Lal Qila more famously known amongst the locals has an irregular octagonal shape. Its rampart walls cover a perimeter of 2.41 Kms and rise to a height of 33.5 mtrs on the town side and 18 mtrs on the riverside. The Yamuna River used to flow on the eastern side of the Red Fort when it was built, filling the moat that runs outside the ramparts. The moat was thus a considerable obstacle for an enemy army. However, the moat today remains empty as the river has moved, over 1 km to the east.
Originally known as Qila-e-Mualla, The Red Fort or Lal Qila was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan after he transferred his capital to his newly planned city of Shahjahanabad (Delhi) from Agra in 1638. The foundation stone of this massive citadel was laid in 1639 and it was completed after nine years in 1648. Designed by the Mughal architects Ustad Hamid & Ahmad, Red Fort is an important symbolic monument of India even today. Every year on The Independence Day (15th August) The Prime Minister of India hoists The National Flag and addresses the nation, from the ramparts of The Red Fort.
To the north, a bridge of 900 mtrs by 550 mtrs, connects the fort with Salimgarh. It is said that the cost of construction of the whole fort, including the magnificent palaces and other buildings that the fort contains, was around 1 crore rupees in the Mughal period. However, during the First War of Independence of 1857, the British army occupied The Red Fort, and demolished more than 75 percent of the fort.
A number of palaces and other structures were razed and massive barracks for soldiers were constructed inside The Red fort, thereby diminishing the overall elegance and beauty of this imposing stronghold. Though much has changed after 1857, the remaining structures in the fort still reflect the zenith of technical excellence of the craftsmen of Mughal Times. Until recently the Indian army was stationed within Red Fort but now the Archaeological Survey of India maintains the entire complex. To know about Important Structures In Red Fort Please Click Here
The remaining palaces lie along the eastern side of the fort, with two three-storeyed main gateways located at the center of the western and southern walls. These gates are known as Lahore Gate and Delhi Gate. There are three other entrances on other sides but they are now closed and entry through them is restricted.
|Name||The Red Fort / Lal Qila|
|Location||Netaji Subhash Marg, Near Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi|
|Time To Visit||Open on all days except Monday, from sunrise to sunset|
|Preferred Timings||10 am - 4 pm|
INR 11 for Indian citizens / INR 100 for foreigners
(including the tickets of all the 3 museums inside).
|Photography charges||INR 25|
|Parking||INR 10 for 4 hrs|
|Nearest Railway Station:||Old Delhi Railway Station|
|Nearest Metro Station||Chandni Chowk|
|Nearest International Airport||Indira Gandhi Intenational Airport|
|Time Required For Sightseeing||Approximately 2 hours|
The main entrance to The Red Fort is through this imposing gateway flanked by semi-octagonal towers. The Lahore Gate is named thus because it faces West, towards Lahore in Pakistan. The North-facing gate from where one enters and the fortifications before the original Lahore Gate were built later by Aurangzeb to make it more difficult for an attacking army to enter. It is here, at the top of the fortification that The Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag on Independence Day every year. Other senior Indian leaders are seated on either side of the flagpole along the length of the balcony. In 1986 for security reasons all the windows of Shah Jahan's gateway were blocked with red sandstone. There is also a lift just before the Lahore Gate, built in 1965, which is used on Independence Day. Lahore Gate has several apartments inside it and it is said that the huge bronze-covered wooden door of the gate was so heavy that elephants were used to close and open the door. Across the road from Lahore Gate is Chandni Chowk, one of the fascinating markets of Old Delhi.
As you enter The Lahore Gate, arcaded apartments flank the passage, which is known as Chatta Chowk. Also known as Meena Bazaar, this was one of the first covered bazaars of the 17th century. The shops of that era sold pure silks, jewellery, gems, silver ware and other artistic objects and catered primarily to Mughal courtiers and noble families. It is said that there were also teashops here, where nobles used to meet and discuss the latest court gossip and news of the kingdom. Today the shops in the Chowk sell souvenirs and eatables and drinks. They are now located only in the lower arcade whereas in Mughal times the shops were located on the upper as well as lower arcades. These vaulted arcades are made up of natural sandstone. The shops in the lower arcade had cusped arches. In the middle of the Chatta Chowk, there is also an open section for the sunlight and fresh air to enter. From the end of the bazaar, the view of Drum House was picturesque as the large square courtyard and water tank, provided a clear view, unlike later when much was altered with the British occupation. They destroyed the elegance of the monument by building multi-storey barracks north of the courtyard.
The structure after the Chatta Chowk is the Naubat or Naqqar Khana. Also called Drum House, it was used for playing music five times a day. The music galleries contained large musical instruments like Kettledrums, Hautboys (Shehnai) and Cymbals. It was also called Hathipol as everyone, except for the royal princes, had to dismount from their elephants here. It was here that the arrival of royalty was heralded as well as the festivities were announced. Built with red sandstone, the structure is rectangular in shape. It is said that the carved designs on its walls were originally painted with gold. In the interior different layers were painted with a combination of colors. The first floor of the Naubat Khana now houses a War Memorial Museum. The museum contains arms and armaments used by the rulers of Mughal times. It also has paintings of various kings and rulers and their activities. It includes a brief description of India's First War Of Independence in 1857.
To know more about Famous Tourist Attractions Near The Red Fort. Please Click Here.
Last Updated On: 2011/09/05