Amazing Facts About Red Fort
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, this amazing monument in Delhi has been an integral part of Indian history. Serving as a residence for Mughal Emperors for almost 200 years, the Red Fort was also a centre for all important ceremonies and political activity in those days. Today, this structure houses quite a few museums which records and narrates the historical events of the past and exhibits interesting artefacts of that era.
Here are a few interesting details about the Red Fort:
1. This fort obtains it’s name from the red sandstone and brick boundary walls which were used to fortify the complex.
2. The fort was originally called Qila-i-Mubarak (the Blessed Fort), which was colloquially changed to ‘Lal Qila’ because of its tall red enclosure walls and eventually titled the ‘Red Fort’.
3. Building of this fort took 10 years, as construction began in May 1638 and was finally completed only in April 1648 under the instruction of Emperor Shah Jahan.
4. The architect who designed this fort, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, was the same person who designed the Taj Mahal.
5. Unlike other Mughal forts, the enclosure walls of this fort are asymmetrical so as to accommodate the older fort, Salimgarh. An aerial view reveals the almost octagonal shape of the boundary walls.
6. Another unique and important structure within this complex was ‘Rang Mahal’, which was named after its very colourful interiors with mosaic mirrors. This building housed the Emperor’s wives and mistresses and had a marble pool.
7. The creative and unique architectural style of the fort and it’s gardens, influenced the construction style of many buildings and gardens built in later days in Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Kashmir and many other cities.
8. After the Mughal rule ended, the British systematically looted and destroyed the forts palaces, harems, gardens and took into possession the Kohinoor diamond, the Jade wine cup of Shah Jahan, the crown of Bahadur Shah and other precious artwork. Many of these precious items are located in London currently.
9. The last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah II was tried for treason in this very Red fort and was later exiled to Rangoon.
10. The fort had two main entrances for the public, the Lahore gate and the Delhi gate. The Lahore gate is currently the main entrance to the fort and was named so at that time, because of its orientation towards Lahore in Pakistan, when it was still a part of undivided India.
11. Ever since our independence in 1947, the Prime Minister of India hoists the Indian National flag and gives his ceremonial speech from the Red Fort during Independence Day on 15th August every year.
12. Owing to its historical importance, a picture of the Red fort appears on the back of the ₹500 note of the Mahatma Gandhi New Series of the Indian rupee.
Timings : Tue to Sun (Sunrise to Sunset); Mondays closed.
Sound and Light Show – 6 pm onwards in English and Hindi
How to reach Red Fort:
Firstly, as a tourist, one can reach Delhi via air, train, bus or road.
Delhi is very well connected to cities around the world and all major international airlines fly through the city. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is 23 km south-west of Central Delhi and the Domestic Airporat at Palam is 5 kms away from here.
Delhi has express trains to all parts of the country and is the hub for the Indian Railways Network.
Buses too are available to reach Delhi from all major places like Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, etc.
Once in Delhi, getting to the Red Fort at Netaji Subhash Marg is easiest, safest and cheapest by the Metro. Get down at Chandni Chowk Metro Station on the Yellow Line and either walk to the Red Fort which is just around 20 minutes away or take a cycle rickshaw.
Picture Credits : postcard.news