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Red Fort, Delhi
Where is the Red Fort?
The Red Fort is located in the city of Delhi in northern India. The fort, an excellent piece of Mughal architecture, is the major attraction of the city, attracting a multitude of travellers and visitors from all across the globe.
How will you gain access?
The Indira Gandhi International Airport and the Palam Airport (Domestic) operate daily flights connecting the city to the world and the country. There are three railway stations – New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station, and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. Delhi has an excellent road network. The Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) lies at Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale Khan, and AnandVihar.
What are the timings and the entry charges?
The Red Fort remains open from 10-00 hours to 16-00 hours. The entry fee for Indians is Rs 11, while for the foreign nationals it is Rs 100, including the tickets of all the three museums inside. The fort remains closed on Mondays.
What does the past say?
The Red Fort or the Lal Quila was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It was erected when he shifted his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad in the year 1638. The foundation stone was laid in 1639. It took nine years to finish the construction of the Fort. It was the Mughal architects Ustad Hamid and Ahmad who designed the fort. Every year, on the 15th of August (Independence Day), the Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag and addresses the nation from here.
What goes behind the architecture?
The Red Fort, symbolizing the unparalleled Mughal architectural opulence, is octagonal in shape. Its ramparts cover a perimeter of 2.41 km, reaching up to a height of 33.5 m on the town side and 18 m on the riverside. It is said that the cost of construction of the fort, including the palaces and other buildings that the fort houses, amounted to a huge sum of one crore rupees in the Mughal period. During the first war of Independence in 1857, the British Army occupied the Red Fort, demolishing 75 percent of it. No wonder, now the Archaeological Survey of India looks after the fort complex.
The main entrance to the Fort is known as the Lahore Gate for the reason that it faces Lahore, Pakistan. The ornate gate is beclouded by a sandstone bastion, added later by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. In the year 1986, all the windows of Shahjahan’s gateway were blocked with red sandstone for security reasons. There is even a lift, built-in 1965, just before the Lahore Gate, used only on Independence Day. The ChandniChowk, a popular market of Old Delhi, is located across the road from the Lahore gate. Entering the Lahore Gate, one comes at the ChattaChowk, flanked by arcade apartments. It is also known as the Meena Bazar, one of the first covered bazaars in the 17th century. The next structure that one comes across after the Chowk is the Naubat or the NaqqarKhana. There is now a War Memorial Museum on the first floor of the NaqqarKhana. The museum exhibits a fabulous collection of arms and weaponry used by the Mughal emperors. Other attractions of the fort include the Diwan-i-Am, the Diwan-i-Khas, the Moti Masjid, the ShahiBurj, the Khas Mahal, the Rang Mahal, the Mumtaz Mahal, etc.
What are the nearby attractions?
The Jama Masjid is yet another major attraction of the city. It is one of the few mosques which women can enter. The courtyard has a capacity of 25,000 people. For Rs 5, you can also climb the southern minaret. There can be had superb views of the city from here.
The Purana Quila is the inner citadel of the city Dinpanah, the foundation of it being laid by the Mughal emperor Humayun in 1538. There are three entrances to the fort- the Humayun Darwaza, the TalaqiDarwaza, and the Bara Darwaza. The fort remains open from 06-00 hours to 18-00 hours.
The Chandni Chowk is a popular market in Old Delhi. The market is located across the road from the Lahore gate. A large number of people can be observed here buying their items of need. The place was once lined with beautiful fountains.