The LAL QILA

THE RED FORT, DELHI

THE HISTORY

The Red Fort, also known as the Lal Qila, is a magnificent building that is located in the heart of Delhi, India . It is famous for its crimson colored sand-stoned walls and hence, the name Lal (red) Qila (fort). It's beautifully designed hallways and entrances are the hallmarks of its architecture. The Red Fort was built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan. It was built in the seventeenth century (around 1639 AD) and it took 10 years to complete. The Red Fort was built to provide a safe heaven to the royal family. This was the place from where the Mughal emperors ruled their empire. Until 1857, the Mughal dynasty had full control over the Red Fort. The British gained control of it from the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. Although the Mughal army fought very hard, it got defeated and their emperor was exiled. The British used the Red Fort as a military camp. When India gained her Independence on August 15, 1947, the Indian flag was hoisted on the top of the fort for the first time, symbolizing a free India. Since then, every year on Independence day, the president of India unfurls the national flag on the Red Fort. Today the Red Fort is a famous tourist attraction that reminds people of the mighty Mughal dynasty that brought glory to India.

DID YOU KNOW?

From Monday through Friday the Red Fort holds a light and sound show explaining the history (in Hindi and English) about the Red Fort.

THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE RED FORT

The Red Fort is one of the seven forts built in and around Delhi. It is a grand building with crimson-colored bricks. The hallway were delicately designed with pain-staking details. It is two kilometers long and thirty-three meters high. It has a moat that used to be filled with water to defend from enemies. The entry to the Red Fort is through a gate way called Lahore Gate, which is an impressive structure. The Red Fort, in total, has six entrances. The Lahore Gate leads to the covered bazaar called Chatta Chowk. Jewels of all sorts were sold here. And beyond this, there lies the Naggar Khana. Music was played here, three times a day for the Mughal emperor and his advisers. After this room comes the most famous part of the Red Fort, the Diwan-i-Aam. This is where sixty pillars of red sand stones were built to create a hallway were the emperors gave their important speeches. He would sit on his marbled paneled alcove and present his speech while his chief minister would sit below him. The alcove used to be studded with lots of gems but were stolen by thieves later on. Another important part of the fort was the Diwan-i-Khas. It is a pavilion which is completely covered in white marble. It housed the Peacock Throne which was covered with many precious gems. This is where the emperor met his most trusted nobles and chief minister. Not only was the throne covered in gems, but the ceiling , pillars, and some parts of the walls were covered in gems too.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Red Fort has a palace garden called Hayat Bakash Garden which is also known as the Great Mughal Garden.

DIWAN-I-AAM AND DIWAN-I-KHAS

Diwan-i-Aam is the most important room in all of the Red Fort. This is also known as the Hall of Public Audience. In this room, the emperors, would listen to the plights of the common people. Sometimes the problems would be about stealing, bad crops, unfair law, and so on. The Emperor would sit on the balcony listening to their problems. The balcony was called Jharokha. The balcony was ornamented with stucco work and heavy curtains which distinguished the king and the common people. While the Diwan-i-Aam was built for the common people, the Diwan-i-Khas was built for the guests, advisors, and kings to discuss about their issues. The Diwna-i-Khas was also known as the Hall of Private Audience. Only people who work at the palace could come into the room. This room is in the middle of the Red Fort and is made out of marble. It has beautiful carvings on the walls and pillars which depicts the Mughal-style architecture. The room is rectangular in shape and is held by piers. It also has a marble platform which has the Peacock throne. In 1739, the Persian emperor Nadir Shah invaded India and took away the throne as war booty.

Work Cited

"Red Fort." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2013

Archaeological Survey of India
. Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts. April 27, 2013
<http://asi.nic.in/asi_museums_delhi_indianwar.asp>


"Red Fort in Delhi: The Symbol of India." Delhi Capital. April 27, 2013 <http://www.delhicapital.com/monuments-in-delhi/lal-qila.html>