LAL QUILA (The Red Fort)

New Delhi, India

Lal Quila or The Red Fort as it is known was built by the Famous Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, when he decided to shift its capital from Agra to Delhi. The construction was started in 1638 and completed in 1648. The Fort was built on the banks of River Yamuna as the fortified palace of Shahjahanabad, which is presently known as Old Delhi region. Built with the use of Redstone, which gives this structure its colour, Lal Quila has an area of 254.67 acres having 2.41 KM of defensive walls which has height varying from 18 meters to 33 meters. The fort is octagonal is shape and use of Marbles, Floral Decorations and Double Domes show the great Mughal Architecture of that era. The fort has artwork of Persian, European and Indian origin and it had very high level of ornamentation including the world Famous Kohinoor Diamond.
Visitors can see various gates, High walls and Ramparts, Audience Halls and the imperial apartments. Lahori Gate is the main gate of Red Fort and is named so because it is oriented towards the town of Lahore. Lahori gate is very important because of the fact that on every Independence Day celebration, the national flag is flown here and the Prime Minister gives his speech from its ramparts. Lahori gate was used by the public and it leads to a place called as Chatta Chowk which is a domed shopping place used to sell silk, jewelry and other items for the imperial household during the Mughal Period. The gate used by the Emperor is known as the Khizrabad Gate. The Delhi Gate is in the south and was used by the public. Tourist can also see Diwan-i-Aam or the public audience hall where the Emperor used to meet the common man. It is a rectangular hall, three lanes deep, with a front of nine arches and at the back of the hall is a compartment, where the royal throne is places under a marble canopy.Rang Mahal is a place where Emperors Wives and Mistresses lived and is a brightly painted structure decorated with mirrors. The Mumtaz Mahal is a palace inside the Red Fort facing the River Yamuna. This is constructed using the white marble and it currently has been converted into Red Fort Archaeological Museum which showcases the articles and exhibits of the Mughal period. Khas Mahal is the place where Emperor lived and Diwan-i-Khaswas the hall of private audience where state guests were received. This area has a highly-ornamented pillared hall, having a flat ceiling supported on engrailed arches. Visitors can also read the inscribed verse of Amir Khusrowhere which says “If there be a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this”. The NaubatKhana is situated between the outer and inner courts at the Red Fort where the musicians used to announce the arrival of the emperor and other dignitaries at theDiwan-i-Aam.In the year 2007, Lal Quila has been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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