Why visit the Red Fort, the oldest monument in Delhi? Undoubtedly, Delhi, which is the national capital, serves various attractive sites for the tourists. However, Red Fort is one of the most celebrated monuments in Delhi. Whether it is about history or architecture, Red Fort’s rich heritage makes it must visit place for tourists across the globe.
About Red Fort Delhi
The Red Fort serves as the historical fortification in New Delhi. It is located in the center of Delhi and was the primary residence of the Mughal dynasty emperors. In 1939, Red Fort was constructed by Shah Jahan as a result of the capital shift to Delhi from Agra.
The imposing piece of architecture derives the name Red Fort from its impregnable red sandstone walls. The tourists can check out the Red Fort Delhi tickets online and check out the best deals. It is one of the prominent as well as massive structures of India where numerous tourists visit to explore its history. The Red Fort is an excellent example of Mughal architecture.
Along with the accommodating households of the emperors, Red Fort was the political and ceremonial center of the Mughal state. Today, Red Fort Delhi has become the home to several museums where tourists visit every year. In addition to it, the Indian Prime Minister unfurls the national flag every year on Independence Day.
The Red Fort lies along the banks of the river Yamuna and is formerly known as Quila-e-Mubarak. The fort is said to represent the brilliance and architectural creativity of Mughal architecture. With so much heritage and history associated with it, Red Fort is one of the major tourist attractions in Delhi. Here you can spend time with your family and explore history at Red Fort archaeological museum.
History of Red Fort
In the holy month of Muharram, that is, on 13th May 1638, the Red Fort construction had started. It took around nine years to build Red Fort. The fort was completed on 6th April 1648, under the supervision of Shah Jahan. The walls of the Red Fort were built asymmetrically to contain the older Salimgarh Fort inside its boundaries.
The Fort had remained the seat of the Imperial Mughal Rule when the Great Revolt took place in 1857. The Red Fort consists of various other structures that were built during the Life of Shah Jahan, and some were added later by different rulers.
The son of Shah Jahan had added the Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque to the Red Fort complex. When the Aurangzeb rule was over, the Red Fort has seen its degradation. Farrukhsiyar, another ruler in 1712, has replaced the silver ceiling of the Red Fort with copper.
The Persian Emperor, Nadir Shah in 1739, invaded Delhi and looted the fort. Undoubtedly, the fort was attacked several times and captured between 1739 and 1857 by Marathas, British, Ahmad Shah, and Sikhs. For 200 years, the Red Fort Delhi was the seat of Mughals. However, after the revolt of 1857, Bahadur Shah II, who was the last Mughal Emperor, was exiled to Rangoon.
After that, the Red Fort was occupied by the British Colonial Rulers. They had planned systematic destruction of the Red Fort, which included destroying gardens, servant quarters, furniture, and harem apartments. Almost all the inner structure of the fort was destroyed except the white marble buildings.
After that, in 1899, Lord Curzon has ordered the reconstruction of the Red Fort images of buildings and gardens after becoming the Viceroy of India. The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, raised the National flag from Lahori Gate. Since that time, Prime Minister unfurls the national flag on every Republic and Independence Day at the Red Fort.
The Architecture of Red Fort
The Red Fort indeed forms a monument par excellence that combines the features of Persian, Timurid, and Indian architecture. Ustad Ahmad Lahauri was the architect of the Red Fort, who had designed the Taj Mahal as well. The Red Fort is surrounded by a 2 km perimeter wall, which acts as an efficient defensive measure. The structure of the fort is considered to be octagonal. Along with it, the Red Fort has several gates, among which the prominent ones are Ajmeri, Mori, Lahori, Kashmiri, Turkman, and other Delhi gates.
In addition to it, inside its premises, the Red Fort history houses several structures. Diwan-i-Khaas is well-known among all those structures. Along with it, the Moti Masjid and Nahr-i-Bashisht are also famous structures housed by the Red Fort. The magnificent fort is spread over an area of 254.67 acres. The Red Fort is enclosed by the defensive wall, which is measured at 2.41 kilometers.
The walls stand at 18 m on the riverside, and they differ as opposed to 33 m high wall on the side of the city. The main entrance of the Red Fort opens at ‘Chatta Chowk, ’ which is a covered street. There is majestic Delhi gate towards the southern region of the Red Fort, which has the same appearance as the main gate. The structures involved in the Red Fort architecture serve as fine examples of Mughal architecture and Islamic architectural style.
The magnificent fort is highly known for its gardens, though most of them were destroyed by the British. Along with it, a water channel that refers to Stream of Paradise is also a reason behind the popularity of Red Fort. This water channel connects an architectural style, pavilions owned by the Mughals.
The architectural style of the Red Fort has inspired the construction of many gardens. The Red Fort was entirely embellished with precious ornaments and floral decorations. The architecture of Red Fort drawing results in a unique Shah Jahan style, which is highly rich in expression, color, and structure.
Who built Red Fort?
Many tourists wonder who made Red Fort after visiting the place. The Red Fort was constructed in the 17th century by Shah Jahan. The fort is popularly known as Lal Qila. Ustad Hamid and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri have designed the Red Fort.
It took around eight years plus ten months to build the magnificent Red Fort. From 1648 to 1857, the Red Fort had served as the royal residence of the Mughal Emperors. However, in today’s time, many of the buildings of the Red Fort are not in good shape.
Museums in the Red Fort
Prime Minister Narender Modi inaugurated four museums in Delhi ahead of 69th Republic Day. The complex of the museums is the courage of freedom fighters and tribute to the revolutionary zeal. The four museums feature the paintings, archival material on India’s first war of Independence, and Archeological Museum. When the tourists check out the Red Fort entry fee then they can also look at the museum entry fee.
1. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum:
It commemorates the 122nd birth anniversary of the freedom fighter. This museum features documents from the childhood of Subhash Chandra Bose to the Indian army trials which have taken place at the Red Fort barracks. Even the museum includes a cap, wooden chair, and sword, which were used by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
2. Yaad-e-Jillian Museum:
The museum is dedicated to the victims of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. It provides the public with an informative insight into the unfortunate event that has held in Amritsar in April 1919. The museum highlights the sacrifices and memorial at Jallianwala Bagh by Indian soldiers.
3. The Museum of 1857:
The museum signifies the struggle of the sepoy mutiny that took place in 1857 during the first war of Independence. It gives the public about a glimpse of the events that led up to the uprising after they held.
4. Drishyakala Museum:
This museum shows the best of culture and Indian art. It showcases through four exhibitions which are historical and span 450 works of art over three centuries. The museum portrays artwork of significant artists like Amrita Sher Gil, Jamini Roy, Raja Ravi Verma, and Rabindranath Tagore.
Major Structures which give Red Fort information
It is the main gate to the fort, which is named for its orientation towards the Lahore city. The beauty of this gate was spoiled during the reign of Aurangzeb. Shah Jahan has described it as a veil drawn across the face of the beautiful woman.
It is named so because now it faces the city of Lahore. The tourists can find various places to visit near Red Fort and stories which have the arch panels of various shapes. The gate is built by using the red sandstone; however, the roofs of the pavilions were constructed with white stone. It is the main gate through which tourists can enter the Red Fort.
It is the southern public entrance to the Red Fort. It is similar in appearance as well as layout to the Lahori gate. Two elephants of life-size face each other on either side of the gate. Lord Curzon renewed it in 1903. It refers to as Dilli Darwaza, which is another entrance to the Red Fort.
The gate is made in the same style as another gate of the Fort, which is Lahori Gate. The gate has three stories, and each has arch panels with different shapes. The shape of the panels varies in between square, cusp, and rectangle. The gate was built by red sandstone, and the white stone was used to construct the roof.
It is adjacent to the Lahori Gate. During the Mughal period, jewelry, silk, and other items for the imperial household were sold. The bazaar crosses the sizeable north-South Street and leads to an open outer court. It divides the importance of Red Fort from the palaces to the west.
The 32 arch sides of the chowk get used as shops, and that was contained in two-story flats. During the Mughal period, most of the bazaars were open-air, but Chhatra Chowk was a covered market. It also referred to as Bazaar-i-Musaqaf.
It is also known as Naqqar Khana, and it stands in the east wall of the court. At the scheduled times, music was played next to the large gate. Everyone was required to dismount there except royalty. It is situated between the inner and outer courts entrance. It refers to as drum house where announcements were made. Some of the announcements were made if any royal person is going to arrive at the court if any law was to be enforced, and many more.
It is the vast pavilion for royal public spectators along with a flamboyant throne balcony, which was reserved for the emperor. The column of the site is beautifully decorated with gold. A silver and gold paling drew a line of demarcation between the viewers and the throne. It refers to the ‘Hall of Public Audiences’.
The structure of Diwan-i-Aam is rectangular, having beautiful nine arches. It is the place where the emperor was used to hear the complaints of common people. The hall was beautifully decorated with ornaments and curtains. The throne of the emperor was stood at the back of the hall, and below the throne, there is a precious stone used by Prime Minister as a sitting place.
There are beautiful imperial private apartments behind the throne of the emperor. The pavilions get linked through a water channel, which refers to as the Nahr-i-Bisht. The water is of the Yamuna river coming from the tower located at the northeastern side of the Red Fort.
The palace complex refers to as one of the ideal prototypes of the Mughal artwork. Many people believe that here if you want to find paradise on Earth, then you can visit here. The layout of Nahr-i-Bihist is planned by considering the Islamic models; however, each of the pavilions exhibits the Mughal architectural style.
Among the special features of Red Fort, it is one of the six palaces situated in the women’s quarters within the fort. All the castles were built along the banks of River Yamuna and were interconnected by the stream of Paradise. The Red Fort constructed by using white marble, and it gets embellished with floral decorations.
It was put to use a prison camp during the British rule. It is located on the southern end of the Red Fort. Initially, it was painted on the interior side. The mahal consists of six apartments, which were quite large. Currently, it houses the Archaeological Museum.
The Rang Mahal translates to “Palace of Colors” and was built to house the wives and mistresses of the emperor. The palace was made to look cheerful with ostentatious decorations and bright paints. A marble basin was installed at the center of the palace welcome water flowing from the Stream of Paradise.
It is divided into six apartments. Over the ceilings and the walls of these apartments, the locals can find out tiny pieces of glasses embedded. There was a fountain bed right in the center of the mahal made of the ivory.
It was used as the private residence for the emperors. This palace was divided into three parts such as sitting room, chamber of telling beads, and sleeping chamber. The palace was decorated with floral embellishments, white marble, and gilded ceiling. Khas Mahal was connected to a tower, named, ‘Muthamman Burj’ from where the emperor would address his subjects. The tourists can know who was the founder of Red Fort after visiting the place.
It is a pavilion inside the Red Fort, which is well-dressed in full marble. The pillars of it are polished with floral sculpting. The inlay work of the structure is beautifully decorated with semi-precious stones. It refers to as the ‘Hall of Private Audience’ and is a smaller rectangular chamber as compared with Diwan-i-Aam.
The four corners of the chamber are beautifully stubbed with pillared chhatris, which enhance its beauty. Once the famous Peacock throne stood here but later in the year 1739, it was looted by Nadir Shah. This hall was used for attending private visitors and audiences.
It is a building that housed the baths and was used by the emperors. In the eastern apartment of Hammam, there is a dressing room. In the western department, hot water flows through the taps. The interiors of Hammam were decorated with white marble and floral designs.
It is situated on the northern side of Diwan-i-Khas. It consists of a significant three apartments which are laid with colorful stones like marble. Among the three apartments, two apartments were known to be used as a place for Royal Bath.
It referred to step-wall and believed to pre-date the Red Fort Delhi. It is one of the few monuments which were not demolished after the Indian Rebellion by the British. The chambers within the tomb were converted into a prison. It is uniquely designed with two sets of staircases, which leads down to the well.
It refers to the ‘Pearl Mosque’ and was built by Aurangzeb for his personal use. The inhabitants of Zenana also used the mosque. It was constructed by using white marble; it has three arches and three domes. It is a small mosque and is located on the western side of the Hammam. It consists of a short prayer hall which is crowned by three domes.
Bahadur Shah II built it in 1842, and now it is one of the last structures built by the Mughal emperor. It has an interesting legend associated with it. According to some resources, Shah Jahan has hidden a diamond in this palace. The diamond is said to be even more precious as compared with famed Kohinoor, but it is not yet found.
Hayat Bakhsh Bagh:
It is known as the Life bestowing Garden and is a large formal garden. This Garden cuts through two equally divided water channels. A pavilion can be seen at the end of the north-south chain. It covered the area of around 200 square feet.
You can also see one more piece of work in the middle of the pool. The practice serves as the result of the efforts by Bahadur Shah II was the last emperor in 1842. British had destroyed it during 1857 and Lord Curzon had put efforts to restore its gardens.
It lies in between the two pavilions. In 1842, during the reign of Bahadur Shah II, the Zafar Mahal was constructed. It stands in the middle of the pre-existing water tank. This pavilion is made out of red sandstone. The tank was used as a swimming pool by the British troops in 1857 after the occupation.
Sawan and Bhadon:
The Sawan and Bhadon face on opposite ends of the canal. These two pavilions are almost identical structures carved out of white marble. In the Hindu calendar, Sawan and Bhadon refer to two rainy months during the monsoon. During the day, vases with golden flowers were placed, and at night, small oil lamps placed in these niches. The water cascading from the channel creates the impression of a golden curtain.
Red Fort light and sound show:
For the significant historical relevance hold by the Red Fort, the number of tourists visits here every year. However, apart from the mighty building of medieval times and the red sandstone, there is another attraction of the Red Fort. The Red Fort light and sound show timings are different for English and Hindi. It is the blessed Light and Sound show of the Red Fort, which attracts the tourists. Except for Mondays, this show held every evening.
Red Fort Delhi timings for Light and Sound show:
- For the Hindi show: 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- For English shows: 9:00 p.m. to 10: 00 p.m.
Red Fort Tickets
- For adults: Rs. 60
- For kids: Rs. 20
How to reach Red Fort?
Address: Netaji Subhash Marg, Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006
By road: Delhi is well-connected with many cities by road transport. There are AC as well as non-AC buses, which run from various terminals, and tourists can take buses to reach the Red Fort.
By Metro: The nearest Red Fort metro station is Lal Qila metro station in Violet Line. This is a walking distance from Red Fort Delhi.
Red Fort Tickets
The entry tickets of Red Fort Delhi varies like, it is Rs. 90 for Indians. For children, the Red Fort entry fee is Rs. 30. The entry fee for foreigners to visit Red Fort is Rs. 950.
Red Fort timings
Red Fort Delhi is open from Tuesday to Sunday and closed on Mondays. You can visit Red Fort anytime from sunrise to sunset.
Red Fort conducts regular shows, including light and sound show for the tourists. Such shows bring to light its history in front of the tourists. If you love to explore history and want to know why Red Fort symbolizes freedom and peace, then you must visit at least once in a lifetime.
Places to visit near Red Fort Delhi:
- Delhi Gate
- Raj Ghat
- National Gandhi Museum and Library
- Feroz Shah Kotla
- Shankar’s International Dolls Museum
- Jama Masjid