RED FORT – The biggest fort in Delhi

Red Fort is one of the biggest monuments in New Delhi. Its location is in Old Delhi. It is also known as Lal-Qila, the Hindu word for Red Fort, because of its red sandstone walls. The original name given by the Mughal family was “Quila-I-Mubarak”(blessed fort). The height of the fort is18-33 meters. It’s built by famous Mughal emperor Shahjahanh. The construction started on 12 May 1639 which was Muharram, a special day in the Islamic calendar and the work finished on 6th April 1648.the whole work took 8 years, 10 months and 25 days. Its archeological style is primarily Mughal and then Indo, persian and Arabic styles. The architect behind the construction of Red Fort was Ustad Ahmed Lahiri. The owner from1631-1857 was Mughal empire and from 1857-1947 was British empire. It is a UNESCO world heritage site from 2007 onwards.

Every year on the India’s Independence day on 15th August, the Indian prime minister will hoist the national flag at the main gate of the fort and address the nation from its ramparts.

Red Fort is considered top most construction in Delhi under the Mughal rule and it remained a great kingdom’s capital for 200 years till Iranian invader Nadir Shah’s attack in 1747. Its art work and jewels captured by Nadir Shah. The British almost destroyed the great fort after the revolt against them in 1857.

At present Red Fort is considered a great tourist attraction in Delhi. There are many survival parts of this structure, attracting and millions of people every yearIts Major structures are

1. LAHORI GATE It is the main gate and named so because its orientation towards the city of Lahore.In front of this gate, the Prime minister of India hoist the national flag every year since independence in 1947.

2. DELHI GATE It is identical to the Lahori gate which is on the south side of the building complex. There are two life size of elephants on each side of the gate. This is the gate for public entrance.

3. PRINCESS QUARTER This was built for the princes and for many members of the royal family. Later most of the original structure destroyed by the British in 1857. One of the palaces was converted into a tea house for soldiers.

4. HIRA MAHAL It is a pavillion in the redfort with white marble. It was built by Bahadur Shah II in 1842. Moti Mahal was an identical structure to Hira Mahal and was completely destroyed by British in 1857.

5. HAYAT BAKSH BAGH Means “life giving garden” situated north side of Red Fort. It was built by Bahadur Shah II in 1842.It was completely destroyed by in 1857 and reconstructed later. Still, it couldn’t regain its old glory. It was made as a persian style of garden which divided into squares with water canals.

6. HAMMAM This is an Imperial Bathroom constructed with white marble.

7. BAOLI This is a step well and considered as a place existed before the construction of Red Fort. This is one of few structures not destroyed by the British in 1857. They converted the chambers into a prison. The Baoli is constructed with a passageway leads to the deep, dark reservoir adjacent to the tank. Baolis were common in medieval period in India and the Baoli in Red Fort is one of the very few Baolis at present. Now it is under the control of Archeological Survey of India.

8. MOTI MASJID This is an additional structure built in 1659 by Aurangazeb for his personal prayer. This was built with White marble by decorating fully. This is a three domed Masjid with White Marble.

9. Diwan-I-Khas This is the private hall used by the emperor and his ministers. Being situated near the river side, always received the cold breeze inside the building. The old scripts mentioned that the Peacock throne was placed in this fort, which is taken away by the Brirtish and now in UK. It is the most richly decorated buildings in the Red Fort.

10. Nahr-I-Bihisht This is a canal, middle to the imperial apartments. This was used to fulfill the water requirements generally inside the fort complex. The water brought from River Yamuna through a tower.

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