A historian's paradise, Delhi is home to a phase of
history that speaks out from every nook and corner of
the ancient city. The memories of the glorious age of
the Mughal rulers is still alive in the city, with most
of their architectural glories still standing as mute
witnesses of the era gone by.
One of these is the Red Fort or the Laal Quila. Characterizing
both, the magnificent past of India as well as the future
of her sovereignty, the Red Fort is one of the most
symbolic features of the Indian capital. Built by the
Mughal emperor Shah Jahan around 1638 and 1648, the
Red Fort today is a busy market-place called the Meena
Bazaar, selling a host of wares.
History states, that the Red Fort was built when Shahjahanabad
replaced Agra as the capital of the Mughal rule. Located
in the eastern end of Shahjahanabad, the Red Fort is
symbolic of not just the pomp and splendor of the Mughals
but also their architectural prowess. The Lahori Gate
which is the main gate of the fort is in itself a structure
that attracts thousands of visitors. The Red Fort is
also the site of India's national functions on the 15th
of August, India's Independence Day.
The fort is also famous from a historic perspective
as it gives us an idea of the system of governance.
There were separately assigned halls and spaces for
the public and the nobility. This is evident from the
presence of the two halls, the Diwan-i-aam and the Diwan-i-khaas
which were the assemblies meant for the commoners and
the aristocracy respectively. Jeweled and marbled at
their time of origin, the Red Fort has, however, fallen,
in later times prey to the vandalism that has been carried
out by the invaders of the country. The famous Peacock
Throne, that served as a source of pride in the days
of the Mughal supremacy was removed to Iran by Nadir
Shah in 1739 after a successful loot in the Indian capital.
Known for her prestige and beauty, the Diwan-i-Khas
has been the subject of Urdu poetry as well. The poet
Amir Khusro once remarked, "If there is Paradise
on the face of earth, it is here, it is here, it is
The Rang Mahal or the palace of colors is another of
the remarkable attractions of the Red Fort, noted for
its beautifully Lotus-shaped fountain.
Though the Red Fort is but a faint image of its former
glory today, it still manages to hold its visitors spell-bound
with images of its regal charm. Light and sound shows
are arranged at the fort that is sure to transport you
to the medieval era of the Mughals. Tickets for the
show which are organized in Hindi as well as in English
can be bought from the Fort.
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