Resplendent in her grandeur that remains one of her most important characteristics even today, the Red Fort is one of the most important symbols of not just India’s history but also one of her greatest prides, her democracy. The Fort, built in red sandstone and one of the most prominent architectural masterpieces of the Mughal era, is also the venue to the annual flag hoisting ceremony when the Prime Minister of India unfurls the Indian tricolor on India’s Independence Day on 15th August each year. Home to some of the most magnificent architectural examples of mediaeval India, the structures in the Red Fort are a must-see while on a trip to Delhi.
The Red Fort is a medieval complex comprising of a number of palaces, offices, workshops, halls, mosques as well as market places. Built around an area of 120 acres, this UNESCO certified world heritage site consists of Mughal and non Mughal architectural structures. These include:
The Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience
Perhaps the pride of the Red Fort, the Diwan-i-Khas is today just a pale reminder of its glorious past. Decorated with precious and semi-precious stones, this was the court of the Mughal Emperor where he sat in conference with the ministers of his council. Once home to he heavily ornamented Peacock Throne, the Diwan-i-Khas is also characterized by an inscription in Persian which reads “If there is a paradise on the face of the earth, it is this, it is this, it is this”, composed by the famous Persian poet, Amir Khusroe.
The Diwan-i-Amn or the Hall of Public Audience
The court in which the emperor addressed the pleas of his citizens, this is a rectangular hall with three aisles and nine multiple arches, which housed the royal throne beneath a marble canopy decorated with precious stones and floral motifs.
The Rang Mahal (Palace of Colors) or the Imtiaz Mahal
Consisting of six apartments divided by arched pillars constructed in a typically Mughal style of architecture, this beautiful palace is built over a basement that in turn is built around a main hall with rooms at each end.
The Khas Mahal (Private Palace)
The emperor’s personal palace, this exotic structure consisted of the following chambers:
The Taasbikhana (Chamber of Telling Beads)
The Khwabgah (Sleeping Chamber)
Baithak (Sitting Room)
Muthamman Burj or Jharokah-i-Darshan (Showing Balcony)
The other notable structures of the Red Fort are:
The Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque
The Hayat-Baksh Bagh or the Life-giving Garden
The Hamam or the Bath
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