Red Fort at Delhi was the official Residence of the Mughal Emperors for nearly Two Centuries from mid 16th century to mid 18th century. 1857 Rebellion against the British saw the British winning the rebellion. The British had destroyed two-thirds of the inner structures of the Red fort. Later on, under Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, repairers to the fort walls, gardens and water channels were made. Heritage buildings, Gardens, Palaces, etc, in the red fort museum complex are now a UNESCO World Heritage site. On the ramparts of Red Fort, the Prime Mister of India hoists national flag each year on Indian Independence day, i.e. on August 15th.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan constructed the Red fort as the Mughal capital in 1648 and shifted the capital from Red Fort Agra to Red Fort Delhi. It is made of Red sandstone and hence got its name. The Fort is adjacent to Salimgarh Fort, an older fort built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. The Palace and other buildings inside the Red fort complex on 254.67 acres of land, are connected by a water channels (called Stream of Paradise), which used to be fed by waters from the the Yamuna river, which was flowing next to the Fort during those days. River Yumuna has changed its course slightly afterwards.
Red Fort was designed by the same designer who designed the Taj Mahal at Agra. The Red fort architecture is considered ultimate Mughal creativity under Shah Jahan. His son and successor, Emperor Aurangzeb, added the Pearl Mosque to the private quarters of the emperor. Persian emperor Nadir Shah has defeated the Mughals in 1739 and looted most of the valuables including the Peacock Throne (which cost twice as much as the cost of construction of Taj Mahal) and world’s most expensive diamond Kohinoor or Koh-i-Noor. Kohinoor Diamond is currently part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Crown.
There is a sound & light show at the fort on evenings, which describes the Mughal history to the tourists. Most the original structure are damaged now. The extensive water channels with its fragrant waters are dry. Most of its Marble inlaid flowers were looted by invaders. The tea house now houses a restaurant, even though not in original form. Pearl mosque and hamam ( Turkish Bath) are now closed for the public.
Red Fort is one of the must see places to visit in Delhi. Delhi sightseeing would not be complete, without a visit to Red Fort.
Structures Inside the Red Fort Museum or Complex
Major structures inside the UNESCO World Heritage site of Red Fort Museum Complex today are Chawari Bazar, Lahori Gate, Chhatta Chowk, Naubat Khana, Delhi Gate, Water Gate, Diwan-i-Aam,Mumtaz Mahal, Rang Mahal, Nahr-i-Behisht, Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Hammam, Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), Hira Mahal, Hayat Bakhsh Bagh & Princes’ Quarters.
How Do I Go to Red Fort, Delhi?
Red Fort at Delhi is situated in the heart of the city and is accessible by road. Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station , a major terminal station in New Delhi, is close to red Fort. New Delhi Railway station is another Major railway station which connects the city with the rest of the country. There is an International airport at New Delhi.
What are The Entry Timings at Red Fort Delhi
The Red Fort is open from 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. on all days, except Mondays.
How much is the Entry Fees at Red Fort Delhi
There is a small entry fee of INR 10 for Indian citizens, which is the charge levied at most of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in India. Light and Sound show fee is INR 50.
Foreigners are charged a higher entry fee of INR 150.