A UNESCO World Heritage Site and an icon of Mughal rule in India, Red Fort was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Made of red sandstone, Red Fort served as the place from where Mughal rules the country. It took 10 years to complete the mammoth fort, whose boundary spreads over 2.5 kilometer. The fort was made according to the various needs of functioning of the then rulers.
History of Red Fort
Mughal emperor Shah Jahan is known for creating the magnificient Taj Mahal at Agra. He thought of shifting his capital from Agra to Delhi due to several reasons. He began construction of the Red Fort at Delhi from the year 1638. The architecture of the Fort was assigned to his trusted architect Ustad Ahmad Lahuri. Lahuri had also materialised the love story of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the form of Taj Mahal at Agra earlier.
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It is said that emperor scheduled the construction of Red Fort on the day of Muharram in the year 1638, which fell on 13th of May. It took almost a decade to complete the Fort under the guidance of emperor. His fondness of red sandstone coupled with white marble at appropriate places was evident.
It is said that an old fort, named as Salimgarh fort was already situated there. Shah Jahan grabbed the fort, and made it a part of the grand Red Fort. The asymmetrical size of the Fort suggests the real story behind the deviation of symmetry in the Fort.
The fort was a focal point of the medieval city of Shahjahanabad, which is now known as Old Delhi. Its planning and aesthetics represent the zenith of Mughal creativity prevailing during Shah Jahan’s reign. His successor Aurangzeb added the Pearl Mosque to the emperor’s private quarters, and remodelled the entry gates to the fort.
After the demise of Aurangzeb, the Red Fort remained under the inefficient rule of Jahandar Shah, in the year 1712 who was murdered in a sort of coup. Despite its position as the seat of Mughal power and its defensive capabilities, the Red Fort was not defended during the 1857 uprising against the British. After the rebellion failed, Bahadur Shah II left the fort on and was captured by Britishers. He returned to Red Fort as a prisoner of the British, was tried in 1858 and exiled.
Architecture of Red Fort
The Red Fort is spread into an area of about 250 acres, encircled by 2.41 kilometres boundary walls of 18 metres on the river side to 33 metres on the city side. The fort is octagonal, with the north-south axis longer than the east-west axis. The use of white marble, floral decorations and double domes in the fort’s buildings show the likings of later Mughal architecture.
It showcases a good degree of ornamentation in its making, The fort’s artwork displays Persian, European and Indian art, resulting in a unique Shahjahani style rich in form, expression and colour. Red Fort is one of the building complexes of India encapsulating a long period of history and its arts.
The Lahori and Delhi Gates were used by the public, and the Khizrabad Gate was exclusively meant for the emperor. The Lahore Gate is the main entrance, leading to a domed shopping area.
Light and Sound show of Red Fort
Light and Sound Show at Red Fort Delhi is an one hour shown to showcase the history of the monument. There are two shows– One in Hindi and other in English.
The show has been scheduled in the evening. Times changes according to the seasons.
Entry Fee for Sound and Light Show: Rs.50/-
Timings and Ticket for Red Fort
9:30AM to 4:30PM daily (except Monday)
Entry Fee: Rs.10/-(For Indian Citizens) and Rs.150/- (For foreigners)
The entry ticket is priced at Rs. 60 for adults and Rs. 20 for children on weekdays and Rs. 80 for adults and Rs. 30 for children on weekends and public holidays.
How to Reach Red Fort
Red Fort is prominently located in the old walled city of Delhi. All public conveyance like metered taxi cabs, autos and city bus service operate to and fro to the place. A metro rail station is also nearby.