The Red Fortress in Delhi
The Indians have long considered the Red Fortress located in Agra to be one of the most important symbols of power and loyalty.The Red Fortress is one of the largest and most important monuments in India being added to any travel package to India nowadays.
The Red Fortress was constructed by the most famous Mogul Emperor and builder, Shah Jahan, the builder of Taj Mahal. Jahan has also established the new capital of Shahjahanabad. Shah Jahan has constructed the Red Fortress to become the seat of the government of the Moguls kings for a very long period to come
In 1752, an agreement was signed that made Marathas the protector of the Mogul throne at Delhi in 1761. However after their defeat, Delhi was attacked by Ahmed Shah Abdali. In 1803, the British army was able to end the Mogul rule of the area and took full control of India.
The last Mogul emperor to reside in the Red Fortress was Bahadur Shah II "Zafar" who never succeeded to fight against the British occupation in the rebellion of 1851.
The construction works of the Red Fortress have started in 1638 and it remained for more than 10 years to be fully completed in 1648. The Red Fortress or the Holy Fortress as the ancient Indians used to name it, was one of the most spectacular architectural achievements of the Moguls in India being visited today by hundreds of tourists as part of their vacations in India.
After the most famous Mogul Emperor, Shah Jahan, has transferred the capital of India from Agra to Delhi, he wanted to construct a royal residential palace that is as great as the structures built in Agra and Lahore.
The construction work has started in 1638 under the supervision of the Indian architect, Ezzat Khan, after his death, Yerdi Khan replaced him, and then at the end Makramat Khan, one of the most famous builder in India, completed the construction works of the palace in 1648.
Being the finest example of the Indian skills, arts, architectural designs, hundreds of tourists visit the Red Fortress every year as part of their tours to India.
The Red Fortress exhibits a wonderful mixture of the Indo Persian styles of architectures and the greatness of the Mogul Empire that ruled over India for a long period of time.
The walls of the Fortress rise from the Yamuna River. The surface area of the walls of the Red Fortress is around 2.4 square kilometers with a height ranging from 33 to 18 meters from different sections of the walls. Many renovations and restorations were carried out in the Red Fortress during different periods of the Mogul kings and rulers.
The design of the Red Fortress has an eight sided irregular shape with 915 meters long and 518 meters wide.
With many marvelously decorated domes, gates, balconies, windows, and precious stones, the Red Fortress has become one of the most magnificent monuments in India.
The Fortress has two main large entrance gates; the Gate of Lahore and the Gate of Delhi. At the Lahore Gate, there is the Naqqar Khan, or the hall of music where the royal musical instruments were played five times a day. It is also the entrance point to the Diwan I Aam.
When a tourist visits the Red Fortress, he enters from Ahori Gate into the Chatta road, a long market rout that includes many stores selling all types of products from handicrafts to jewelry and other kinds of gifts and souvenirs .This rout is usually crowded with tourists from all around the world who travel to India to enjoy their holidays.
The next building the tourists face is the Diwan I Aam, the hall of the public. This was where the emperor used to receive visits by governmental authorities and the general public to listen to the complaints of the people.
Golden and silver columns used to separate the people from the throne of the emperor. This hall is actually rich with marble and it was ornamented with a large number of precious stones that were all stolen in 1857 during the incidences of the rebellion of the people at the time.
This hall is the centerpiece of the Red Fortress and it consists of an open courtyard with the dimensions of 128 X 164 meters. The open courtyard has three different sections. Each of them was decorated with the most wonderful kinds of marble and their grounds were covered with the finest rugs and carpets. This is the section that is most visited by tourists visiting the Red Fortress as part of their holidays in India.
Al Diwan Al Khas, or the private hall of the Emperor is considered to be the masterpiece of the Red fortress built by Shah Jahan. It was constructed out of white marble, the same as Taj Mahal that is held on ornamented columns decorated with plants motifs and precious stones.
This is why the Al Diwan Al Khas is considered to be the most notable section of the Red Fortress. This section is also famous for its amazing silver ceilings, golden decorations, and other types of different architectural arts.
Another magnificent component of the Red Fortress is the Moti Mosque, built by the Mogul Emperor, Aurangzeb, in 1659. This mosque was famous for its three domes and it was specified for the prayers of the emperor only. Maybe this is why the mosque is still closed to public even until today. Although the Red Fortress has become a major touristic attraction that is included in many India tours, some sections are still preserved and the travelers are not allowed inside them.
To the North of the mosque, there is the Hayat Bakhsh Bagh, the formal garden of the complex that contains two canals of water and many halls. The most distinctive suits of the garden were erected by Bahadur Shah Zafar, the Mogul emperor that governed India in 1842.
In the 15th of August of every year which is the national Independence Day in India, the Indian Prime Minster celebrates this important event in the Red Fortress.
One of the most important and entertaining sound and light shows in India is performed in the Red Fortress everyday telling amazing historical information accompanied by a marvelous light show.
The UNESCO has chosen the Red Fortress in Delhi to be included in its list of world Human Heritage. The UNESCO has noted that the Red Fortress, built by Shah Jahan in the 17th century, is the finest example of the Mogul creativity and architecture. Many affordable tours to India include a visit to the Red Fortress in Delhi.
Although the Red Fortress has a design that is similar to the Islamic style of defense structures, each corridor in the fortress reflects the Mogul, Persian, Tatar, and Hindu architectures. Many group tours to India include a marvelous visit of the Red Fortress in Delhi with interesting beneficial interpretation of the historical facts of this stunning structure.
The Red Fortress was so marvelously built to the extent that there was poem that was carved on its walls saying "if there is heaven on earth, it is here, in this place"
The architectural design of the Red Fortress has influenced many other constructions in Delhi like the gardens and different sorts of constructions. The Red Fortress displays the history of the Indian architecture from the Mogul period and even until after the independence of the country.
Many custom tours to India can be organized to include the Red Fortress, Taj Mahal, and Jami Masjid Mosque, and many other remarkable monuments.