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Red Fort Delhi
Red Fort Delhi

Red Fort

LocationOld Delhi
Timings9:30 am to 4:30 pm; closed on Mondays
Entry Fee₹ 35 for Indians; ₹ 500 for foreigners 
Nearest Metro StationLal Qila 
Video Camera₹ 25
Also Known asLal Qila
Commissioned byShah Jahan
Year of Establishment1639 to 1648
ArchitectUstad Ahmad Lahori
Architectural StyleMix of Islamic, Hindi, Timurid, and Persian styles 
StatusUNESCO World Heritage Site 
Area255 acres
Length of Enclosing Walls2.5 km
Materials UsedRed sandstone 

Red Fort: History

The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan himself built the Red Fort to serve as the palace fort of his capital, Shahjahanabad. When he decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi, he ordered the construction of a fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. The building, begun in 1638, took more than eight years to complete. The original name of the building was Qila-e-Mubarak, which translates to “Blessed Fort.”. During its more than three-century history, the fort has had many occupiers, including Muhammad Shah, Aurangzeb, Jahandar Shah, and Bahadur Shah II.

When the Persian Emperor Nadir Shan attacked the city in 1739 and looted many priceless objects from the Red Fort, including the Peacock Throne, the fort suffered severe damage. Later, the marble fort structures were also destroyed during the rebellion of 1857 against the British.

Red Fort Architecture

The 255-acre fort boasts a variety of architectural styles, including Timurid, Islamic, Hindi, and Persian. The monument’s name comes from the red sandstone used in its massive, 2.5-kilometer-long surrounding walls. The rest of the fort’s construction is made of marble, with some red stone sections. Forming an unequal octagon, the construction has turrets, pavilions, two gates, and many other parts. It also includes garden design elements.

Red Fort: Today

Currently, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Delhi is the Red Fort. Every year on Independence Day, the Prime Minister of the country hoists the flag at this historical place. Additionally, the Prime Minister speaks from its walls. Due to its remarkable architecture and historical value, this famous building was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in Delhi in 2007. The Archaeological Survey of India currently has authority over the property.

Things to See in the Red Fort Complex

Adjacent to the ancient Salimgarh Fort lies the Red Fort. Together, these two forts make up the Red Fort Complex, which has a number of attractions inside it, such as:

  • Lahori Gate, the main entrance to the fort
  • Delhi Gate, the public entrance at the southern end
  • Chatta Chowk, a long passageway with a bazaar
  • Mumtaz Mahal, a palace that houses Red Fort Archaeological Museum
  • Rang Mahal, a palace where the emperor’s wives and mistresses were housed
  • Khas Mahal, the apartment of the emperor
  • Diwan-i-Aam, the public audience hall
  • Diwan-i-Khas, the private audience hall
  • Hira Mahal, a marble pavilion built by Bahadur Shah II
  • Princes’ quarters, or imperial quarters, are used by members of the royal Mughal family
  • Tea House, one of the Prince’s quarters, which is currently a working restaurant
  • Naubat Khana, the drum house which now houses the Indian War Memorial Museum
  • Nahr-i-Bihisht, a canal that runs through the pavilions
  • Hammam, the imperial baths
  • Baoli, a uniquely designed step-well
  • Moti Masjid, which was the private mosque of Aurangzeb
  • Hayat Baksh Bagh, a garden within the fort

Red Fort Light and Sound Show

The sight of nightlights and sounds is one of the main attractions of the fort. The light and sound display of the Red Fort, considered one of the best in India, tells the history of the monument in an engaging manner. Jawaharlal Nehru gives a short speech to conclude the programme. Tickets for the performance can be purchased from booths at the fort or online.

  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Timings*:
    Hindi: 7:30 pm to 8.30 pm
    English: 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm
    * Timings might vary slightly based on the season.
  • Tickets:
    Weekdays: ₹ 60 for adults; ₹ 20 for kids
    Weekends and Public Holidays: ₹ 80 for adults; ₹ 30 for kids

Lesser-known facts about the Red Fort

  • Shahjahan’s favorite colors were red and white, so they were used in the construction of the fort.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India took steps in 2018 to illuminate the fort so that it can be seen even at night. For additional information, see our news article about Delhi’s memorial lighting system.
  • There is a picture of the fort on the back of the new 500 rupee note.
  • Five new museums—the Subhash Chandra Bose Museum, the Museum of 1857, Yaad-e-Jalliyan, Drishyakala, and Azadi ke Deewane—were opened at the Red Fort in 2019 by the Prime Minister of India.

Attractions Near Red Fort

  • Shri Digamber Jain Lal Mandir (300 m)
  • Gauri Shankar Mandir (300 m)
  • Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib (750 m)
  • Jama Masjid (900 m)
  • Chandni Chowk Market (1.5 km)
  •  Raj Ghat (2 km)
  • Khari Baoli Spice Market (3 km)
  • Fatehpuri Masjid (3 km)
  • Stephen’s Church (3 km)
  • India Gate (7 km)
  • Humayun’s Tomb (9 km)

Are you prepared to visit Delhi’s Red Fort like an expert now that you know everything there is to know about this historical site? Go ahead and take in the architectural magnificence of the fort while listening to history being spoken through every square inch of it.

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