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Red Fort | History, & Facts, Description

Red Fort the fifth Mughal Emperor of India

Red Fort

The Red Fort Complex was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad the new capital of, Shah Jahan. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The private apartments consist of a row of pavilions connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht (Stream of Paradise). The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement. The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid, and Hindu traditions The Red Fort’s innovative planning and architectural style, including the garden design, strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield.

A brilliant architectural beauty is a historical fort in Delhi, Red Fort which was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty for more than 200 years. The Mughal families lived there until 1857. A golden feather in the crown of Delhi is the fort and it houses several museums. Though it was the house of the Mughal emperors, it was also the political and cultural center of the Mughal state and this was the place where a lot of significant events happened. It is the best place to visit in Old Delhi as it is also known to be a symbol of India's struggle for freedom.

Red Fort, also called Lal Qalʿah, was also spelled Lal Kila or Lal Qila, Mughal fort in Old Delhi, India. It was built by Shah Jahān in the mid-17th century and remains a major tourist attraction. The fort was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.

The fort’s massive red sandstone walls, which stand 75 feet (23 meters) high, enclose a complex of palaces and entertainment halls, projecting balconies, baths and indoor canals, and geometrical gardens, as well as an ornate mosque. Among the most famous structures of the complex are the Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-i-Am), which has 60 red sandstone pillars supporting a flat roof, and the Hall of Private Audience (Diwan-i-Khas), which is smaller, with a pavilion of white marble.

An earlier red fort had been built in Old Delhi in the 11th century by the Tomara king Anangapala. The Quṭb Mosque now stands on the site.


But what made the fort famous was the midnight speech made by Jawahar Lal Nehru before India was going to wake up to independence from British rule and afterward, it was becoming the politically significant spot in Indian history. It hosts the Independence Day celebrations each year from then onward. Red Fort history has a lot to share with the world and it came into the concept form in 1639 after the then Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan shifted his capital to the newly constructed city in Delhi and laid the foundation stone to build up the fort.

Red Fort architecture is an amusing one with a huge walled citadel that shines in red sandstone and the construction of the fort took almost one decade to complete and it came into the limelight in 1648. For the next 200 years, it was maintained as the seat of the Mughal Empire. Once the capital of the Mughal Empire, the fort lies along the famous river Yamuna. Some of the facts regarding the fort say the complex consists of Shah Jahan’s palace as well as the Salimgarh fort which came into existence in 1546 AD.

The fort is managed by the Archeological Survey of India and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.

Outstanding Universal Value (I): The planning and design of the Red Fort represents a culmination of architectural development initiated in 1526 AD by the first Mughal Emperor and brought to a splendid refinement by Shah Jahan with a fusion of traditions: Islamic, Persian, Timurid, and Hindu. The innovative planning arrangements and architectural style of building components as well as the garden design developed in the Red Fort strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra, and further afield. The Red Fort has been the setting for events that have had a critical impact on its geo-cultural region.

Criterion (ii): The final flourishing of Mughal architecture built upon local traditions but enlivened them with imported ideas, techniques, craftsmanship, and designs to provide a fusion of Islamic, Persian, Timurid, and Hindu traditions. The Red Fort demonstrates the outstanding results this achieved in planning and architecture.

Criterion (iii): The innovative planning arrangements and architectural style of building components and garden design developed in the Red Fort strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra, and further afield. The Red Fort Complex also reflects the phase of British military occupation, introducing new buildings and functions over the earlier Mughal structures.

Criterion (vi): The Red Fort has been a symbol of power since the reign of Shah Jahan, has witnessed the change in Indian history to British rule, and was the place where Indian independence was first celebrated and is still celebrated today. The Red Fort Complex has thus been the setting of events critical to the shaping of regional identity, and which have had a wide impact on the geo-cultural region.

The Red Fort Complex is a layered expression of both Mughal architecture and planning and the later British military use of the forts. The most dramatic impacts on the integrity of the Red Fort Complex come from the change of the river into a major road, which alters the relationship of the property to its intended setting; and from the division of the Salimgarh Fort by a railway. Nevertheless, the Salimgarh Fort is inextricably linked to the Red Fort in use and later history. The integrity of the Salimgarh Fort can only be seen in terms of its value as part of the overall Red Fort Complex. The authenticity of the Mughal and British buildings in the Red Fort Complex is established, although more work is needed to establish the veracity of the current garden layout. In the specific case of the Salimgarh Fort, the authenticity of the Mughal period is related to knowledge of its use and associations, and of the built structures dating from the British period.

The nominated property has been declared a monument of national importance under the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1959. A buffer zone has been established. Although the state of conservation of the property has improved over the past ten years, much more work is needed to put the overall state of the property into a stable condition and to ensure visitors do not contribute to its decay. The Red Fort Complex is managed directly by the Archaeological Survey of India, which is also responsible for the protection of all national-level heritage sites in India and Indian cultural properties included in the World Heritage List.

Red Fort Light and Sound Show.


A spectacular show regarding the history of Red Fort and the capital Delhi is shown at the fort for one hour every evening. The show will be in Hindi and English with a half an hour gap in between the two shows.

Light and Sound Show at the fort starts at 06:00 pm. To watch the Light and Sound Show, adults should pay Rs.80 and children should pay Rs.30.

Red Fort visiting timing:
The Fort will be closed on Mondays but will be open on all other days from 09:30 am to 04:30 pm.

Red Fort Entry Fee:
The entry fee for Indian citizens is Rs.10 while the same for foreigners is Rs.150.

Red Fort location:
Netaji Subhash Marg, Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006.

Insider Tips:

-The nearest metro station to the Red Fort is Chawri Bazaar.

-It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

-Tickets for international visitors will cover museum entrance fees also.

-As the parking lot is near Jama Masjid, located on the opposite side of the Red Fort, car parking is an issue. You need to take a long walk from the parking to reach the gate of the fort. Also, the traffic snarl on the connecting roads makes it difficult for the visitors to cross the roads. It is advisable to travel by taxi.

-To avoid queues to get the Light and Sound show ticket, you can book it online at theashokgroup.com.

-October to March is a suitable time to visit Red Fort.

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