The Red Fort or Lal Qila as it is more popularly known is a historical building (from Mughal era) situated in Delhi. The building derives its name from its red sandstone walls.
The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had commissioned the actual construction of the Red Fort on 12 May 1638, but amidst this he decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi, and so had it renovated the next year.
Originally red and white the fort was renovated between May 1639 and April 1648 based on an earlier fort that is located in Agra. It is known as Agra Fort but was earlier called the Red Fort too.
The Red Fort in Delhi was used as the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty, just like its Agra counterpart, which served the same purpose when Agra had been the capital of the Mughal Dynasty.
In addition to accommodating the Mughal emperors and their households, the Lal Qila was the ceremonial and political centre of the Mughal state.
The Red Fort was ravaged and during Nadir Shah's invasion of the Mughal Empire in 1747, and a lot of its artwork and jewels were ransacked. Most of the fort's precious marble structures were subsequently destroyed by the British after the Revolt of 1857. The fort's defensive walls were largely spared, and the fortress was subsequently used as a military facility (garrison).
Following this, over the years the fort has witnessed many rulers such as:
In the year 2007, the Red Fort, Delhi was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ustad Ahmad Lahori, who was the principal architect of the famous Taj mahal, had laid the foundations of this fort in Delhi. The fort complex is considered to represent the Zenith of Mughal creativity under Shah Jahan. This is because Shah Jahan’s personal involvement in the construction is emphasised in history and has been said that he always showed the greatest interest in building new magnificent buildings than any other Mughal emperor, holding daily meetings with his architects and supervisors. Ustad Ahmad Lahori even wrote that - “Shah Jahan would make appropriate alterations to whatever the skillful architects had designed after considerable thought and would ask the architects competent questions”.
The imperial building consists of a row of pavilions, connected by a water channel known as the Nahr-i-Bihisht or the “Stream of Paradise”. Each pavilion of the fort contains architectural elements typical of Mughal buildings that reflect a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. The Red Fort's innovative architectural style, including its garden design, influenced later buildings and gardens in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kashmir, Braj, Rohilkhand and many other places in India, especially North India.
Located right on the heart of the city, the Red Fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Old Delhi.
Today it is the place from where the Prime Minister of India addresses the people on the Independence Day.
History Buffs and architecture enthusiasts are bound to love this place. One of the major tourist attractions in the Red Fort is a stunning light and sound show that narrates the Mughal history.
The Visiting Hours are from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on all days except on Mondays, when the fort is closed to public.
The Delhi Airport (DEL) is located 19 km away from the Red Fort .
The road distance is 23.9 km. People can also get here from Delhi Airport (DEL) by bus which takes 2h 40m.