Red Fort, also known as Lal Qila, is an iconic monument located in Old Delhi, India. This magnificent structure holds immense historical and cultural significance and is a must-visit for anyone traveling to the capital city. Before you plan your trip to Red Fort, here are a few things you should know about its rich history and what to expect during your visit.
The Backstory of Red Fort
The construction of Red Fort dates back to the 17th century when Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi. The construction of the fort began in 1638 and was completed in 1648. The fort was named Red Fort due to its red sandstone walls, which served as a symbol of power and grandeur.
Red Fort served as the residence of the Mughal Emperors for nearly 200 years until the British took over in 1857. It witnessed the rise and fall of many Mughal dynasties and played a significant role in shaping India’s history.
Red Fort is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture, blending Persian, Islamic, and Indian influences. Spread over 254 acres, the fort complex comprises various structures, each with its unique architectural style.
The Lahori Gate, the main entrance, welcomes visitors with its grandeur and intricate designs. As you enter, you’ll be mesmerized by the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), where the emperor used to address the public. The Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) is another architectural marvel, adorned with beautiful marble carvings and a stunning marble throne.
One of the most captivating features of Red Fort is the Sound and Light Show that takes place every evening. The show narrates the history of the fort through a combination of lights, music, and storytelling, making it a must-see experience for visitors.
Red Fort holds immense historical significance as it witnessed several key events that shaped India’s destiny. It was from the ramparts of this fort that India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, hoisted the national flag on August 15, 1947, marking India’s independence from British rule.
Red Fort also served as the venue for the annual celebrations of India’s Independence Day until 1947. Even today, the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fort on Independence Day, making it a symbol of national pride and unity.
Visiting Red Fort
Before visiting Red Fort, it’s essential to plan your trip well to make the most of your experience. Here are a few tips:
- Red Fort is closed on Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly.
- Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be doing a fair amount of walking.
- Carry a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
- Be prepared for security checks at the entrance, so avoid carrying prohibited items.
- Consider hiring a guide to learn more about the fort’s history and significance.
- Don’t miss the Sound and Light Show, which takes place in the evening.
Visiting Red Fort is like stepping back in time and immersing yourself in the grandeur of the Mughal era. The architectural marvels, historical significance, and captivating atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and tourists alike.
So, when you plan your trip to Delhi, make sure to include Red Fort in your itinerary. Explore the rich history, marvel at the stunning architecture, and experience the magic of this iconic monument.