The Delhi Fort also known
as Lal Qil'ah. Red Fort, located in the walled
city of Delhi, India and became a UNESCO
World Heritage Site in 2007.
The Red Fort and the city of Shahjahanabad was
constructed by the Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639
A.D. The Red Fort was originally referred to
as "Qila-i-Mubarak" (the blessed fort),
because it was the residence of the royal family.
The layout of the Red Fort was organised to
retain and integrate this site with the Salimgarh
Fort. The fortress palace is an important focal
point of the medieval city of Shahjahanabad.
The Red Fort stands at the eastern edge
of Shahjahanabad, and gets its name from the
massive wall of red sandstone that defines its
four sides. The wall is 1.5 miles (2.5 km) long,
and varies in height from 60ft (16m) on the
river side to 110 ft (33 m) towards the city.
Measurements have shown that the plan was generated
using a square grid of 82 m.
Red Fort showcases the very high level of art
form and ornamental work. The art work in the
Fort is a synthesis of Persian, European and
Indian art which resulted in the development
of unique Shahjahani style which is very rich
in form, expression and colour. Red Fort, Delhi
is one of the important building complexes of
India which encapsulates a long period of Indian
history and its arts. Its significance has transcended
time and space.
Important Buildings Inside Red Fort Delhi
On axis with the Lahore gate and the Chatta
Chowk, on the eastern side of the open space,
is the Naqqar Khana ("drum house"),
the main gate for the palace, named for the
musicians' gallery above it.
Beyond this gate is another, larger open space,
which originally served as the courtyard of
the Diwan-i-Aam, the large pavilion for public
imperial audiences. An ornate throne-balcony
(jharokha) for the emperor.
The imperial private apartments lie behind the
throne. The apartments consist of a row of pavilions
that sits on a raised platform along the eastern
edge of the fort, looking out onto the river
Yamuna. The pavilions are connected by a continuous
water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht,
or the "Stream of Paradise", that
runs through the center of each pavilion. The
water is drawn from the river Yamuna, from a
tower, the Shah Burj, at the northeastern corner
of the fort. The palace is designed as an imitation
of paradise as it is described in the Koran;
a couplet repeatedly inscribed in the palace
reads, "If there be a paradise on earth,
it is here, it is here". The planning of
the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but
each pavilion reveals in its architectural elements
the Hindu influences typical of Mughal building.
The palace complex of the Red Fort is counted
among the best examples of the Mughal style.
The two southernmost pavilions of the palace
are zenanas, or women's quarters: the Mumtaz
Mahal (now a museum), and the larger, lavish
Rang Mahal, which has been famous for its gilded,
decorated ceiling and marble pool, fed by the
The third pavilion from the south, the Khas
Mahal, contains the imperial chambers. These
include a suite of bedrooms, prayer rooms, a
veranda, and the Mussaman Burj, a tower built
against the fortress walls, from which the emperor
would show himself to the people in a daily
The next pavilion is the Diwan-i-Khas, the lavishly
decorated hall of private audience, used for
ministerial and court gatherings. This finest
of the pavilions is ornamented with floral pietra
dura patterns on the columns, with precious
stones and gilding. A painted wooden ceiling
has replaced the original one, of silver inlaid
The next pavilion contains the hammam, or baths,
in the Turkish style, with Mughal ornamentation
in marble and colored stones.
To the west of the hammam is the Moti Masjid,
the Pearl Mosque. This was a later addition,
built in 1659 as a private mosque for Aurangzeb,
Shah Jahan's successor. It is a small, three-domed
mosque in carved white marble, with a three-arched
screen which steps down to the courtyard.
Hayat Bakhsh Bagh
To its north lies a large formal garden, the
Hayat Bakhsh Bagh, or "Life-Bestowing Garden",
which is cut through by two bisecting channels
of water. A pavilion stands at either end of
the north-south channel, and a third, built
in 1842 by the last emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar,
stands at the center of the pool where the two