Lal Qila (Red Fort)

Red Fort


a large building with two towers and a flag on top
a large building with two towers and a flag on top

Lal Qila ( Red Fort) is not just a building of red stones, its creation is itself a big event in history and from its foundation till today it has seen several incidents which has changed the direction of history of India. It is situated in old Delhi. In the year 1627 when Mughal emperor Shah Jahan came to throne then there was peace in the country. He had passion to build big buildings. His capital was in Agra, but Agra’s hot weather was not suited to him. He decided to make Delhi as his capital. His two greatest architects Ustad Hamid and Ustad Ahmed indicated the empty land in the bank of Yamuna river as the perfect place to build the palace. The foundation of Lal Qila was built in the year 1639. After 9 years of hard work of architects, labourers and artists Lal Qila was built and ready.

In front of this Qila town Shahajahanabad was setteled, which is now called Delhi.

When the beautiful Lal Qila was being built Badshah Shah Jahan was in Kabul. By hearing the news of its completion he departed for Delhi. In an auspicious day suggested by astrologers Shah Jahan entered into Lal Qila through the Water Gate situated at the side of Yamuna river. There was wooden bridge built to cross the trench. In this occasion a grand ceremony was arranged whose decoration was beautiful.

Lal Qila’s Walls in the side of Yamuna river are 60 feet high the front wall is 110 feet high. At the east side Yamuna river is flowing.

There is a pool which connects between Lal Qila and Salimgarh Qila. Salimgarh Qila was built by Sher Shah Suri’s son Salim Shah Suri in 1546 which was being used as sahi prison.

Lal Qila’s wall was built by Aurangzeb. Shah Jahan was not happy with that and he wrote to Auranzeb during his imprisonment days.

At the south of Lal Qila Delhi darwaja (Delhi Gate) is there which is at the side of Jama Masjid. Badshah used this gate to go for offering Namaz at Jama Masjid. In the year 1903 Viceroy Lord Curzon placed two standing elephants made of stone at the two sides of this gate.

Lal Qila was having 5 gates. Lahor Gate was the main gate. This gate is just in front of Chandni Chowk. After entering from Lahore Gate Chhatta Bazar starts. Lots of shops are there in this market. Once upon a time every type of things was available in this market. This is a big attraction for tourists now a days.

After crossing the market there is a two storied building which is called Nakkarkhana. No one was allowed to go cross the gate of Nakkarkhana on a ride except the members of Sahi Family. Its a 70 feet wide and 46 feet high building. Inside this building only Mughal Badshah Jahandar Shah and Farrukh Siyar were killed.

After the Nakkarkhana Dewan-e-aam (Hall of Audience) is situated. It is a very beautiful building with 3 sides open. Inside there was a beautifully decorated throne where Badshah used to seat during Dawar-e-aam.

After that Dewan-e-aam Dewan-e-Khas, Hamam, Moti Masjid and Badshah’s own residence was there. From here the path goes towards Rang Mahal and Jnan Khana.

In the North Hayat Baksh Bag was there which is now destroyed.

Dewan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audiences) is built on marble, whose ceiling used to be decorated by siver.

Above the inner corner arches of the Diwan-e Khas on the north and south is inscribed the oft-quoted golden couplet

"Agar firdaus bar ru-ye zamin ast
Hamin ast-o hamin ast-o hamin ast”

Which means
If there is heaven on earth
It is this, it is this, it is this!

Incredible! Shah Jahan could realise that if there is a paradise in Earth that is here in our country India.

In Dewan-e-Khas there was that Throne Takht-e-Taous which was built by solid Gold, Diamond, Jewels, pearls and sapphires. In that era also it’s price was in crores.

In Dewan-e-Khas once Iran’s king Nadir Shah met Mughal badshah Muhammad Shah. Nadir shah looted Delhi, taken away Takht-e-Taous and in conspiracy by changing the turban with badshah he taken away the most precious diamond Kohinoor also.

Also, here in January 1858 British prosecuted last Mughal badshah Bahadur Shah Jafar.

At the north of Dewan-e-Khas there is sahi Hammam, which was the bathing area of the Mughal emperor. It is decorated by colourful stones. It used have facility of hot and cold water in every season and continuous flow of water.

At the north of Hammam Hira Mahal is situated which was built by Bahadur Shah in 1824.

Aurangzeb built Moti Masjid which is a beautiful building made of marble. It was built for badshah and his begums. To enter into the masjid there in gate made by bronze.

In 1842 Bahadur Shah built Zafar Mahal which is built of red stones.

Other buildings in Lal Qila are

Musamman Burj, Rang Mahal, Mumtaz Mahal, Asad Burj, Sawan , Bhadon

Lal Qila from the time of Mughal was the symbol of Power. In 1857 the freedom fighters started their movement under the leadership of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah from here. In that year La Qila was captured by British. They turned many building as army barracks.

In 1940 Subhas Chandra Bose started movement of “Chalo Delhi” and appealed for hosting Indian Flag in Lal Qila.

In Lal Qila only British imprisoned and prosecuted against the freedom fighters of Azad Hind Foul. In this historical case Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhula Bhai Desai and Kailash Nath Katju was lawyers for defending the freedom fighters.

That time it was a saying that

“ Lal Qile se away away

Shegal, Dhillon, Shahnawaz”

Lal Qila has witnessed the glorious and luxurious lifestyle of Mughal emperors. It has also witnessed the Downfall of Mughals. It has witnessed the Freedom Fighters fighting for the country in leadership of Mughal emperor. Prosecution against Azad Hind Fouj also has been witnessed by Lal Qila. Lal Qila was created place in every Indian’s Heart when first prime minister of India waved the Indian National Flag for first time form the top of Lal Qila.

Visiting hours

The fort is opened for the public from 9:30am to 4:30pm. It is opened on all days and closed on Mondays. Sound and light shows are also arranged here and timings depend upon climate. The duration of the show is one hour and the timings are as follows −

  • September & October

    • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Hindi)

    • 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm (English)

  • November to January

    • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm (Hindi)

    • 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm (English)

  • February to April

    • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Hindi)

    • 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm (English)

  • May to August

    • 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm (Hindi)

    • 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm (English)

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