Historic Fort in New Delhi

Red Fort

Explore the historical Red Fort in Delhi, which offers insights into Mughal architecture and India’s rich past, with museums and daily shows.

The Red Fort, a historic fortification in Delhi, India, stands as a powerful reminder of the Mughal era. Constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century, this massive red sandstone structure not only served as the political center of the Mughals but has also been a symbol of India's struggle for independence. The complex, notable for its architectural excellence and the significant role it played in the shaping of Indian history, houses several well-preserved buildings, including the Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, and the Moti Masjid. Every year on Independence Day, the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from its ramparts, underlining the Red Fort's continued importance in contemporary India.

Architectural Design and Significance

The Red Fort's architecture is a blend of Persian, Timurid, and Indian styles, which reflects the zenith of Mughal creativity under Shah Jahan. Its walls extend for over 2 kilometers and vary in height from 18 meters on the river side to 33 meters on the city side. The Lahore Gate and Delhi Gate are two main entrances that invite visitors into this expansive complex. Once inside, marvel at the intricate carvings and the Islamic geometrical patterns that adorn the Diwan-i-Aam, the hall where the emperor would conduct public audiences, and the Diwan-i-Khas, a hall of private audiences, which once housed the famous Peacock Throne.

The History of the Mughal Empire

As you wander through the Red Fort, you are essentially retracing the steps of Mughal emperors. The fort's construction began in 1638 and concluded in 1648. Key historical events, such as the trial of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar by British forces, took place within these walls, marking the end of the empire. The museums within the fort provide a deeper understanding of this period. The Indian War Memorial Museum and the Archaeological Museum offer insights into this era with a collection of artifacts, weapons, and costumes from the time of the Mughals.

Museums and Galleries Within the Fort

Indian War Memorial Museum

The museum spreads across several floors and showcases different aspects of military history, focusing largely on the First War of Indian independence that took place in 1857.

Archaeological Museum

Here you can find an array of relics ranging from arrowheads to royal decrees, which provide a narrative of life during the time of the Mughals.

Annual Independence Day Celebration

Witnessing India's Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort is a unique and stirring experience. On every 15th of August, the Prime Minister hoists the national flag here. Speeches are delivered, and ceremonies are broadcast nationwide, featuring a tribute to those who fought for India's freedom.

Light and Sound Show

The Red Fort comes alive each evening with a spectacular light and sound show. This hour-long event narrates the fort's history accompanied by impressive lighting effects. It's a popular attraction that provides an entertaining historical overview for visitors.

Meena Bazaar

Take a moment to explore Meena Bazaar located within the fort. This bazaar, inspired by markets during the Mughal era, offers a variety of arts, crafts, and souvenirs. It's a perfect place to pick up mementoes such as miniature paintings or intricately designed jewelry.

Accessibility and Entry Fees

The Red Fort is open to visitors every day except Mondays from sunrise until sunset. Entry fees are nominal for Indian citizens and slightly higher for international visitors. Facilities for differently-abled individuals are available to ensure accessibility for all visitors.

Nearby Attractions in Old Delhi

While in the area, consider visiting Chandni Chowk, one of Delhi's oldest and busiest markets located a short distance from the Red Fort. Alternatively, explore Jama Masjid, one of India's largest mosques, which provides not only religious significance but also a panoramic view of Old Delhi from its southern tower.

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