Red Fort of Delhi – Lal Qila

The Red Fort (known as the Lal Qila in Hindi) is an old fort complex located in Delhi. It was constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who also constructed the world-famous Taj Mahal, in the 17th century. The fort served as the residence of the Mughal emperor, his acolytes and their families. It was also the place from where the emperors ran their vast empire. Currently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage, the fort complex serves as a tourist spot and is a powerful symbol of the Indian Republic. The prime minister addresses the nation from this complex on the Independence Day each year. Today the Red Fort is seen as the symbol of the seat of power of government of India. The Red Fort is heavily guarded and has been a subject of a terror attack in 22 December 2000 by Lashkar-e-Taiba (one of the most militant terror outfit in South Asia).

History of the Red fort

Shah Jahan Mughal Emperor
Shah Jahan Mughal Emperor

The fort was built during 1638-1648 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. (Shah Jahan is famous for spending prodigiously on buildings, which will ultimately bankrupt the empire.) Made from red sandstone, and thus the name, the fort complex is an assemblage of several buildings. It was constructed after Shah Jahan decided to move the capital from nearby Agra to Delhi. The Red Fort was the seat of Mughal power until the 1857 when the last Mughal emperor was dethroned by the British after the Sepoy Mutiny. After independence from the British, the fort fell into the hands of the Indian Army which wouldn’t give up control until 2003, when it would hand over the fort to Tourist Authorities.

Architecture of the Red Fort

The architecture is a fine example of Shahjahani style, which in itself takes inspiration from the Persian, Islamic, Indian and European architectural styles. It’s spread over approximately 255 acres and the highest building is around 33 m in height. Some of the walls are more than two kilometres in length.

The complex consists of several buildings, the most important of them include:

Diwan-i-Am

Diwan-i-Aam, Lal Quila, Delhi
Diwan-i-Aam, Lal Quila, Delhi. Souce: Wikimedia Commons

Persian for “Court for the Commoners”, this building served as the place where the emperor would meet and listen to the ordinary people coming from all over his empire.

Diwane Khas

This is the place where the emperor would meet and discuss important matters with the powerful, the rich and people from his own administration. This was open to only a selected few and thus the name “Diwane Khas.”

Nahre Behist

This was the residence of the emperor and his family. This part was an attempt by the architects of the time to make it as luxurious as it could be by imitating the Paradise as is described in the holy book of Muslims.

Zenana

It divides further into Rang Mahal (Bright Palace) and Mumtaz Mahal. The Zenana served as Women’s quarters in the complex.

Moti Masjid

This 25-feet high mosque served as the private place of worship for the emperor. It was constructed nine years after the Red Fort was build. The mosque is comparatively small, spread over less than 108 square meters.

For tourists to the Red Fort

The Red Fort is a popular tourist destination. It’s open to public on all days, except on Mondays. The entry ticket for Indians is one-fifth of a US dollar while foreigners have to pay around $5 to enter the fort. There is a light show held each evening, which informs the audience about the history of this magnificent complex.

Address

Chandni Chowk Netaji Subhash Rd, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Phone number: 011 2326 9410

Vidoe of the Red Fort, Delhi, India

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Shalu Sharma

Shalu Sharma is a blogger and a writer from Bihar, India. She is the founder of YouBihar, the Bihar social networking site and writer on tourism in India. Apart from blogging, she is also a mother who does cooking and washing. She also watches movies and read other blogs. You can follow her on .

34 thoughts on “Red Fort of Delhi – Lal Qila

  • September 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm
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    Very Good information about Lal Qila (Red Fort). Shalu I have visited Lal Qila 2-3 times. We wish to visit there more and more. The real historic beauty placed in Red Fort.
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  • September 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm
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    I bet the Red Fort was an architectural marvel back be because it looks good now.

    It is amazing the building has lasted so long.

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  • September 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm
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    It’s one of the most beautiful places in Delhi, though it is dirty around it. Thanks for the extra facts :)

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  • September 20, 2012 at 5:09 am
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    This is such a magnificent architecture. We can’t possibly expect anything less from the great emperor who’s behind the world renowned Taj Mahal. Sadly I couldn’t visit this when I visited Delhi. Next time for sure :)
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  • September 20, 2012 at 5:31 am
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    Lal Qila is one of the ancient monuments in India, which everyone should visit and witness the rich heritage of India.

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  • September 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm
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    I have listened about lal Qila Will visit this time when i will come india this time

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  • September 21, 2012 at 3:25 am
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    The architecture looks stunning! I can’t wait to see it for myself. :)

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  • September 21, 2012 at 4:28 am
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    Fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan.
    Impressive architecture, I Want Visit it.

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  • September 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm
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    thanks for this post. I like Lal Qila. 2 months later i will travel to India and i will visit Lal Qila. it is really a beautiful historical place

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  • September 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm
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    During the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan, lots of great structure were built. Red Fort is one of them. I am luckt that I already visited it.
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  • September 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm
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    Very cool! I studied Indo-Muslim architecture and was so impressed by some of the gorgeous palaces and religious colleges that never really got their dues.

    Murissa
    The Wanderfull Traveler

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  • September 24, 2012 at 7:04 am
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    I love visiting the red fort coz its acutally a blend of Persian, Islamic, Indian and European styles of architecture. In history the Shahjahani style of building is shown here.

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  • September 24, 2012 at 9:04 am
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    Hi Shalu,
    Thanks for giving us a “virtual” tour of the Red Fort. This is my first time to ever hear (or read) about it. The Diwan-i-Am surely looks majestic, and to think that’s only the place where the emperor would meet and talk to the ordinary people. Thanks for sharing!

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  • September 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm
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    Loved the virtual tour. Went to visit last week only, it’s indeed a nice place. going back now. thaxnks

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  • September 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm
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    does Agara too have the same kind of Red Fort? Or is it different? I mean the architecture?

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  • September 25, 2012 at 8:04 am
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    It is often known as ‘’ sister of taj mahal ’’ as it is situated very close to the taj mahal. The great Mughal emperor Akbar had made Agra the capital of his empire and Agra Red Fort his palace.

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  • October 6, 2012 at 10:47 am
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    It’s one of the most wonderful locations in Delhi, though it is unclean around it. Thanks for the additional information .

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  • October 9, 2012 at 4:56 am
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    The architecture of Red fort is fabulous … its not only in Delhi but also another red fort is Agra also.. history of red fort is very good ..before read this i don`t have so much knowledge ..thanks for sharing this information about red fort ..

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  • January 3, 2014 at 10:29 am
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    Awesome place , i am lucky to show this historical place in delhi . nice blog to show all of the red fort in this blog fabulous.
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  • January 3, 2014 at 10:32 am
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    WOW Nice place , this is my Dream to see this awesome historical place , am i right this is made by sah jaha thats make a taj mahal
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  • July 28, 2014 at 7:04 am
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    india is a wonderful country,full of colors and spirituality ,its religious places are very amazing and scientific ,architechture is mind blowing..

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  • July 28, 2014 at 7:07 am
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    red fort is not very a gud place to visit ,i dont find delhi as a tourists city…
    i like tamil nadu ,kerela, rajasthan and sikkim..these are the wonderful places on earh

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  • August 22, 2014 at 6:10 am
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    lal kila is a very nice place.i visit it 2 year ago.it’s very nice journy for me from rajasthan to delhi.thanks for sharing about red fort.
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  • January 20, 2015 at 6:44 am
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    The Republic day parade of Red Fort is the best parade all over the world. I want to be the witness of this parade. Happy Republic day to all of you

    Thanks regards,
    Renu
    Twitter:

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  • May 11, 2015 at 7:08 pm
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    What a great resource! Everything about india is incredible and inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

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  • July 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm
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    i want to say that just one line
    Saare jaha se acha Hindustan hmara, jai hind guyz

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  • July 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm
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    Fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. Impressive architecture, I Want Visit it.

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  • August 10, 2015 at 11:08 am
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    We all know that India is a big culture in the world. And this post is an another thing bringing me to go to India. This place may be the first to visit when I go to India next month.

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  • November 2, 2015 at 12:58 pm
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    I bet the Red Fort was an architectural marvel back be because it looks good now. Awesome blog mam, your blog is too good!

    Reply

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