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World Heritage Site - Red Fort Complex, Delhi

The Red Fort Complex was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad – the new capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jehan. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The private apartments consist of a row of pavilions connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht (Stream of Paradise). It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 as part of the Red Fort Complex.
Red Fort Delhi
The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under Shah Jehan, was brought to a new level of refinement. The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. The Red Fort’s innovative planning and architectural style, including the garden design, strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield.
The Red Fort has been a symbol of power since the reign of Shah Jehan and has witnessed the change in Indian history to British rule. It was the place where Indian independence was first celebrated, and is still celebrated today. The Red Fort Complex has thus been the setting of events critical to the shaping of regional identity, and which have had a wide impact on the geo-cultural region.

Architecture of Red Fort
Erected in red sandstone, Red Fort was built by Shah Jahan when he decided to shift his base to Delhi from Agra in 1638. The massive construction of the fort was completed along with the huge city of Shah Jahanabad after nine years in April, 1648. This fort houses a grand audience halls, a market place where the royalty used to shop, marble palaces, once embedded with precious stones, a mosque, plazas, baths etc. The building has undergone a lot of changes since it was constructed. Owing to the importance of the fort to the history, architecture and the heritage of India, it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. The Red Fort has 44 heritage components of the Mughal period, which occupy 30 per cent of the total area, and several heritage structures of the British period. Reflecting the grandeur of the Mughal era, 15 distinct structures within include the Lahore Gate, Chatta Chowk, Naqqar Khana, Diwan-i-am and Diwan-i-khas etc.
The Lahore Gate
The Lahore Gate: The main gate to the Red Fort, Lahore Gate got its name from the city of Lahore. Every year, on Independence Day, the Prime Minister addresses the nation and unfurls the National Flag from this gate.
The Delhi Gate: This gate opens towards the old city of Delhi and is the southernmost gate of Shahjahanabad. The emperor would go to Jama Masjid for prayers through this gate.
Chatta Chowk: The entrance of the Lahori Gate leads through a long covered bazaar called the Chatta Chowk. The arcade was built to serve as the main market place for the women of the court. Chatta Chowk measures 70.1 m in length and 8.23 m in width. It is said that Shah Jahan was greatly influenced and convinced by the idea of covered shops given the hot weather of Delhi.
Naqqar Khana: Naubat Khana or the Welcome Room, was earlier part of a square enclosure with apartments for the umrah (nobles) on duty. Other than the Emperor, everyone else had to dismount from their elephants and walk towards the Diwan-i-Am (hall of public audiences) from this point. The Naubat Khana is a small structure inside the premises where the court musicians used to play music for the emperor. Measuring 49 feet in height, Naqqar Khana features an open arched hall at the top, which served as a music gallery from where the music filtered down to welcome the emperor or to bid him a safe journey. The War Memorial Museum is housed on the first floor.
Diwan-i-Am: The Diwan-i-Am, or the Hall of Public Audiences, was where the Emperor used to listen to public grievances. The hall housed a marbled throne, set with precious stones, many of which were looted after the Mutiny of 1857. A part of the estern side of the Red Fort, it is reached after passing through the Naubat Khana. In the centre of the back wall is a splendid marble canopy and at the back of the canopy the marble wall is decorated with multi-coloured marbles called the pietra dura.
Diwan-i-Khas: The hall of private audiences is where the Emperor held personal rendezvous. The hall once housed the Peacock Throne, studded with rubies and gems, which was taken away by Nadir Shah to Iran in 1739.
The complex also houses a garden with fountains in the centre. There is a row of white marble structures forming a part of the emperor’s fort complex. From the south to north these are - Mumtaz-Mahal, Rang-Mahal, Khas-Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, the Hammam and Hira-Mahal. These structures were intentionally placed at a location to provide a view of the flowing Yamuna. All these structures are raised on a common marble platform. The eastern part of the complex is flanked by the two towers - Asad-Burj on the southern end and Shah-Burj on the northern end.

Nearby attractions

Chandni Chowk: Chandni Chowk is the oldest market in Delhi. The walled city, which includes the Lal Qilla, Red Fort Delhi was established in 1650 AD, by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan and designed by his daughter Jahanara Begum Sahib, who also made significant contributions in the landscaping of her father's new capital of Shah Jahanabad.

Salimgarh Fort: The fort was built in 1546 AD, in Delhi, by Salim Shah Suri, son of Sher Shah Suri during the Sur Dynasty rule. Several Mughal rulers including Shah Jahan camped at this fort while in process of building the Red Fort.

St. James Church: St. James Church was built by the famous Colonel James Skinner in a Greek cross design. Said to be inspired by St Paul's Cathedral and modeled on a church in Venice, the church was consecrated in 1836.

Red Fort Sounds and Light Show
The colossal Red Fort is the perfect setting for much of Delhi’s extraordinary past. Witness the city’s magnificent history by witnessing one of largest sound and light shows in India.
Timings:
February to April: 8:30 PM
May to August: 9 PM
September to October: 8:30 PM
November to January: 7:30 PM

How to Reach
By Air
Air transport is an effecting route to reach Red Fort for visitors from various states and countries. Delhi is easily accessible by several flights inside and outside India.
For any foreign nationals, IGI airport will be the primary destination inside India. From Airport, one can prefer any mode of transport to reach Red fort. One can follow these guidelines to reach Red Fort.
By Train
One has to get down at Old Delhi Railway Station of New Delhi Railway Station. From here, one can prefer Delhi Metro to reach Red Fort. The nearest Metro Station will be Chandni Chowk.
By Road
There are many buses operated by the DTC organization in the state of Delhi, which is highly effective in transporting passengers with an ease. The starting point will be Scindia house to reach Red Fort.
There are several buses to deliver an easy and cheap mode of transport to reach Red Fort. Adult should shed minimum INR 200 to reach Red Fort and enjoy the wonderful light show. Children can enjoy a huge discount with a minimum fare of INR 100.

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