Red Fort in Delhi is one of the most popular tourist attractions. Tourists can never miss visiting this monument which has stood the test of times.
In 1947, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the Indian flag in the Red Fort. Till today this tradition is followed every year on the Independence day.
Red Fort has been one of the national symbols for India because it has witnessed many historic events and has always kept the grandeur intact.
Even though British ruined the fort, post-Independence, authorities have managed to preserve the remaining parts of the Red Fort.
These interesting facts about Red Fort, depicts its grand period and its vibrant history!
Red Fort Was Actually White
Initially, the Red Fort was believed to be in white colour.
ASI has found lime plasters on the walls of the fort, indicating that the original colour either faded away or has been repainted by British.
In fact, the vast external fort wall which was built in red sand stone might have got its name as the Red Fort.
Photo Courtesy: Arian Zwegers
The Real Name of the Fort
Qila-i-Mubarak is the real name of the Red Fort; it was also called as the 'Blessed Fort' by the royal family members.
Qila-i-Mubarak was designed by Ustad Hamid and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the architects of Taj Mahal.
Photo Courtesy: Saad Akhtar
Change in the Capital City
The Red Fort was built because Shah Jahan shifted his empire from Agra to Delhi and commissioned the construction in 1638.
Shahajahanabad was the earlier name given to Delhi during this time.
Photo Courtesy: Nishant88dp
Architecture of the Red Fort
It took almost 10 years to build this octagonal shaped building.
Spread over an area of 256 acres, the Red Fort also houses many buildings inside.
Including the older Salimgarh Fort, the complex has Diwan-i-am (the public hall), Naubhat Khana, Rang Mahal, Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Hammam (baths), Moti Masjid, Baoli (stepped well), and so on.
Photo Courtesy: http://www.oldindianphotos.in/2011_04_27_archive.html
Two Entrances to the Fort
The Red Fort has two Entrances: Lahori Gate and Delhi Gate.
Lahori Gate is the main entrance and is named so because it faces the Lahore city.
On every Independence Day, the National Flag is hoisted from the ramparts of this gate.
Delhi Gate looks similar to the Lahori Gate, and it was used as a public entrance to the Red Fort in Delhi.
Photo Courtesy: Deen Dayal, Lala
Rang Mahal and Khas Mahal
Rang Mahal which literally means 'the Palace of Colours' was built for queens and mistresses. Only the emperor and the princes were allowed inside Rang Mahal.
Interestingly, emperors appointed enunchs as gaurds for the ladies quarters.
Kings used to spend time and have dinner with queens in Khas Mahal. And this palace was specially built for this purpose.
Photo Courtesy: Hans A. Rosbach
Kohinoor Diamond Belonged to the Throne
The world famous Kohinoor diamond was embedded in the throne of Shah Jahan.
The Persian king, Nadir Shah looted it and later it went to Queen Victoria of England.
Today, the diamond is part of Royal Collection of England.
Photo Courtesy: Vssun
The Emperor Prisoned in his Home
The last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah II was imprisoned and brought to the Red Fort by British.
Later, he was tried in Diwan-i-Khas and sent to Rangoon (Myanmar).
Photo Courtesy: Tezpur4u
The Ruin of the Fort
After acquiring the Red Fort, British destroyed many parts of the Red Fort. And sold most of the valuables and emptied the fort.
The Red Fort after that was only fit for defense purposes and couldn't be used for anything else.
Photo Courtesy: Tytler, Robert and Harriet
World Heritage Site
In 2007, the Red Fort complex including the Salimgarh Fort was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Now, the Red Fort is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Photo Courtesy: Kamal hasan