Red Fort of Delhi

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The Red Fort of Delhi

The Red Fort of Delhi is a historical fort of India. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years, until 1857. It is located in old Delhi, some distance away from River Yamuna. The high boundary walls were meant to provide maximum security to the royals.

Since it was constructed in red stone and bricks, the British called it Red Fort, and the natives translated it to the Lal Qila (लाल किला). Before 1857, when the First war of Independence was fought against East India Company, this fort was actually called Qila-e-Mubarak (or the blessed fort). Some historians have written that the monument was constructed when Mughal emperor Shah Jahan decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi. There are some others who opine that this was earlier the Lal Kot (लाल कोट) (means - The Red Fort) of King Anangpal of Delhi (731-736 A.D.) and was later modified by Mughal emperors. Some have also opined that an earlier red fort had been built by Anangapal in old Delhi, where Quṭb Mosque now stands on the site.[1]

Red Fort in Jat History

Red Fort of Agra

Book by P.N. Oak about Red Fort of Agra

Interestingly, there is another fort called "Red Fort" in Agra city in India. See page Red Fort of Agra.

The elegance of Delhi's Red Fort

The Kohinoor diamond was actually part of Shah Jahan's throne at the Red Fort of Delhi. Made of solid gold and studded with precious stones, the extravagant royal seat stood in Diwan-i-Khas (the hall of private audience), flaunting the world's largest diamond. The fort was plundered of its artwork and jewels during Nadir Shah's invasion on Delhi in 1739, when Muhammad Shah was the emperor. Nadir Shah took the Koh-i-Noor diamond, along with other loot, from the fort.

Damage by Britishers

Most of the Red Fort's precious marble structures were subsequently destroyed by British colonialists following the 1857 war. The forts's defensive walls were largely spared, and the fortress was subsequently used as a garrison.The Red Fort was also the site where British colonialists put the last Mughal Emperor on trial before exiling him to Rangoon in 1858.

At the end of the Mughal rule in 1857, the British took over the fort. They not only stripped it of its valuables and sold them, but also damaged monuments and buildings inside.

Red Fort - a world heritage site

The UNESCO has named the Red Fort of Delhi as a world heritage site in 2007, for its historical and cultural significance. An architectural wonder India should be proud of.

Red Fort - a mission by Freedom Fighters

During Second World War, Indian soldiers in the army of Subhash Chander Bose, had put a slogan - Capture Red Fort and Dilli Chalo.

The Nation's pride

Ever since the first Independence Day (15 August 1947), Indian Prime Minister adresses the nation from the dais built over the main gate of Red Fort. This tradition is still continuing.

External Links

Author of this page

Dayanand Deswal