The history of the Red Fort is intertwined with the history of the Mughals, who made it their residence for centuries. In 1638, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan shifted the Mughal empire’s capital from Agra to Delhi. A new royal palace known as Red Fort Delhi (Lal Qila) was constructed. The Red Fort has walls extending up to 2 km in length with their height varying from 18 meters on the river side to 33 meters on the city side. The Red Fort, Delhi, has two main entrances, the Delhi Gate and the Lahori Gate. The latter faces Chandni Chowk, the city’s most crowded, but diverse market.
The Red Fort complex constitutes of the Red Fort and the Salimgarh Fort (a predecessor of the fort, built about a century ago). The fort houses the Diwan-i-Aam or the Hall of Public Audiences, where the emperor would sit in a marbled paneled alcove, studded with gems, and hear the complaints of the common people. The Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience, was a place where the private audiences were granted. This hall was made of marble, and its center was embellished with the Peacock Throne, which was studded with rubies and gems. Today, although the Diwan-i-Khas is only a pale shadow of its original glory, yet the verse of Amir Khusro, “If there is Paradise on the face of earth, it is here, it is here, it is here” reminds us of its former glory. The Rang Mahal or the ‘Palace of Colours’ as it is known, holds a spectacular Lotus-shaped fountain, made out of a single piece of marble, and housed the emperor’s wives and mistresses.
The Naubat or Naqqar-Khana (‘Drum-house’) in the Red Fort is a place where music was played on special occasions. It was used as the entrance to the Diwan-i-’Am. It was also the place where visitors used to dismount from their elephants, thus was known as ‘Hathipol’. As Presently, the upper storey of the Naqqar-Khana houses the Indian War Memorial Museum.
The other attractions enclosed within this monument are the hammams or the Royal Baths, the Shahi Burj, which used to be Shah Jahan’s private working area, and the Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque. Even today, the Red Fort (Lal Qila) is an eloquent reminder of the glory of the Mughal Empire.
As the parking lot is near Jama Masjid, located on the opposite side of the Red Fort, car parking is a big hassle. You need to take a long walk from the parking to reach the gate of the fort. Moreover, there is tremendous traffic on the connecting roads, the tourists find it difficult to cross the roads. It is advisable to travel by a taxi.
The Meena bazaar (market) at the Chatta Chowk has shops that sell various handicrafts including jewelry, paintings, Kurtis, etc.
The India Tourism Development Corporation Limited conducts a sound and light show in the evening from February through April to recreate the historical era. The timings for show in Hindi are from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., whereas show in English is conducted from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. On weekdays, the ticket for adults cost INR (Indian Rupee) 60 (per person), and for children (3 to 12 years) it costs INR 20. On weekends and National Holidays, the ticket costs INR 80 for adults and INR 30 for children. The tickets can be booked online at theashokgroup.com.
Some of the interesting places near the Red Fort are Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk Market, Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, Fatehpuri Mosque, Vijay Ghat, and Shanti Van.
Red Fort Map
Red Fort Facts
- Emperor Shah Jahan built Delhi’s most magnificent monument and named it ‘Red Fort’.
- There are 14 gates in the Red Fort.
- The work of building this monument began in 1639 and was completed in 1648.
- The name Red Fort comes from its massive red sandstone walls.
- The Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fort, Delhi, on India’s Independence Day.
Where is Red Fort Located?
The Red Fort is located on Netaji Subhash Marg, Delhi, India. It can be easily reached via metro. The nearest metro station is Chandni Chowk. If you are coming to Delhi by train, then Old Delhi Railway Station is located at a distance of just 1 km from the Red Fort. It is also close to the ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminal), thus there is a good connectivity via buses. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is located at a distance of 26 km from the Fort.
Best Time to Visit Red Fort
The best time to visit Red Fort is from October through March, when the weather is pleasant.
Red Fort Timings
The Fort opens from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. It is closed on Mondays.
Red Fort Delhi Tickets
Entry fee for foreigners is INR 250 and for Indians is INR 10.
More on Red Fort
Why did the Red Fort become a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
The Red Fort in Delhi became a World Heritage Site for its excellent site planning, architecture, and historical importance.
Why flag is hoisted at the Red Fort?
On August 15, 1947, India got freed from the British rule. India’s National Flag was hoisted for the first time on this day at the Red Fort, as a symbol of victory. Thus, every year since then, the flag hoisting ceremony is observed on August 15.
How is the Red Fort affected by air pollution?
The color of the monument is fading due to air pollution. The buildings inside the Red Fort that have been built using marble, such as the Diwan e Khas, Rang Mahal, etc. are turning yellowish and black due to the effects of air pollution. The ASI has performed restorations on the Red Fort and is working upon the conservation of this historical site.
What is the difference between the Red Fort in Delhi and Agra?
The Red Fort in Delhi is more well-planned than the one in Agra. Shah Jahan’s experience in Agra helped him in building this wonderful fort.