RED FORT - DELHI
Red Fort of Delhi is a prominent place of Delhi tourism and holds special relevance in present day Indian republic as national flag of India is hoisted from here on every Independence Day (August 15). The mammoth fort, also called Lal Qila, is built of red sandstone and, hence, is called Red Fort of Delhi. Though Red Fort of the past was a splendid piece of architecture but successive attacks and cruel ransacking by various rulers, including the British, have left little of significance and past glory. The gigantic Red Fort of Delhi was the centre of Shahjahanabad, the 5th Delhi established by Shahjahan.
Red Fort, symbol of Mughal power and splendour and Emperor Shahjahan's one of landmark creations, is spread in 2.41 square kilometer with its 60 ft high octagonal ramparts. The Red Fort was known during Mughal period as Urdu-Mualla and Quilla-i-Mualla (the Fort of Exalted Dignity). Made of red sandstone and completed in 1648, the Red Fort was the result of 9 years of hard and meticulous toil of the choicest architects and masons. Out of its two imposing gateways- Lahori Gate on the western side and Delhi Gate on the eastern side- the Lahori Gate is the main gateway to enter this mammoth citadel. It is like a township which contains well laid-out gardens, palaces, boulevards, public and private audience halls (Diwan-e-Aam and Diwan-e-Khas), shopping arcades, quarters for staff and servants etc.
The Prime Minister of India addresses the masses on Independence Day of India (August 15) from the ramparts of Red Fort.The Takht-e-Taus (the Peacock Throne- the seat of Mughal Emperor- was shifted from Agra Fort to Red Fort and was placed in Diwan-e-Khas. Its value at that time was estimated to be over 12 million British Pound. Later on, in 1793, Nadir Shah looted this throne and carried it along with him. Other famous buildings within Red Fort are Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), Shahi Hamams, Khas Mahal, Rang Mahal and Shah Burj from where the channel of water ran through the palace complex.
A Sound and Light Show is also carried out by Government wing Indian Tourism. This show pictorially and verbally narrates the history and making of Red Fort.