India in Pieces: Lal Quila

Lal Quila, commonly known as The Red Fort, was built in the 16th century as a fortified palace for the ruling Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It is built predominantly of red sandstone, and this that gives the fort its distinctive appearance (and name). Built in both Hindu and Persian styles, the Lal Quila was considered a remarkable piece of Mughal architecture, and in 2007, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Red Fort is a major attraction in India
The Red Fort is a major attraction in India

In the 19th century, colonising British forces destroyed much of the Red Fort during the Battle of Delhi and in its place built itself army barracks. Since independence, the fort has been restored to resemble much of its former glory, and in fact as recent as 2003 the fort was still under the command and control of the Indian army, despite its allure to tourists.


Diwan-I-Khas is the innermost court of the palace complex and translates literally to ‘Hall of the Private Audience’. It is constructed almost entirely of white marble and contains many precious gems, whereas the ceiling, once glossed in precious silver, has been restored using decorative wood.


Diwan-I-Aam was another interesting part of the fort complex. The columns are very famous parts of the inner court of Lal Quila, where state functions used to be held during the days of the Mughal Empire.


The above photo is of the Hammam complex, where domed rooms filled with white marbled housed the imperial bathrooms. It must have been a nice place to take a nice leisurely bath!

The Lahore Gate
The Lahore Gate

Lahore Gate is famous not only as the main entrance to the Red Fort complex (flag and all), but also for being the site in front of which the Indian president has made a speech every Independence Day for over 70 years.


5 thoughts on “India in Pieces: Lal Quila

  1. I strongly recommend anyone going to Red Fort to try the headphone guides available at the ticket counters..With a very Mughal Era background music, it is better that any guide and actually makes you feel the regality and loyality in the air


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