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Inside the Red Castle......

Written on: Monday August 6th, 2007

A historic land, India has a 5,000 years old history and it had been ruled by so many rulers over the centuries. Amongst the rulers, the Mighty Mughals holds a special place in Indian history and they ruled over India for more than 200 years. Now the Mughals are no more, but you can have the look of that bygone era by paying a visit to the forts and monuments built by them. Due to their unparalleled beauty, unique architectural style and distinct characteristics, these Mughal monuments magnetise visitors from worldwide. It?s really interesting and amazing as well that most of the Mughal monuments have been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Just one and half month back, Red Fort, Delhi?s principle landmark was declared a World Heritage Site. After getting this big news my curiosity aroused several times to pay a visit to the fort. When I reached outside the fort, it spellbound me with its domineering outlook. I entered through the Lahore gate, the main entrance to fort and passed few hours inside the fort. During my stay I explored all parts of the fort. For those who haven?t visited the fort, here I am providing a brief description about the fort.

Situated in Old Delhi, the Red fort was named such because of its massive red sandstone walls. Built in the year 1648 A.D, this great ancient castle offers a spectacular outside view to its visitors. Red Fort has two major gates, the Delhi Gate and the Lahore Gate. Enter the fort through the main entrance Lahore Gate and first visit the Naqqar Khana (Drum house), situated in the axis with the gate and the Chatta Chowk. Beyond this gate, you?ll find a larger open space, ?Diwan-i-Aam?, which served as the courtyard for public imperial audiences. An ornate throne-balcony for the emperor stands at the center of the eastern wall of the Diwan-i-Aam.

Just ahead of the royal throne, the imperial private apartments are located. The apartments comprise of a row of pavilions lie on a raised platform. The pavilions are connected with each other by a continuous water channel, known as the ?Nahr-i-Behisht?, (Stream of Paradise), that runs through the center of each pavilion. Designed as an imitation of paradise a couplet is inscribed on the palace wall which says, "If there be a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here".

At the extreme south, visit the zenanas? (women's) palace, Mumtaz Mahal (now a museum), and Rang Mahal. Both of them are noteworthy for bedecked ceiling and marble pool, fed by the ?Nahr-i-Behisht?. Here is not an all ending. A third pavilion from the south leads you to the Khas Mahal, that contains the imperial chambers. You?ll certainly realise a royal outlook as well as an empirical essence here. In these chambers, you?ll find a suite of bedrooms, prayer rooms etc.

Next visit the ?Mussaman Burj?, it?s a tower constructed against the fortress walls, from where the emperor would show himself to the people in a daily ceremony. Another attraction is the ?Diwan-i-Khas?, a gorgeously adorned hall of private audience. In those days, it was used for ministerial and court gatherings. Here, the pavilions are embellished with floral pietra dura patterns along with precious stones and gilding. The last attraction is the ?hammam? or the royal bathroom. An excellent blend of Turkish style and Mughal essence, these hammams are garnished with marble and sundry coloured stones.

To the west of the hammam, the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) deserves a visit. It was built in 1659 AD by Aurangzeb, successor of Shahjahan. This was his private mosque. A small, three-domed mosque, carved with milk-white marble, represents the smack of delicacy. In the north, a large formal garden, the ?Hayat Bakhsh Bagh?(Life-Bestowing Garden) is located. The picturesque view of the garden will enthrall you a lot.

Moreover, this ancient grandeur bears a lot of significance in modern days too. Besides attracting millions of tourists every year, the fort is the only site from where the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation on 15th August. Lastly, those who haven't visited the fort, plan a trip to this Mughal monument and find yourself why the UNESCO has designated the fort as a World Heritage Site.



From vyom on Aug 6th, 2007

It's really great that Red Fort has been designated as a World Heritage Site. India is indeed rocking in d tourism industry.

From Nicholas on Aug 9th, 2007

It's good to know that India now has 27 World Heritage Sites, the same number as that of UK.

From Harshita Sahay on Aug 10th, 2007

Red Fort really deserved to be on the list of World Heritage Sites. I hope in future, a whole lot of other Indian monuments and sites find their way into the list.