Red Fort in Delhi - the residence of the Mughal Emperor in India


Red fort - a huge sandstone fortress in Delhi, represents only a shadow of itself in the past, here, like nowhere else in Delhi, you can imagine how great the Mughal empire was once. The fort was erected at the peak of the strength of the dynasty, at a time of unprecedented pomp: eunuchs, ceremonial elephants, palanquins and buildings lined with precious stones.

General information

The walls of the fort extend for 2 km, and the height of the walls is different: from the river side 18 m, and from the city side 33 m. Shah Jahan built this fort from 1638 to 1648, but did not manage to transfer the capital from Agra to the new city of Shahjahanabad , since he was overthrown and imprisoned in the fort of Agra by his son Aurangazeb.

The Mughals did not rule in Delhi for long, Aurangazeb was the first and last great Mughal emperor who lived here. Subsequent rulers, exhausted by the civil wars, were not able to maintain the Red Fort properly, and the slums beyond the walls of the fort were filled with impoverished descendants of the emperors. By the XIX century, the fort was noticeably dilapidated. After the first war of independence, in 1857, the British cleared everything, but ugly barracks and army units were made of the largest buildings.

Through the 10-meter ditch, which has not been filled since 1857, creaky wooden drawbridges were once thrown, but in 1811 they were replaced by stone.

Since independence, many prominent politicians have addressed the people from the walls of the fort every year on Independence Day. (August 15) The Prime Minister is giving a speech here.

Indian / foreigner 10/250 rupees, video 25 rupees, combined ticket 5 rupees,
9.00-18.00 Tue-Sun
Metro Chandni Chowk

Gate Lahore

The main gate of the Red Fort is called so because it faces Lahore, now located in Pakistan. The gates are a powerful symbol of independent India: during the struggle for independence, the nationalists sought to raise the flag of India above the gates, this dream came true in 1947.

Entering through this gate you find yourself in a vaulted gallery known as Chatta Chowk (indoor market). This is a tourist trap, where previously they sold more elegant products for royal life - silk, jewelry and gold.

Gallery leads to Naubat Khan (drum house)where musicians perform. Here, up the stairs, is the Indian War Memorial Museum, full of terrifying weapons and shells.

Sofa-i-Am (Diwan-i-Am)

In the Hall for wide audiences (Hall of Public Audiences) the emperor listened to the disputes and complaints of his subjects. Many precious stones, once mounted on the throne of the emperor, were stolen during the first war of independence. The hall was restored by order of Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India from 1898 to 1905.

Sofa-i-Khas (Diwan-i-Khas)

The white marble Hall for private audiences is a luxurious chamber where the emperor held personal meetings. In the center of the hall stood a throne in the form of a peacock, made of pure gold and adorned with precious stones. In 1739, the Persian Shah Nadir took him out of India. And in 1760, the Marathi removed the entire silver coating from the ceiling.

Rang Mahal (Colorful Palace)

Rank Mahal, a little further south, got its name because of the brightly painted interior, now long lost. It was the mansion of the emperor’s main wife and the place where he dined. On the floor in the center of the hall there is an exquisite lotus flower carved from marble; here the water channel ends from Shahi Burj (Shahi Burj).

Other attractions of the Red Fort

Mughal relics are in the Museum of Archeology at Mumtaz Mahal (Mumtaz Mahal) in women's chambers, further south along the eastern wall. In one of the British barracks there is an interesting Museum of the struggle of India for independence (Museum of India's Struggle for Freedom)where you can see several dramatic full-sized dioramas.

Worth a look at the abandoned baoli (well with steps). A short walk leads to Salimgarh (Salimgar, 10.00-17.00), built by Salimshah Suri in 1546. Few visitors get here to see the ruins of the mosque and the wide, largely restored walls - they are still partially occupied by the Indian army and were opened to the public in 2008.

The city of Shahjanabad extends west of the Red Fort. At one time, he was surrounded by a strong protective wall, from which now only fragments remain. At the Kashmir Gate (Kashmiri Gate) in the north in 1857, a mortal battle unfolded during the first war of independence, when the British again captured Delhi.

Sound and light show Every evening (except Monday) a show is being held at Red Fort (entrance 60 rupees, in English: 19.30 November-January, 21.00 May-August and 20.30 in other months)dedicated to his story. It's great to look at the fort at night, although the history lesson is a little boring. Tickets can be bought at the box office. Take mosquito repellent cream with you.

Red Fort in Delhi: history and description

The two kilometer wall of the Red Fort in India is 11 meters high. The walls are built of local red sandstone. The entrance to the "red fort" goes through the Lahore Gate, behind which immediately opens a view of the square, in the old days filled with merchants. And then the palace buildings appear in all their beauty.

Divan-i-Am - ceremonial hall for the emperor's public receptions. Its walls are decorated with various floral ornaments, birds, still lifes. An Austrian de Bordenuy artist from France had a hand in painting. In the center of the hall is a marble imperial box. Previously, there was still a tent richly decorated with stones and pearls. In this hall, Shah Jahan received an audience daily. This rite of Darbar began with a march of the imperial guard on horseback, followed by unhurried elephants. Later, the emperor was informed of all the idle events and interesting curiosities obtained during the hunt. After the amusement, the usual work of receiving ministers and ambassadors began.

The next building is Divan i Khas. Private audiences with the emperor were held here. It was here that the famous Peacock Throne was installed earlier. The massive gold legs supported the throne; it was abundantly decorated with precious stones. Its base was also cut out of gold and stylized as a tree. On one of the branches of this tree was a peacock.

On the back of the throne was the largest diamond in the world - Koh-i-Nur. After the conquest of Delhi by the Persian ruler, the throne was taken to Isfahan, and the diamond was broken into three pieces. One of them is currently on the English crown.

Rang Mahal - the palace where wives and concubines were located. The palace has a bright color and many decorations, for which it was nicknamed the Colorful Palace. Previously, the ceiling of this building was made of silver, but after the Mughal empire fell into decay and the emperor’s treasury was devastated, silver had to be melted into coins. Another attraction of this place is a fountain with a marble lotus and a glass roof reflecting the beauty of this place.

Moti Masjid is a white marble and richly decorated Pearl Mosque. Before the Sipay uprising in 1857, its domes were gilded, but after the destruction they had to be restored in marble.

Behind the mosque are the famous Mughal gardens. Among the abundant greenery of this place are beautiful swimming pools and pavilions. And in the very depths of this place is Shish Mahal, or the Mirror Palace, which now houses a museum of paintings and famous works of the Mughal era. Among the other buildings of the Red Fort in Old Delhi, one can distinguish the Shah baths and Samman Burj tower, to the top of which in the old days the emperor himself rose to perform morning prayers.

There is more than one city in India with the Red Fortress. Structures with the same names are in Agra and Lahore, with which the Delhi fortress is periodically confused. Every year on Independence Day, the President of India reads his address to the nation within the walls of this fortress.

Photo and description

The Red Fort, or as it is also called Lal Kila, was erected during the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. By his order, in 1639, construction of a fortress in the new capital of the state was moved to Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi) from Agra. It was completed in 1648, and initially the citadel was called Kila-i-Mubarak, which means “blessed fortress,” but as new buildings appeared in the fort, a new name appeared.

Lal-Kila is a large complex of buildings in which the family of the ruler and about three thousand courtiers and nobles were located. Built of red sandstone, this architectural monument has a characteristic bright brick-red color, which gave a new name to the fortress. It is built in a Muslim style, has the shape of an irregular octagon, and the height of its walls ranges from 16 to 33 meters. The interior decoration of the fortifications was fully consistent with the imperial status of its inhabitants. Carved columns of incredible beauty, the walls of the halls, decorated with exquisite ornaments and mosaics from marble slabs, neat domes and openwork wrought iron lattices made the Red Fort a unique monument of Mughal architecture.

As already mentioned, the red Fort is a system of several parts, the most significant of which were the courtyard of Divan-i-Aam and the hall of Divan-i-Khas, where the emperor received visitors, personal apartments of the ruler of Nahr-i-Behisht, and female chambers (Zenans Mumtaz Mahal and Rank Mahal), the luxurious garden of Hayat Bakhsh Bagh and the famous Moti Pearl Mosque, completely made of white marble.

Today, several museums operate on the territory of the fortress.

The Red Fort is still a significant destination for the people of India, not only because of the huge tourist flow, but also because every year on August 15, Independence Day, it is there that the Prime Minister of India reads out his appeal to the people.


The name Lal Kila in Hindi means “red fort”, “red fortress”. The name comes from the red sandstone from which the walls of the fort are built. As the residence of the imperial family, the fort was originally known as the “Blessed Fort” (Kila i Mubarak) The same name (Lala Kila) bears the Agra Fort.

History edit |