Delhi is studded with number of historical monuments but the beauty of Red Fort is unmatched. This colossal fort is a landmark monument of India. The fort was initiated by Mughals & they spent nearly two hundred years here. The Red Fort Complex was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad – the new capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan.
Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The private apartments consist of a row of pavilions connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht (Stream of Paradise). The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement.
The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. The Red Fort’s innovative planning and architectural style, including the garden design, strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield. Its design is credited to architect Ustad Ahmad Lahouri, who also constructed the Taj Mahal.
The fort lies along the Yamuna River, which fed the moats surrounding most of the walls. Construction began in the sacred month of Muharram, on 13 May 1638. Supervised by Shah Jahan, it was completed on 6 April 1648. Unlike other Mughal forts, the Red Fort’s boundary walls are asymmetrical to contain the older Salimgarh Fort. The fortress-palace was a focal point of the medieval city of Shahjahanabad, which is present-day Old Delhi. It’s planning and aesthetics represent the zenith of Mughal creativity prevailing during Shah Jahan’s reign.
The fort’s massive red sandstone walls, which stand 75 feet (23 metres) high, enclose a complex of palaces and entertainment halls, projecting balconies, baths and indoor canals, and geometrical gardens, as well as an ornate mosque. Among the most famous structures of the complex are the Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-i-Am), which has 60 red sandstone pillars supporting a flat roof, and the Hall of Private Audience (Diwan-i-Khas), which is smaller, with a pavilion of white marble.
Every year, the Indian Prime Minister unfurls the national flag here on the Independence Day.