15 Interesting Facts about Red Fort

15 Interesting Facts about Red Fort (Lal Qila) (2024)

Explore interesting facts about Red Fort in Delhi. Uncover the rich history, architectural marvels, and cultural significance of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. From its imposing red sandstone walls to its intricate Mughal designs, delve into the heritage that makes the Red Fort a must-visit destination in India’s capital city. Discover the stories behind its construction, its role in shaping India’s history, and the various structures within its vast complex.

Do you have a fascination for ancient structures with significant national importance? If so, you’ll be captivated by Delhi‘s Lal Qila, commonly known as the Red Fort. Having personally explored the Red Fort numerous times, I’ve found myself increasingly drawn to its allure with each visit. Join me in uncovering 15 intriguing facts about this remarkable historical monument in my latest post.

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About Laal Qila (Red Fort)

Once the principal residence of the Mughal Emperors, the Lal Qila stands proudly in Old Delhi, India. This fort holds immense national significance, as it witnessed a historic moment when India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, raised the Indian flag at the Lahori Gate on August 15, 1947.

Acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Lal Qila was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1638. Renowned architect Ustad Ahmad Lahori, also credited with constructing the Taj Mahal in Agra, masterminded its design. The name “Lal Qila,” meaning Red Fort in Hindi, pays homage to the fort’s distinctive red sandstone construction.

Red Fort is an UNESCO World Heritage Site

15 Interesting Facts About Red Fort

Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The year 2007 marked a significant milestone for the Red Fort as it was bestowed with the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site status. This recognition was based on several criteria, with notable factors including its architectural fusion, incorporating elements from Mughal, Persian, Timurid, and Hindu styles. The Red Fort’s pivotal role in pivotal historical events also contributed to its UNESCO designation.

15 Interesting Facts about Red Fort
15 Interesting Facts about Red Fort

Red Fort has a Light and Sound Show

The Red Fort presents an enthralling light and sound show from Tuesday to Sunday in English and Hindi. This captivating spectacle occurs twice daily, with Hindi performances at 7:15 PM and English at 8:45 PM from Tuesday to Friday. The show is presented in Hindi on Saturdays and Sundays at 8:45 PM. Tickets are available online or at the counters at Lahori Gate or the Red Fort Centre.

Red Fort was in Both Red and White Colours

Initially, the Red Fort boasted hues of red and white, constructed primarily with limestones. However, over time, the white limestones began to deteriorate, prompting the British government to repaint the entire complex in a vibrant shade of red.

Image of Red Fort Appears on Rupees 500 Note

Typically, a country’s currency notes and coins showcase elements that evoke national pride. India’s rich architectural heritage is prominently featured, with the iconic Red Fort gracing the back of the current ?500 note. This choice reflects the nation’s reverence for its historic monuments and cultural legacy.

Image of Red Fort appears on Rupees 500 note

Red Fort is of National Significance

Annually, on the 15th of August, Independence Day, the Prime Minister of India raises the national flag at this site and delivers a speech broadcast nationwide. Additionally, this location was targeted in a terrorist attack on December 22, 2000, characterized as an effort to disrupt the India-Pakistan peace negotiations.

World Famous Koh-i-Noor Diamond Belonged to Red Fort’s Royal Family

The Koh-i-Noor is one of the world’s largest cut diamonds, adorning the Queen’s crown in the United Kingdom (U.K.). However, historical accounts suggest that this diamond has roots in India, with one narrative claiming the royal family of the Red Fort once possessed it.

According to records attributed to Muhammad Kazim Marvi from the 1740s, the diamond was among the jewels adorning the Mughal Peacock Throne, plundered by Nader Shah during his conquest of Delhi. Subsequently, the diamond found its way into British possession due to military conflicts in 1849.

Red Fort has a Mumtaz Mahal

Shah Jahan’s affection for his beloved wife, Arjumand Banu Begam, famously known as Mumtaz Mahal, extended beyond the Taj Mahal in Agra. He commissioned a Mumtaz Mahal, resembling a palace or retreat, within the confines of the Red Fort. These quarters served as a residence for royal women. Presently, the Mumtaz Mahal premises house the Red Fort Archaeological Museum.

Red Fort is Considered the Symbol of India

The Red Fort held immense significance during the freedom struggle, and the moment when the Indian flag was raised atop its walls symbolized the nation’s liberation from colonial rule, marking the restoration of independence and identity. Since then, the Red Fort has become an enduring symbol of India’s sovereignty and resilience.

Red Fort was Built in 10 Years

Although Shah Jahan initiated the commissioning of the Red Fort in 1638, its construction spanned a decade, culminating in its completion in 1648. The decision to build this formidable fortress stemmed from Shah Jahan’s choice to relocate his capital from Agra to Delhi, underscoring the fort’s strategic and historical significance.

The Walls of Red Fort were Not Damaged during the Rebellion

During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, a significant uprising against British rule occurred, damaging numerous structures and marble within the complex. Interestingly, while many parts suffered, the walls of the Red Fort remained remarkably intact throughout the rebellion.

Speaking of India’s struggle for independence, it’s essential to recognize the sacrifices made by countless Indian freedom fighters. One can visit the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to gain insight into their courageous efforts and empathise with their plight. This site serves as a poignant reminder of the hardships those who fought for India’s freedom endured.

Red Fort has Two Gates, One for Delhi and the Other for Lahore

The Red Fort boasts two primary gates: the Delhi Gate and the Lahori Gate. The nomenclature likely stems from their geographical orientation, with one gate leading towards Delhi and another towards Lahore.

3 days in Delhi

Red Fort was formerly known as Qila-E-Mubarak

Originally named Qila-e-Mubarak, which translates to “Blessed Fort” as it served as the royal family’s residence, the Red Fort underwent a name change to Lal Qila, meaning “Red Fort,” due to its distinctive red sandstone construction.

Red Fort is Asymmetrical and in Octagonal Shape

The Red Fort exhibits asymmetry in its design, with the boundary walls incorporating the historic Salimgarh Fort. When viewed from above, the complex takes on an octagonal shape. Remarkably expansive, the entire complex sprawls across an area of 256 acres.

The Last Emperor was Exiled to Myanmar

Bahadur Shah Zafar, the final emperor of the Mughal dynasty, played a pivotal role in the Indian Rebellion 1857, resisting British rule. Following the rebellion, he faced a trial for treason conducted by the British authorities. Stripped of his imperial status, Bahadur Shah Zafar endured exile to Myanmar, formerly Rangoon.

Red Fort also has a Rang Mahal

Within the Red Fort complex lies the Rang Mahal, which translates to the “Palace of Colours.” Its name originates from the vibrant paintwork and intricate mosaic of mirrors adorning its interiors. Serving as the residence for the emperor’s wives, mistresses, and maids, the Rang Mahal was strictly off-limits to all males except the Emperor himself.

How to Get to Laal Qila?

By Road

Located approximately 25 kilometres from the heart of Delhi, reaching the Red Fort by road typically requires a journey of 50 to 60 minutes. It’s important to note that navigating Delhi’s bustling streets demands a skilled driver, given the traffic congestion prevalent throughout the city.

By Public Transport

  • Metro – For those opting for public transportation, the closest metro station to the Red Fort is Chandni Chowk, which is approximately 1.5 kilometres away. Simply board the yellow line heading towards Chandni Chowk and disembark at the designated station. Exit through gate number 5 for convenient access to the Red Fort.
  • Buses – Alternatively, travellers can utilize the extensive bus network with frequent services to the Red Fort. The Subhash Park bus stop is the nearest, providing easy access to this iconic landmark.

By Air

The nearest airport to the Red Fort is the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Situated approximately 20 kilometres away, the journey to the Red Fort by car or taxi typically takes around 45 minutes.

Delhi Airport is a central hub with extensive connectivity to all major cities worldwide, making it a preferred choice for airlines operating in and out of the capital city.

For travellers with a layover at Delhi Airport seeking a comfortable stay before their next flight, Holiday Inn Express at Terminal 3 provides an ideal solution.

Navigating from Indira Gandhi International Airport to any destination is most efficiently done via the metro. With a metro station conveniently located within the airport premises, this mode of transportation offers a swift and hassle-free journey to various destinations.

Where to Stay near Red Fort?

Finding accommodation in Delhi can be daunting, but selecting the right place ensures a stress-free and safe stay. Having visited Delhi on multiple occasions, I can recommend some excellent options for your consideration:

Haveli Dharampura, UNESCO-awarded boutique hotel

Located in the streets of Chandni Chowk, Haveli Dharampura is known for its cultural and heritage adaptation and restoration. This hotel is just around a kilometre from Red Fort.

Shangri-La Eros

In Connaught Place, Shangri-La Eros is the perfect stay for luxury and a 5-star experience. This hotel is around 5 kilometres from Red Fort.

Radisson Blu Marina Hotel

In Connaught Place, Radisson Blu Marina Hotel is a 5-star boutique hotel with many amenities. This hotel is around 3.5 kilometres from Red Fort.

Is Delhi Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Navigating Delhi can pose challenges for solo female travellers, particularly those unfamiliar with the city. As someone who has explored its streets, I must emphasize caution, for Delhi doesn’t rank among the safest destinations.

Vigilance is paramount; always be alert and cautious when interacting with strangers. Trust should be earned cautiously, as not everyone may have your best interests at heart. By staying vigilant and adhering to safety precautions, you can better navigate the complexities of Delhi and enjoy your travels with peace of mind.

Red Fort

Closing Notes

The Red Fort is an awe-inspiring testament to history, offering visitors a journey back in time to marvel at its grandeur and unravel its rich historical tapestry. Visiting this magnificent structure is a must when in Delhi, providing an immersive experience steeped in heritage. I highly recommend engaging a government-affiliated guide to make the most of your visit. Their insights and anecdotes will enrich your exploration, allowing you to delve deeper into the captivating stories woven within the walls of the Red Fort.

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