It’s a good thing the next item in the list is in front of Jama Masjid. Right away I can cross to Red Fort, another Mughal architecture by the famous Shah Jahan in mid 16 AD.
Shah Jahan moved the capital city of his Mughal empire to Old Delhi named Shahjahanabad (Persian: شاه جهان آباد) with Red Fort (Hindustani: Lāl Qila, Urdu: لال قلعہ, Hindi: लाल क़िला) as it’s center government. The Red Fort is named as such because they use red sandstone as the major structure for the fort and the walls around the previous city center. Currently most destroyed architecture is under repair and mostly are renewed since it’s declared UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.
The current area is about 103.06 ha with 2.41 kilometers defense walls. Red Fort utilize Mughal architecture style, a combination of Timurid and Persian tradition called Shahjahani.
Admission ticket is 250₹
From Chawari Bazar, we enter the Red Fort from Lahori gate because it’s facing Lahore city in Pakistan. After Lahori gate is the Chhatta Chowk or covered bazaar with 32 arch bays in each side for shops. Remnants of the old merchants goods are still available, but mostly for tourist to see silk, velvet, households etc., but not as luxurious as in the olden days. The bazaar was previously known as Bazaar-i-Musaqaf because it has a saqaf or roof.
The first building I’m into is this western or British looking architecture called Swatantrata Sangram Sanghralaya (“Freedom-Struggle Museum”), previously an army barracks turned museum in 1995. The museum housed paintings, photographs and history of the First War of Independent of 1857 to India’s Independence in 1947.
The Jat Uprising (1809 – 1829)
The Kittur Uprising (1824 – 1829)
Painting of Mahatma Gandhi
Naubat Khana or Nakkar Khana
In the old days, musicians from Naubat Khana will announce the arrival of the Emperor and the dignitaries for a meeting in Diwan-i-Am. The building is made from red sandstones and covered in plaster. Unfortunately the golden paint in the floral design is lost to age but they are currently fixing the interior painted chamber as shown in the photo.
The back for Naubat Khana view from Diwan-i-Aaam
Next is the Diwan-i-Aam
Diwan-i-Aam inner court is the Public Audience Hall for the Emperor to meet his subjects or dignitaries and other state functions. The hall is made of red sandstones and divided into 27 square sections with arch columns with the total of nine engraved arch openings gilded with white shell lime, chunam, plaster.
The centre of the hall, facing the garden is the Emperor’s throne made of marble in the shape of a canopy and throne, jharokha. The Emperor was seated behind the curtain while the Wazir, or the minister, received and talk with the chiefs. It’s mostly covered to protect it from people, but it is said that the marble is decorated with Mughal style ornaments inlaid with multi-coloured pietra dura stones by a florentine artist and restored in it’s former glory.
The room where the Empress wait and watch the state affair.
The courtyard (mardana) with the view of the imperial apartments. From left to right: Moti Masjid, the hammam, Divan-i-Khas, and Khas Mahal.
Hayat Baksh Bagh or “Life-bestowing garden” is the central largest garden in Red Fort.
Zafar Mahal Pavilion
There are series pavilions like from the photo above to the center of the complex with running water from Yamuna river and connected by a canals known as Nahr-i-Bihisht or Stream of Paradise. The canals also runs through the royal family apartments.
Door decoration in Moti Masjid.
Diwan-i-Khas or known as Shah Mahalit the Hall of Private Audience is the Emperor’s private ‘study’ to received courtiers and state guests. The hall is richly decorated with painted and gilded decoration. The pillared chhatri mount the arch ceiling. It was before inlaid with silver and gold but was taken by the rebellions of 1857.
Khas Mahal is the Emperor’s private residence inside the Red Fort. There are three chambers for sleeping, wardrobe and sitting room. The carved marble room is again painted with floral decoration and some fortunately still retain its gilded shine.
The marble screen is carved with Scale of Justice or Mizan-i-adal for the Emperor’s Justice.
Mumtaz Mahal or Jewel Palace is named after Shah Jahan’s beloved Empress. This white marble building was previously part of Zenana or the Empress’ apartment. Currently housed the Red Fort Archaeological Museum for Mughal period exhibits.
Most of the six galleries exhibit the belonging of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar I and successors. The paintings, manuscripts, porcelain to weapons and household tools are showcase to give a glimpse of the Mughal Empire.
Arabic and Persian inscription
Khan Dauran Khan Nusrat Jung, a soldier and administrator during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan.
Brass Astrolabe made by Muhammad Muquim, Son of Mullah Isa, Grandson of the Court Astrolabe maker of Humayun, Shaikh Allahabad of Lahore. 1637 AD.
Dagger Handle inlaid with Silver. Persian. 17th AD.
Ivory bedpost and perfume box. 19th AD.
Ivory inlaid wooden bedpost. 19 AD.
Books and written characters on coper. 16 AD.
Painting of Jantar Mantar, Delhi.
Mughal style paintings. 19 AD.
The Bahadur Shah Zafar gallery with objects belonging to the last Mughal emperor and his Queen. I love the chess set table here.
Gifts from foreign dignitaries such as Musical Clock with Prince of Wales Crest, Persian Pen Pot, Silver Clock with Nawab of Awadh Insignia and a Chinese Watch. 19th AD.
The weapons from Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Red Fort is a large compound, so it make sense at least 2-3 hours to explore the whole thing, a time I don’t have.
Next is exploring Chandni Chowk Market’s Organized Chaos
New Delhi Trip:
- [Travel] Staring India, a Trip of Opposite Attraction
- [Travel] Delhi, Jama Masjid’s Reflecting the World Through its eyes
- [Travel] Delhi, Red Fort Unlikely Drama
- [Travel] Delhi, Chandni Chowk Market’s Organized Chaos
- [Travel] New Delhi National Museum, A Little Glimpse of India’s Painting
Source information: Wikipedia, Travelwiki, India Eye Witness Travel