Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eassy of Red Fort

Red Fort in Delhi

 

 

Lal Quila also called the Red Fort is one of the most important monuments of India. It stands on the bank of river Yamuna. The whole structure is made of Red stone. The fort was built by Shahjahan - the Mughal King who also built the famous Taj Mahal - in 1648. Shahjahan called it the Uru-Muhalla. Shahjahan shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi and Red Fort was the new capital. Lal Quila stands at the eastern side of Shahjahanabad and the very name of "Lal Quila" comes from the huge wall that encloses the whole structure. The wall is 2.5 km long and the height varies from 16 meters on the river side to 33 meters towards the city.One of the special attraction of the fort is the huge wall that encompasses the whole structure. The walls have two entrances, one at the delhi gate and the other at the Lahore gate. Lahore Gate is the main entrance point of the fort, leading to Chatta Chowk. It is a coveres bazaar street where merchnats sold their goods to the nobles of the court.

Red Fort today

The Red Fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Old Delhi, attracting thousands of visitors every year. The fort is also the site from which the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation on 15 August, the day India achieved independence from the British. It also happens to be the largest monument in Old Delhi.
At one point in time, more than 3,000 people lived within the premises of the Delhi Fort complex. But after the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the fort was captured by Britain and the residential palaces destroyed. It was made the headquarters of the British Indian Army. Immediately after the mutiny,Bahadur Shah Zafar was tried at the Red Fort. It was also here in November 1945, that the most famous courts-martial of three officers of the Indian National Army were held. Even after India gained independence in 1947, the Indian Army continued its control over the fort. In December 2003, the Indian Army handed the fort over to the Indian tourist authorities.
Today, a sound and light show describing Mughal history is a tourist attraction in the evenings. The general condition of the major architectural features is mixed. None of the water features, which are extensive, contain water. Some of the buildings are in fairly good condition and have their decorative elements undisturbed. In others, the marble inlay flowers have been removed by looters and vandals. The tea house, though not in its historical state, is a functioning restaurant. The mosque and hamam are closed to the public, though one can catch peeks through the glass windows or marble lattice work. Walkways are left mostly in a crumbling state. Public toilets are available at the entrance and inside the park, but some are quite unsanitary.
The entrance through the Lahore Gate leads to a retail mall with jewellery and crafts stores. There is a museum of "blood paintings" depicting young Indian martyrs of the 20th century along with the story of their martyrdom. There is also an archaeological museum and an Indian war memorial museum.
The fort was the site of a December 2000 attack by terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba which killed two soldiers and one civilian in what was described in the media as an attempt to derail the India-Pakistan peace process in Kashmir

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