A true representation of Mughal architecture, the imposing Red Fort had a great significance on the history of Delhi. Discover this red-stone complex of marble palaces, intricate pavilions and landscaped gardens.
Red Fort tours are undoubtedly one of the most popular additions to New Delhi travel itineraries. An iconic landmark with a wealth of fascinating history, this 17th-century fort is one of the Indian capital's most imposing sights. It's red sandstone walls rise to over 30 metres in places, having been built in 1638 to prevent invaders gaining access, and provide a powerful reminder of the incredible power held by the Mughal emperors. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the fort took a total of ten years to construct. The construction of the complex is rumoured to have a dark past; apparently the decapitated bodies of prisoners were built into its foundations as it was believed it would bring good luck. In spite of the efforts the Emperor Shah Jahan had taken in founding the fort, he actually never fully moved in; his son Aurangzeb had him imprisoned in Agra Fort before he had the chance to do so.
Within the complex you'll discover fascinating monuments to its two centuries as an imperial palace. The Rang Mahal was once part of the imperial harem, where the Emperor's wives and mistresses resided, but it's ornate carvings and marble fountains no longer carry their lavish coats of paint and mirrored mosaics. The Khas Mahal housed the royal apartments and prayer rooms, while the Diwan-e-Khas, was where the Mughal emperors received courtiers and state guests. There are a number of other intriguing rooms and structures to wander through on Red Fort tours, including the Drum Room, the Pearl Mosque and the Royal Baths. On entering the complex, visitors are greeted by the Chatta Chowk, a covered bazaar dating back to the 17th century that today sells a range of trinkets and souvenirs.
Even today, the Red Fort continues its role as a site for political and national ceremonies – every year on India’s Independence Day, the Prime Minister addresses the nation and hoists the flag from its red sandstone ramparts. In addition, the spectacular complex has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in India, with Red Fort tours providing a fascinating glimpse into what life was like behind those famously imposing walls. There is an audio guide to provide further insight into the history of the complex, and a museum containing a variety of relics from the Mughal era, including paintings, clothing and furniture. In the evenings, there is also a sound and light show detailing India's history in connection with the building.
Take one of our India tours and discover the Red Fort, and learn how this vast monument to imperial power connects modern India to its past.
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