Red Fort or Lal Quila as it is popularly known in Delhi is a marvel of Indo- Islamic architecture. Made of red stone this very fort was the center of power for more than 2 centuries. Completed in a span of ten years, according to the conservative estimates at least 10 million rupees were spend on it. Of these around 5 million was spent on palaces and the rest on gardens, fountains and pathways. The fort is typical of Indo-Islamic in architecture and has eight facets. The fort has been connected to Salimghad Fort. This beautiful but small fort lies on the Northern side of the main architecture.
The Red Fort is an intimidating red-stone monument and dominates the
skyline of the walled city. Although the fort is octagonal and don't
have demarked length and breadth but broadly it is 900 meters long and
550 meters wide. The most intimidating part is its high raised wall
which is nearly 3 kilometers in perimeter. The height of the wall
reaches 33.5 meters at some places. On the outside, you can still see
the pathway that was originally connected with the Yamuna River.
These walls are purely vertical and are very plain in architecture.
They are lashed with very heavy courses on the top.There are two major
gateways to the fort though there are few minor gateways too. The two
major gates are Lahori gate and Delhi gate. Among the two the Lahore
Gate was the chief entrance in those days. The road from Lahore gate
goes to a covered bazaar, built on the model of Meena Bazaar. This is
known as the Chatta Chowk. The whole alley is lined up with shops
selling miniatures and mamentoes. The pathway leads to a large open
space. This space was a 4-way crossing once which was a meeting point of
East-West street from Lahore gate and North-South street. The
North-South street was very important in that era as it divided
Garrision from the residential blocks, situated respectively on the west
and east side of the Fort.
To the southern end of this street is the Delhi Gate. To the left side
of the gate is a courtyard. It was attached with Diwan-e-Aam, a place
reserved for the daily public audience of Emperor. A decorated
throne-balcony for the emperor stands at the eastern side of the
Diwan-e-Aam. It is said to be the copy of the throne of Solomon, a
prophet in Islam,Judaism and Christinity, who was known for his
justice.The two southern pedestals of the palace are Zenana Khana, or
women's quarters and a Rang Mahal. The Rang Mahal is famous for its
Qasida works on the roof and a marble pool. This pool was the bathing
place for the emperor and was fed with the water by the Nahr-i-Behisht,
a subsidery canal of Faiz Nahar. The third pavilion, the Khas Mahal,
contains the Royal appartments. Among others it contains bedrooms,
prayer rooms, Nagar Khana, Jharokha and the Mussaman Burj. The last one
is a tower built close to the walls in order to make it easy for the
subjects to see the king during daily communion.
The next pavilion is the Diwan-i-Khas, the lavishly decorated hall for
private audience to foreign degniteries and nobels. It was also used for
administrative and court gatherings. To its north lies a large garden,
the Hayat Bakhsh Bagh, which is cut through, in a typical mogul style,
by two bisecting channels of water.