The road was a little busy and the temperature was quite high giving a slight unpleasant feeling. But as opposed to the humid climate in Orissa, it was okay for me. As usual I could not keep track of the time because I was in love with the city. I was too excited in visiting the Red Fort.
The Red Fort or Lal Quila is one of the largest monuments and famous tourist attractions of Old Delhi. It is a magnificent masterpiece of Mughal Architecture. It was built by Shah Jahan in 1638 when he relocated his capital from Agra to Delhi. It took 10 years to get completed. It was the Mughal emperors’ residence for around 200 years, till 1857.
The Fort was actually named as “Quila-i-Mubarak”, which means “Blessed Fort’. But later they called it “Lal Quila” because of its Red Colouring and hence, its English translation is “Red Fort”. Its magnificent red colouring looked spectacular in broad daylight. Built with red sandstone, it is just next to the Salimgarh Fort. The Red Fort was built to portray Mughal creativity and magnificence. In 2007, The Red Fort with the Salimgarh Fort was included in the World Heritage list by UNESCO.
The Fort plays a great importance in the politics of India. On the 15th of August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of Independent India raised the Indian National Flag. Since then every year both the President and the Prime Minister addresses the entire country on Independence Day (15th August) and Republic day (26th January) from The Red Fort only.
I entered through the Lahore gate, a three-storey huge gate, which led to a Mall with craft stores and jewellery. The artworks inside the Red Fort, display a fine blend of Indian, Persian and European art. Some of the Buildings are in absolutely good condition, the decorative elements are intact, but in others looters have removed the marble inlaid flowers.
I took a visit to the archeological museum, ‘blood paintings’ museum and the Indian war-memorial museum. In the evening, I attended the Sound and Light show, which gave a vivid description of the Mughal History. It was a great experience and I was back by 9 pm, a cool breeze was blowing and I was wondering about the next day’s visit to the India Gate – the Gate, which is a symbol of patriotism.