500+ Words Essay on Red Fort
Have you ever wondered, what is that huge monument whose image is present on the back of a 500 Rupees note? And why is it so important that it was placed there on the currency note? That monument is none other than the world-famous Red Fort of Delhi.
The Red Fort of Delhi, situated on the western bank of the river Yamuna, is one of the must-visit places of Delhi. It is the largest historical structure in Delhi. This incredible monument was established in 1638, by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan. This fort is often said to be the pinnacle of Mughal creativity. It has been around 380 years, but this monument has still passed the test of time and nature.
History of the Red Fort
When Shah Jahan, the 5th Mughal Emperor, shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi’s Shahjahanabad, he created there, the majestic palace of Red Fort. It is said that “Rome was not built in a day”, and neither was the Red Fort. It took 10 years of hard work and patience to build this fort. Its construction work started in around 1638 AD and got completed in 1648 AD.
Ustad Hamil and Ustad Ahmed were the chief architects of the fort. At that time, the name of the fort was given Qila-e-Mubarak, which translates to “Blessed Fort”. Also, this fort was originally white and not red, but it got its present name from the Britishers, who painted it red.
But this fort also faced its hard times; like in 1747, this fort was looted in Nadir Shah’s invasion, who took the famous peacock throne with him, and the Britishers destroyed many of its precious marble structures after the 1857 revolt. Almost all the furniture was either destroyed or shipped to England. But despite all these calamities, the fort stood its ground.
Architecture of Red Fort
The Red Fort, which covers 225 acres of land, is octagonal in shape when viewed from the top. It is surrounded by a 2.5 km long, red-sandstone boundary walls, which gives it the name “Red Fort”. What makes it the perfect example of “Unity in Diversity” is its architectural style, which is a mixture of Mughal, Persian, Timurid and Hindu architectural styles.
The whole Red Fort Complex consists of Shah Jahan’s palace and the adjacent Salimgarh Fort, which was built in 1546. There are 2 key chambers in the fort, Diwan-i-‘Am (Hall of Audience) and Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audiences).
It was Diwan-i-Am, where the emperor would hear the complaints of his subjects, and it was Diwan-i-Khas, where Shah Jahan hosted his famous “Peacock Throne”, which also consisted the world’s largest diamond “Kohinoor”.
Prominent Structures within the Fort
- Rang Mahal: It, literally translates as the “Palace of Colours”, and was used to house the emperor’s wives and mistresses.
- Mumtaz Mahal: This palace, which translates to Jewel Palace, was one of the 6 palaces made facing towards the Yamuna river.
- Khas Mahal: This palace was used as the emperor’s private residence. It was mainly divided into 3 parts, namely, the chamber of telling beads, sitting room and sleeping chamber.
- Hira Mahal: This palace was built later on in 1842, and it is believed that Shah Jahan had hidden a diamond in this palace, which is not yet found and is said to be more precious than even the Kohinoor.
- Moti Masjid: The name translates to ‘Pearl Mosque’, it was built by Aurangzeb for his personal use.
- Hammam: These were the imperial baths, used by the emperors and surrounded by floral designs and white marbles.
Mughal palaces are famous for its grand gardens. The garden Hayat-Baksh-Bagh of the Red Fort, makes us feel heaven on earth. The water of Yamuna river was passed through a canal and turned to majestic fountains, known as ‘Nahr-i-Bahisht’ or ‘Stream of Paradise’.
The Fort also consists of 2 main gates, the Delhi Gate and the Lahori Gate. This Lahori gate opens at the Chatta Chowk, a covered street that used to house Delhi’s most talented jewellers, weavers, goldsmiths, etc. The Naubat khana is situated a few meters away from here, where musicians used to play music for the Emperor.
In 2019, five more museums were announced in the Red Fort. They were: the Shubhash Chandra Museum, Museum of 1857, Yaad-e-Jallian, Drishyakala and Azaadi Ke Deewane.
Important Past Events
The fort has seen its own share of events, like the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was put on trial by the Britishers in this same fort, before exiling him to Burma where he eventually died. But this was the same fort where our 1st Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the nation on our independence day and unfurled the Tricolour flag.
Since then, this ritual is being repeated each year on the independence day. After the terrorist attacks on 22 December 2000, the security around the fort is tightened on the Independence day.
National / International Importance
Other than being one of the best tourist places in Delhi, the Red Fort is being visited by thousands of tourists per day. Each evening, there is a light and music show in the fort, showcasing the history and culture of India. In the year of 2007, the UNESCO declared the Red Fort as a World Heritage site, for its cultural and national importance. The Red Fort went on to inspire many future palaces, all over northern India.
The Red Fort may not have been as young and fresh as it used to be at the time of the Mughal empire, but still, it is not just an ordinary fort, but a symbol. A symbol of power during the Mughal rule, a symbol of India’s Unity in Diversity; which was there, with us, when the British ruled India and was also there, celebrating with us, when India got its Independence.
This majestic beauty was described by the famous Persian poet, Amir Khusrow, as: “If heaven can be on the face of the earth, It is this, it is this, it is this.”