Red Fort : Delhi

Mughal ruler Shah Jahan, when in 1639, shifted the capital of his empire from Agra to Delhi in order to heighten the esteem of his regime and fulfill his motivated building plans, a new city named Shahjahanabad was founded which we today see as Delhi or more specifically Old Delhi. Along came the foundation of a fort called Red Fort in the northern side of the town. It took about nine years to complete the construction of the fort from 1639 to 1648 for the Mughal ruler. Red Fort was utilized as the residential purpose by the Mughal ruler but was also capital of Mughal rulers till the regime of Bahadur Shah Zafar. In 2007, UNESCO included the Red Fort in the list of World Heritage Site.

The feature of the fort that it was made up of large sand stone of red color gave it the name Red Fort. The fort was previously also known as ‘Qila-e- Mubarak’ or the Blessed Fort due to the fort being residence to the royal family. Spreading over an area of more than 250 acres of land, Red Fort was constructed with superior architecture than that of the Agra Fort by Shah Jahan. Red Fort held a significant focus in the time of Mughal Rule and is one of the best examples of apex of Mughal architecture and zeal for precision, grandeur and finesse reflected especially during the era of Shah Jahan. Red Fort witnessed many additions and alterations under the rule of coming Mughal rulers, mainly during the rule of Aurangzeb. After the ouster of Bahadur Shah Zafar in 1857, Red Fort saw further changes to its construction as were witnessed after the Independence of India. British used the Fort as Army Cantonment and even liberated India used it for the Army till early years of the 21st century, when Archaeological Survey of India was designated the task of restoration work of the Fort.

The Red Fort Delhi is a mesmerizing piece of architecture, lying on the banks of Yamuna River, whose water was used for the moat that surround the wall. The wall on north-eastern side is bordered by the Salimgarh Fort, built in 1546.

After the 1752 treaty, Marathas were the guardians of the Mughal regime in and around Delhi. However, after the loss of Marathas in the third battle of Panipat, Ahmad Shah Abdali raided Delhi in 1761. Marathas were conquered by the British forces in 1803, at Delhi in the second war between them, thus concluding the Mughal dynasty in the city and the power on the fort.

Bahadur Shah Zafar was the last ruler from Mughal to inhabit the Red Fort Delhi till 1857, when the uprising gave way for the British to occupy the fort. After the debacle of the rebellion of 1857, Bahadur Shah Zafar left the Red Fort in September but was forced to return for the trial in the fort in January 1858, which resulted in him getting exiled in the autumn 1858 from the fort.

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