Nationalistic spirit fills the street every year during the grand Republic Day Parade on 26th January every year. Though there is always a festive atmosphere in Chandni Chowk but the real spirit can be seen during the festivals of Dussehra, Id-ul-fitr, Sikh, Jain and Christian festivals.


Red Fort, Jama Masjid, St. Stephens Church, Salimgarh Fort, St James Church and Rajghat.

The Ghantewala Halwai, Natraj's Dahi Bhalle, Kanwarji Bhagirathmal Dalbhajiwallah, Bikaner Sweet Shop, Chaatwallah, Gianiji ka falooda, Karim Hotel, food stalls near Jama Masjid, Paranthewali gali, Natraj hotel, Chor Bizarre of Broadway Hotel, Daryaganj's Flora, Peshwari, Moti Mahal Restaurant, Worker's canteen of Inter-State Bus terminal and many roadside food stalls are there for refreshment.

Chatta Chowk (traditional and contemporary jewelry and handicrafts), Kinari Bazaar (curios, souvenirs, silver and glass bead jewelry), Dariba Kalan (Jeweler's street), Nai Sarak (books), Chor bazaar (electronic goods) and Daryaganj book market (only on Sunday).

Dariba

Dariba Kalan


















Red Fort, Jama Masjid, St. Stephens Church, Salimgarh Fort, St James Church and Rajghat.

The Ghantewala Halwai, Natraj's Dahi Bhalle, Kanwarji Bhagirathmal Dalbhajiwallah, Bikaner Sweet Shop, Chaatwallah, Gianiji ka falooda, Karim Hotel, food stalls near Jama Masjid, Paranthewali gali, Natraj hotel, Chor Bizarre of Broadway Hotel, Daryaganj's Flora, Peshwari, Moti Mahal Restaurant, Worker's canteen of Inter-State Bus terminal and many roadside food stalls are there for refreshment.

Chatta Chowk (traditional and contemporary jewelry and handicrafts), Kinari Bazaar (curios, souvenirs, silver and glass bead jewelry), Dariba Kalan (Jeweler's street), Nai Sarak (books), Chor bazaar (electronic goods) and Daryaganj book market (only on Sunday).

Fatehpuri Masjid  













Time required for sightseeing: 30 minutes




All Muslim festivals especially Id-ul-Fitr and Id-ul-Zuha are celebrated with great enthusiasm and are the appropriate time to visit the mosque to experience the faith and love of the devotees






Jama Masjid

The Masjid-i Jahan, commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, and completed in the year 1656 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India. The name Jahān-Numā comes from Persianmeaning "World-reflecting". It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk.



Khari Baoli























Shahjahanabad






It is approximately shaped like a quarter circle, with the Red Fort as the focal point. The old city was surrounded by a wall enclosing about 1500 acres, with several gates:
1. Nigambodh Gate:North/East, leading to historic Nigambodh ghat on Jamuna
2. Kashmiri Gate: North
3. Mori Gate: North
4. Kabuli gate: West
5. Lahori gate: West
6. Ajmeri Gate: South East, leading to Ghaziuddin Khan's Madrassa and Connaught Place, a focal point in New Delhi.
7. Turkman Gate: South East, close to some pre-Shahjahan remains which got enclosed within the walls, including the tomb of Hazrat Shah Turkman Bayabani.
8. Delhi Gate: South leading to Feroz Shah Kotla and what was then older habitation of Delhi then. The surrounding walls, 12 feet wide and 26 feet tall, originally of mud, were replaced by red stone in 1657. In the Mughal period, the gates were kept locked at night. The walls have now largely disappeared, but most of the gates are still present. The township of old Delhi is still identifiable in a satellite image because of density of houses. The famous Khooni Darwaza south of Delhi Gate, was just outside the walled city, it was originally constructed by Sher Shah Suri.


The main street, now termed Chandani Chowk, runs from the Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid. Originally a canal ran through the middle of the street. North of the street, there is the mansion of Begum Samru, now called Bhagirath Palace. South is the street is Dariba, a dense residential area, beyond which is Jama Masjid. Daryaganj is a section that used to border the river at Rajghat and Zeenat-ul-Masajid.

The language Urdu emerged from the Urdu Bazar section of Old Delhi.
Its main arteries are

Netaji Subhash Marg/Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg leading to India Gate(North South)

Chandni Chowk/Khari Bawli Road (East-West)

Old Delhi is approximately bounded by these modern roads (Google map)

Gokhle Marg (North)
Mahatma Gandhi Marg road East)
Shraddhananda Road West)
Jawajarlal Nehru Marg south)

The New Delhi originally referred to the the newer sections of Delhi (sometimes termed Lutyens' Delhi)developed during the British administration byEdward Lutyens in 1929 and officially inaugurated in 1931.


The Red Fort

The Red Fort usually transcribed into English as Lal Qil'ah or Lal Qila) is a 15th century fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan in the walled city of Old Delhi (in present day Delhi, India). It served as the capital of the Mughals until 1857, when Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled by the British Indian government. The British used it as a military camp until India was made independent in 1947. It is now a popular tourist site, as well as a powerful symbol of India's sovereignty: the Prime Minister of India raises the flag of India on the rampants of the Lahori Gate of the fort complex every year on Independence Day. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
1600-1700

Chandni Chowk
Dariba
Fatehpuri Masjid
Jama Masjid
Khari Baoli
Shahjahanabad
The Red Fort

Chandni Chowk

Location: The famous street of Chandni Chowk is just opposite the Lahore Gate of Red Fort.
Famous as: The oldest and most historic street of the capital.
Time to Visit: Open on all days, avoid Sundays
Preferred Timings: 10.00 am to 4.00 pm
Admission Fee: Free and open to all
Photography charges: nil
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this monument, which is located in Old Delhi, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail.
Nearest Railway Station: Old Delhi Railway Station
Nearest Metro Station: Delhi Main
Functional Metro Station: Delhi Main
Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport
Time required for sightseeing: 2 hours
Chandni Chowk, or 'Moonlight Square' is the most famous and historic street of Delhi, built around 300 years ago when the walled city of Shahjahanabad was established in the 17th century. The 'Trafalgar Square' of Delhi, Chandni Chowk Delhi is widely known for its century old heritage and meeting point of different cultures and traditions over the centuries. At present the street is a busy thoroughfare with its traditional framework of several 'Kuchas and Katras' (alleys) housing traditional Havelis, innumerable places of worship, popular specialized markets and century-old eating joints, known for their specialties not only in the capital but worldwide.
In a way the street reflects the national unity, secularism and diversity of India as it houses many important places of worship of major religions of the world. From Jain temple (Jainism) to Gauri Shankar temple(Hinduism) to Gurdwara Sisganj (Sikhism) and from Baptist Church (Christianity) to Sunehri Masjid and Fatehpuri Masjid (Islam), the street has many other small places of worship and that too within the two kilometers stretch of the street. The street takes a new color and festive atmosphere every time with the enthusiastic involvement of all the people of the area during the celebration of main festivals of different religions. It again unites the whole country and performs its original function of processional route on Republic Day when the grand parade passes through this historic street.
Jahanara Begum, the eldest daughter of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan laid this historic street with a sarai, beautiful gardens and other palatial buildings surrounding it. The street of Chandni Chowk originally stretched from Lahore Gate of Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid, and was divided into four parts. The first part was known as Urdu bazaar, which extended from the present Jain temple to Dariba Kalan. The second part stretched from Dariba Kalan to Kotwali (next to Gurdwara Sisganj) and was known as Phool Mandi (flower market) and later Tripolia. From Kotwali till the present Town Hall, the area was the third part of the street and was known as Jouhari bazaar (Jewelers' market) or Ashrafi bazaar. The fourth part was known as Chandni Chowk, which extended from Jouhari bazaar till the Fatehpuri Masjid. There was an octagonal pool in this part of the street where the water of the pool reflected the moonlight and flowed into the canal that ran through the whole street. Thus the whole street came to be known as Chandni Chowk or Moonlight Square. Lined with row of banyan and papal trees on the both sides, the canal was known as Faiz Nahar and brought water from Najafgarh pond till the pavilions, gardens and palaces of Red Fort that served the purpose of drinking as well as irrigation. During the British regime, the street underwent major changes as they filled the canal, constructing a 110 feet high clock tower at the site of the pool (the tower fell in 1951) and extended the area of the market.
Since the street has been laid, Chandni Chowk has been witness to several important events of history, being at the heart of Delhi. It saw the grand processions of Mughal emperors in their royal glory; the tyranny of later fanatic emperors like Aurangzeb who ordered the handcuffing of his elder brother Dara Shikoh and killing of Guru Tegh Bahadur and his disciples; the Persian invader Nadir Shah's brutal killing and looting of citizens of the walled city; the invasion and merciless plundering of the city and especially the street by Ahmad Shah Abdali and later by the Marathas, Rohillas and Jats; the hanging of many nationalists by the British near Kotwali after the 1857 war and their continuing tyranny; the National movement under important nationalist leaders and India finally becoming Republic on 26th January 1950.
Special Attraction/ Event
Nearby Tourist Attractions:
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Location: The street next to the Esplanade Road before just before Gurdwara Sisganj on the Chandni Chowk road.
Famous as: Street of the Incomparable Pearl/ Jewelers' street
Time to visit: Open on all days, except on Sunday
Preferred Timings: 11.30 am to 8.00 pm
Admission Fees: Free and open to all
Photography charges: nil
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this market, or they can hire auto-rickshaws, taxis and metro rail.
Nearest Railway Station: Old Delhi Railway Station
Nearest Metro Station: Delhi Main
Functional Metro Station: Delhi Main
Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport
Time required for sightseeing: About 35 minutes
After crossing the Esplanade Road, a left turn just before Gurdwara Sisganj on the Chandni Chowk road will take to the 'Street of the Incomparable Pearl', Dariba Kalan. The street derives its name from a Persian phrase 'Dur e be baha', meaning 'pearl without compare' because since the period of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the street used to be the popular market of precious stones, gems, gold and silver jewelry. Till today it is known as jewelers' street although most of shops in the street now deal in silver and costume jewelry. It is a very good market for purchasing new or old silver jewelry, because of the wide choice available. Apart from jewelry, some shops of the market also deal in authentic itra, a special type of perfume and attar and claim to be in the trade from the early 19th century. As far as history is concerned, the street witnessed the bloody massacre of 1739, ordered by the cruel invader Nadir Shah. It was here that the soldiers of the Persian army killed many innocent citizens of Delhi and looted the precious gem stones and gold jewelry stored in the shops at Dariba Kalan.
Nearby Tourist Attractions:
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Location: At the western end of the famous street of old Delhi, Chandni Chowk
Time to visit: Open on all days
Preferred Timings: Sunrise to sunset
Admission Fee: Free and open to all
Photography charges: nil
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this sacred monument, which is located at the terminal point of Chandni Chowk, the heart of the old Delhi, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis
Nearest Railway Station: Old Delhi Railway Station
Nearest Metro Station: Delhi Main
Functional Metro Station: Delhi Main
Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport
Fatehpuri Masjid located at the western end of the oldest street of Delhi, Chandni Chowk, Fatehpuri Masjid was built in 1650 by Fatehpuri Begum, one of Shah Jahan's wives. The mosque is built with red sandstone on a large scale and is surmounted by a single dome. Flanked by towering minarets, the Fatehpuri mosque has a traditional design with the prayer hall having seven-arched openings. Among the seven arches, the central arch is the highest. The Fatehpuri mosque in Delhi has single and double-storeyed apartments on the sides and some of its endowments were used as a school for poor students. The British auctioned some parts of the mosque after the 1857 war to a Hindu family. Later in 1877 it was restored to the Muslims at the Delhi Darbar when the British allowed the Muslims back in Old Delhi. Though Fatehpuri Masjid was an important mosque in Old Delhi but architecturally the mosque is not a very fine example of Mughal architecture. The materials used in the mosque are of poor quality. The proportion of the mosque is also not as perfect as that of the Jama Masjid. If one notices, the dome especially is not in proportion to the building and the overall effect is also not very pleasing. However, different parts of the mosque individually are very beautiful.
Special Attraction/Annual Event:
Nearby Tourist Attractions:Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Salimgarh Fort, Kashmeri Gate, St James Church, Dara Shikoh Library, Lothian Cemetery, and Rajghat
Nearby Places to Eat:Karim Hotel, Ghantewala sweet shop, food stalls near Jama Masjid, Paranthewali Gali, Natraj hotel, Chor Bizarre of Broadway Hotel, Daryaganj's Flora, Peshwari, Moti Mahal Restaurant, Worker's canteen of Inter-State Bus terminal and many roadside food stalls are there for refreshment.
Nearby Shopping Venues:Chandni Chowk (curios, souvenirs, silver and glass bead jewelry), Nai Sarak (books), Chor bazaar (electronic goods), Daryaganj book market (on Sunday) and Chatta Chowk in Red Fort (traditional and contemporary jewelry and handicrafts)


The later name, Jami Masjid, is a reference to the weekly Friday noon congregation prayers of Muslims, Jummah, which are usually done at a mosque, the "congregational mosque" or "jāmi' masjid". The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers. The mosque also houses several relics in a closet in the north gate, including an antique copy of the Qur'an written on deer skin.


Construction


The foundation of the historic Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) was laid on a hillock in Shahjahanabad by fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shahjahan, on Friday the October 6, 1650 AD, (10th Shawwal 1060 AH). The mosque was the result of the efforts of over 5,000 workers, over a period of six years.[1]. The cost incurred on the construction in those times was 10 lakh (1 million) Rupees, and it was same Emperor who also built the who built the Taj Mahal, at Agra and the Red Fort, which stands across the Jama Masjid, which was finally ready in 1656 AD (1066 AH), complete with three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble.


Shah Jahan built several important mosques in Delhi, Agra, Ajmer and Lahore. The Jama Masjid's floorplan is very similar to the Jama Masjid, Fatehpur Sikri near Agra, but the Jamia Masjid is the bigger and more imposing of the two. Its majesty is further enhanced because of the high ground that he selected for building this mosque. The architecture and design of the slightly larger Badshahi Mosque of Lahore built by Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb in 1673 is closely related to the Jamia Masjid in Delhi.


Architecture


The courtyard of the mosque can be reached from the east, north and south by three flights of steps, all built of red sandstone. The northern gate of the mosque has 39 steps. The southern side of the mosque has 33 steps. The eastern gate of the mosque was the royal entrance and it has 35 steps. These steps used to house food stalls, shops and street entertainers. In the evening, the eastern side of the mosque used to be converted into a bazaarfor poultry and birds in general. Prior to the 1857 War of Indian Independence, there was a madrassah near the southern side of the mosque, which was pulled down after the mutiny.The mosque faces west. Its three sides are covered with open arched colonnades, each having a lofty tower-like gateway in the centre. The mosque is about 261 feet (80 m) long and 90 feet (27 m) wide, and its roof is covered with three domes with alternate stripes of black and white marble, with its topmost parts covered with gold. Two lofty minarets, 130 feet (41 m) high, and containing 130 steps, longitudinally striped with white marble and red sandstone, flank the domes on either side. The minarets are divided by three projecting galleries and are surmounted by open twelve-sided domed pavilions. On the back of the mosque, there are four small minarets crowned like those in the front.


Under the domes of the mosque, is a hall with seven arched entrances facing the west and the walls of the mosque, up to the height of the waist, are covered with marble. Beyond this is a prayer hall, which is about 61 meters X 27.5 meters, with eleven arched entrances, of which the centre arch is wide and lofty, and in the form of a massive gateway, with slim minarets in each corner, with the usual octagonal pavilion surmounting it. Over these arched entrances there are tablets of white marble, four feet (1.2 m) long and 2.5 feet (760 mm) wide, inlaid with inscriptions in black marble. These inscriptions give the history of the building of the mosque, and glorify the reign and virtues of Shah Jahan. The slab over the centre arch contains simply the words "The Guide!". The mosque stands on a platform of about five feet (1.5 m) from the pavement of the terrace, and three flight of steps lead to the interior of the mosque from the east, north, and the south. The floor of the mosque is covered with white and black marble ornamented to imitate the Muslim prayer mat; a thin black marble border is marked for the worshippers, which is three feet long and 1 ½ feet wide. In total there are 899 such spaces marked in the floor of the mosque. The back of the mosque is cased over to the height of the rock on which the mosque stands with large hewn stones.
Location: On the Khari Baoli Road after crossing the Fatehpuri Masjid on the western end of the main Chandni Chowk Road.
Famous as: Asia's largest wholesale spice market
Open: On all days, except on Sunday
Preferred timings: 11.30 am to 6.00 pm
Admission: Free and open to all.
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this market, or they can hire auto-rickshaws, taxis and metro rail.
Photography charges: nil
Nearest Railway Station: Old Delhi Railway Station
Nearest Metro Station: Delhi Main
Functional Metro Station: Delhi Main
Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport
Time required for sightseeing: 30 minutes
Khari Baolis the Asia's largest wholesale spice market. It can be reached by taking the Khari Baoli road (towards western direction) after crossing the Fatehpuri Masjid on the western end of the main Chandni Chowk Road.
It was during Shah Jahan's reign that the Khari Baoli, (the stepped well) was constructed along with a fortified gateway on its western end popularly known as Lahori Gate. The gateway was so named because a road through it led to the city of Lahore now in Pakistan. However, today there is no trace of either the Baoli or the gateway here.
At present, the street of Khari Baoli has a congested and busy market with shops on both sides selling spices, nuts and herbs. The visitor will have a unique experience here viewing the whole process of market of loading, carrying or unloading of huge sacks of items from manual trolleys, shopkeepers busy in dealing with the customers, customers selecting large quantities of items and weary laborers resting and chatting aloud. The overall appearance seems to be very chaotic but in reality it is very well managed if kept in consideration the fact that such a large amount of trading of small items are carried out daily.


History


The market came up around, the Fatehpuri Masjid, which was built in 1650 by Fatehpuri Begum, one of Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan's wives. It was during his reign that the Khari Baoli, with Baoli, meaning the step well, and Khari and Khara meaning Salty, thus it was salty water stepwell used for animals and for bathing. It was constructed along with a fortified gateway on its western end popularly known as Lahori Gate, one of the 14 gates that Fortified city of Delhi or Shahjahanabad, named so because a road through it led to the city of Lahore, now in Pakistan. However, today there is no trace of either the Baoli or the gateway here, which now lies buried under the main road of the market
Old Delhi, walled city of Delhi, was founded as Shahjahanabad by Indian Emperor Shahjahan in 1639. It remained the capital of the Mughals until the end of the Mughal dynasty. It was once filled with mansions of nobles and members of the royal court, along with elegant mosques and gardens. Today, despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, it still serves as the symbolic heart of metropolitan Delhi.
Shahjehabanad is one of the renowned historical sites of Delhi, which is a splendid place for all kinds of tourists. The Mughal association of Shahjehabanad makes it even more interesting. Those who are overwhelmed about the history of India, will surely love to know about Shahjehabanad and it wonderful tales. It has been gathered from the history of Shahjehabanad, that it was the 7th city of Delhi. The notable founder of Shahjehabanad was Shah Jahan, the grandson of Humayun. Shah Jahan was the person, who was master mind behind the construction of Taj Mahal, one of the 7 wonders of the world. He was the 5th Mughal emperor, who moved the capital of his empire from Agra to Shahjehabanad. In Shahjehabanad, numerous magnificent palaces, forts and other structures were built. These attractions of Shahjehabanad exist presently and are very popular among tourists. In the area people can visit the impressive Jama Masjid or the Red Fort, which are excellent specimens of the brilliant architecture the 17th century. The winding lanes of Chandini Chowk and its colorful shops are other must-see places of Shahjehabanad. In modern times the area of Shahjehabanad has been occupied by Old Delhi, a popular part of the city.
Walls And Gates


Streets And Neighbourhoods


History


Mughal Emperor Shahjahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and work was completed in 1648. [2] The Red Fort was originally referred to as "Qila-i-Mubarak" (the blessed fort), because it was the residence of the royal family. The layout of the Red Fort was organised to retain and integrate this site with the Salimgarh Fort. The fortress palace is an important focal point of the medieval city of Shahjahanabad. The planning and aesthetics of the Red Fort represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which prevailed during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan. This Fort has had many developments added on after its construction by Emperor Shahjahan. The significant phases of development were under Aurangzeb and later Mughal rulers. Important physical changes were carried out in the overall settings of the site after the First War of Independence during British Rule in 1857. After Independence, the site experienced a few changes in terms of addition/alteration to the structures. During the British period the Fort was mainly used as a cantonment and even after Independence, a significant part of the Fort remained under the control of the Indian Army until the year 2003.


The Red Fort was the palace for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's new capital, Shahjahanabad, the seventh greatcity in the Delhi site. He moved his capital from Agra in a move designed to bring prestige to his reign, and to provide ample opportunity to apply his ambitious building schemes and interests.


The fort lies along the Yamuna River, which fed the moats that surround most of the wall. The wall at its north-eastern corner is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh Fort, a defense built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546.The construction of the Red Fort began in 1638 and was completed by 1648.


On 11 March 1783, Sikhs briefly entered Red Fort in Delhi and occupied the Diwan-i-Am. The city was essentially surrendered by the Mughal wazir in cahoots with his Sikh Allies. This task was carried out under the command of the Sardar Baghel Singh Dhaliwal of the Karor Singhia misl.


The last Mughal emperor to occupy the fort was Bahadur Shah II "Zafar". Despite being the`seat of Mughal power and its defensive capabilities, the Red Fort was not defended during the 1857 uprising against the British. After the failure of the 1857 rebellion, Zafar left the fort on 17 September. He returned to Red Fort as a prisoner of the British. Zafar was tried on in a trial starting on 27 January 1858, and was exiled on 7 October.


On 15 August 1947, India became an independent nation. This was marked by Jawahar Lal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India, unveiling the flag of independent India on 15 August 1947. This practice of unfurling the national flag with a speech by the Prime Minister on Independence Day continues to this day. Just after World War II, the Red Fort had been the scene of the famous trial of the Indian National Army.


Architectural Design


Red Fort showcases the very high level of art form and ornamental work. The art work in the Fort is a synthesis of Persian, European and Indian art which resulted in the development of unique Shahjahani style which is very rich in form, expression and colour. Red Fort, Delhi is one of the important building complexes of India which encapsulates a long period of Indian history and its arts. Its significance has transcended time and space. It is relevant as a symbol of architectural brilliance and power. Even before its notification as a monument of national importance in the year 1913, efforts were made to preserve and conserve the Red Fort, for posterity.


The walls of the fort are smoothly dressed, articulated by heavy string-courses along the upper section. They open at two major gates, the Delhi and theLahore gates. The Lahore Gate is the main entrance; it leads to a long covered bazar street, the Chatta Chowk, whose walls are lined with stalls for shops. The Chatta Chowk leads to a large open space where it crosses the large north-south street that was originally the division between the fort's military functions, to its west, and the palaces, to its east. The southern end of this street is the Delhi Gate.


Important Building Inside Red Fort


Diwan-i-Aam


Beyond this gate is another, larger open space, which originally served as the courtyard of the Diwan-i-Aam, the large pavilion for public imperial audiences with an ornate throne-balcony (jharokha) for the emperor. The columns were painted in gold and there was a gold and silver railing separating the throne from the public.


Diwan-i-Khas


The Diwan-i-Khas is a pavillon clad completely in marble, the pillars decorated with floral carvings and inlay work with semi-precious stones.


Nahr-i-Behisht


The imperial private apartments lie behind the throne. The apartments consist of a row of pavilions that sits on a raised platform along the eastern edge of the fort, looking out onto the river Yamuna. The pavilions are connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht, or the "Stream of Paradise", that runs through the center of each pavilion. The water is drawn from the river Yamuna, from a tower, the Shah Burj, at the northeastern corner of the fort. The palace is designed as an imitation of paradise as it is described in the Koran; a couplet repeatedly inscribed in the palace reads, "If there be a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here". The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals in its architectural elements the Hindu influences typical of Mughal building. The palace complex of the Red Fort is counted among the best examples of the Mughal style.


Zenana


The two southernmost pavilions of the palace are zenanas, or women's quarters: the Mumtaz Mahal (now a museum), and the larger, lavish Rang Mahal, which has been famous for its gilded, decorated ceiling and marble pool, fed by the Nahr-i-Behisht.


Moti Masjid


To the west of the hammam is the Moti Masjid, the Pearl Mosque. This was a later addition, built in 1659 as a private mosque for Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan's successor. It is a small, three-domed mosque in carved white marble, with a three-arched screen which steps down to the courtyard.


Hayat Bakhsh Bagh


To its north lies a large formal garden, the Hayat Bakhsh Bagh, or "Life-Bestowing Garden", which is cut through by two bisecting channels of water. A pavilion stands at either end of the north-south channel, and a third, built in 1842 by the last emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, stands at the center of the pool where the two channels meet.


The Fort Today


The Red Fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Old Delhi, attracting thousands of visitors every year. The fort is also the site from which the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation on 15 August, the day India achieved independence from the British. It also happens to be the largest monument in Old Delhi.


At one point in time, more than 3,000 people lived within the premises of the Delhi Fort complex. But after the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the fort was captured by Britain and the residential palaces destroyed. It was made the headquarters of the British Indian Army. Immediately after the mutiny,Bahadur Shah Zafar was tried at the Red Fort. It was also here in November 1945, that the most famous courts-martial of three officers of the Indian National Army were held. After India gained independence in 1947, the Indian Army took control over the fort. In December 2003, the Indian Army handed the fort over to the Indian tourist authorities.


Today, a sound and light show describing Mughal history is a tourist attraction in the evenings. The general condition of the major architectural features is mixed. None of the water features, which are extensive, contain water. Some of the buildings are in fairly good condition and have their decorative elements undisturbed. In others, the marble inlay flowers have been removed by looters and vandals. The tea house, though not in its historical state, is a functioning restaurant. The mosque and hamam are closed to the public, though one can catch peeks through the glass windows or marble lattice work. Walkways are left mostly in a crumbling state. Public toilets are available at the entrance and inside the park, but some are quite unsanitary.


The entrance through the Lahore Gate leads to a retail mall with jewelry and crafts stores. There is a museum of "blood paintings" depicting young Indian martyrs of the 20th century along with the story of their martyrdom. There is also an archaeological museum and an Indian war memorial museum.


The fort was the site of a December 2000 attack by terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba which killed two soldiers and one civilian in what was described in the media as an attempt to derail the India-Pakistan peace process in Kashmir.
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Last Updated : 23 Mar,2014