Red Fort

Quick Facts

Location Netaji Subhash Marg
Metro Station Chandni Chowk
Open Tue-Sun; Mondays closed
Timings Sunrise to Sunset
Entry Fee Rs10 (Indians), Rs250 (foreigners)
Photography Nil (Rs25 for video filming)
Sound & Light Shows 6pm onwards in English and Hindi
Ticket Rs80 (adults), Rs30 (children) 

Red Fort, also known as Lal Qila, is a 17th Century edifice of Mughal dynasty constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in Old Delhi. Referred as the Walled City where Mughal emperors used to reside, this Palace was chosen by the Emperor to establish his Capital naming it as Shahjahanbad. The emperor moved his capital from Agra with an ambitious plan of bringing fame and prestige to his kingdom with his desire to install architectural wonders during his reign. The same way Red Fort served as the Mughal capital until 1857 when Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar gave in to the British India Government, who was exiled him from this place.

It took about 10 years for the emperor to build Red Fort, the construction of which started in 1638 AD and ended in 1648 AD, adjacent to the River Yamuna, while the north-eastern corner wall is by the side of Salimgarh Fort built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546 AD as a measure of defence. The structure of Red Fort was improved and modified by the later Mughal rulers including Emperor Aurangzeb. Recently, this edifice was recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. The earlier structure built by Tomara King Anangpala now functions as Qulb Mosque.


Emperor Shah Jahan engaged two great architects Ustad Ahmed and Ustad Hamid for the construction of Red Fort. He himself supervised most of the times, when he decided to shift the Capital to Delhi from Agra, creating a new city called Shahjahanbad. This is the location where now the Old Delhi exists, the building carrying red sandstone structure extensively with its massive walls surrounding the fort, while Shah Jahan commenced the operation in the month of Muharram on 13th May of that year. Public called it Qila-i-Mubarak which means the Blessed Fort because the Royal family lived there. The boundary walls of the Fort were not constructed symmetrically in line with Mughal architecture, for the reason of aligning them with the Salimgarh Fort which already existed there. The architecture of Red Fort construction reflected the aesthetic and creative sense of Mughal architects, although in later times, Emperor Aurangzeb, successor to Shah Jahan, added the Moti Masjid in the Private Quarters area providing barbicans in front of the main gates, making the pathway to enter the Fort lengthier and unrealistic.

What to See

There are a number of attractions for a visitor to see in the Red Fort premises, foremost of them is the Khas Mahal. The Emperor’s private area situated south of Diwan-i-Khas, which is divided into different sections with rooms for worship, living and sleeping, all of them decorated with carved walls and well painted ceilings.

Rang Mahal comes next, which is the coloured palace situated again in the south of the premises with massive painting done over its interior, which has now faded over a period of time, kept as the residence of the Emperor’s Prime Wife. It is in this place where the Emperor used to dine every day. There’s an exquisitely done marble lotus beautifully laid in the centre of the floor, in which the water flow directed to this place would end up.

Still further south along the eastern wall side, lies the Museum of Archaeology in Mumtaz Mahal, which was the women’s quarters during the Emperor’s time. Here one can witness the relics of Mughal Era.

As one walks down from Red Fort, crossing the bridge, one would be amazed to see the much impressive Salimgarh built during 1540-1555 AD by Emperor Salim Shah. This was utilised by the Indian Army till recently, now the fortifications restored to their original shape.

Added attraction to Red Fort visitor in the evenings is the Light and Sound Show session rendered here, which gives the detailed history of the Red Fort and its creators. Entrance to the show is given by admission tickets available for a price at the Red Fort’s ticket kiosk.

Visitor’s Information

Address: Chandni Chowk, Netaji Subhash Rd, New Delhi, DL 110006

Phone: 011 2326 9410

How to Reach

Red Fort is prominently located in Old Delhi, just opposite the famous shopping area Chandni Chowk. To reach here, there are plenty of local transport vehicles, right from Bicycle rickshaws to Taxis, while the Metro rail would also take one to this spot.

Reaching Delhi is possible by all the three modes of transport: air, rail and road with Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi Railway Station and two popular bus stands taking people from all parts of the country, from which locations auto rickshaw and taxi services are available through Pre Paid regulated kiosks, while Red Fort has the GPS coordinates of 28.655891 and 77.241032.


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