Red Fort Complex

From the World Heritage Inscription:

The Red Fort Complex was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad – the new capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The private apartments consist of a row of pavilions connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht (Stream of Paradise). The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement. The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions The Red Fort’s innovative planning and architectural style, including the garden design, strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield.

The Red Fort Complex is a sprawling fortress that is in the Old Delhi section of Delhi.

Constructed in 1648 by the 5th Mogul Emperor, it has served an important role in Indian history for almost 400 years.

The structure was originally commissioned when the Mogul Emperor moved the imperial capital from Agra to Delhi. It was used by Mogul kings until 1858 when the British removed them during the Indian Revolt.

The Red Fort continued to be used as an administrative center during Britsh Rule. On On 15 August 1947, India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, raised the Indian flag on the fort, signifying an independent India.

To this day, the prime minister raises the Indian flag on the fort every August 15.

Visiting the fort is not difficult. It is one of the most popular attractions in Delhi. Every tour guide will know the location and any taxi driver will be able to take you there.

I visited on a Sunday and it was very crowded. It is a popular attraction for locals, so expect crowds on most days.

Entry fees for foreigners is 250 rupees.

Nearby, you can also visit the Jamma Masjid, which is a mosque built by the same Mogul Emperor who built the Red Fort.

You will also find many similarities between the Red Fort in Delhi and the Agra Fort, as they were built close together in time.


Red Fort Complex

The Red Fort Complex is one of the cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. This military fortification site was inscribed into the UNESCO list in 2007. This cultural UNESCO site is of cultural significance to India because it is symbolic of how the Mughal architecture flourished. At the same time, the complex is the best example of how the Islamic, Persian, Hindu, and Timurid traditions are combined as one.

The Red Fort Complex was constructed in the mid-17th century. It served as the symbol of power for Emperor Shahjahan. It is categorized by UNESCO as a secular structure and military fortification.

About the Red Fort Complex

Red Fort Complex

The Red Fort Complex is a historic fort located within the city of Delhi in India. It served as the main residence for all the Emperors that ruled during the Mughal dynasty. The dynasty ruled for 200 years, which ended in 1857. The fort is located within the heart of Delhi. It is also home to several museums.

Aside from serving as residence to the emperors in India, the Red Fort Complex became the political and ceremonial center of the Mughal state. There were several important events held here that impacted the rest of the region.

It was the 5th Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, who commissioned for this complex to be built in 1639. It served as his palace during his reign. The name of the fort was derived from the massive walls made of red sandstone. The imperial residence consisted of numerous rows of pavilions that are connected to each other via a water channel. The fort complex was believed to be the center of Mughal creativity during the rule of Shah Jahan. The entire palace followed the Islamic prototype in terms of architecture; however, each of the pavilions had unique architectural elements that represent a fusion with other traditions such as Persian and Timurid.

There are several important structures and components that make up this massive complex. They are listed below:

  • Lahori Gate
  • Delhi Gate
  • Chhatta Chowk
  • Naubat Khana
  • Diwan-i-Aam
  • Rang Mahal
  • Hammam
  • Baoli
  • Princes’ quarter
  • Moti Masjid
  • Mumtaz Mahal, etc.

To this day, the Red Fort Complex remains an important part of the civic and political activity in India. In fact, during the annual celebration of Independence Day in India, the Prime Minister would hoist the Indian flag and deliver a national speech from the Red Fort. It is the main feature of the UNESCO site Red Fort Complex that was added to the list in 2007.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

Gary Arndt
Gary Arndt

Gary began traveling the world in 2007. His travels have taken him to over 200 countries and territories and 400 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

He is a 3x Lowell Thomas Award winner and a 3x North American Travel Photographer of the Year.