The legendary Red Fort, immortalised in the he mind space of billions and billions of people worldwide from their image of the 15th August Annual flag hoisting ceremony each year done on its ramparts is an indelible part of Indian history.
Shah Jahan was the greatest of archaeological contributors of the Mughal dynasty. His administrative tenure which lasted around three decades is considered, rightly so as the golden age in architecture and fine arts. Time may have faded away his military conquests, his war triumphs, his administrative landmarks but his architectural masterpieces have withstood the test of time Whether be it the testimony of love-the eternal Taj Mahal, or the political beacon-the Red Fort or the religious high point-the Jama Masjid and the Moto Masjid or the Imperial art-piece- the Peacock Throne, all stand apart in their beauty and regality to immortalise and etch his name on the sands of time.
The Red Fort built by Shah Jahan is an example of magnificence and architectural splendour, built to create awe in the beholder. The Red Fort was built in 1648 and is known for its attractive ornamentation and artistic splendour. Built entirely of red sandstone it stands on the West Bank of River Yamuna and contains within its singular edifice Rang Mahal, the Moti Mahal the Diwan-i- Aam, the Diwan-i-Khas etc.
The most awe-inspiring amongst this is the Diwan-i-Khas with its valuable stones, precious gems and silver lining which till today retains much of its glory, beauty and grace. Shah Jahan lorded over on this marble pavilion in his Peacock Throne to deliver his administrative duties and held the audience of his retinue of courtiers, nobles, ambassadors and distinguished State Visitors. In the midst of the central edifice, flows an artificial water channel made of white marble which lends to its enchantment and appeal. The ethereal beauty of this place is captured in Persian verse in one of its walls, which translated signifies
“If there is anywhere Paradise on earth
It is this, it is this, it is this.”
Apart from this major attraction, Red Fort also houses the Diwan-i-Aam, which the emperor used to hold the audience of the people of his State - the commoners and listen to them and deliver his judgement. This Hall of Public Audiences built with artistic perfection to provide all sorts of facilities required for diligent transaction of business.
The Moti Mahal/the Pearl Mosque is also singular in its beauty and elegance.
Shah Jahan, who was rightly proclaimed as ‘the Prince of Builders’ was the epitome of Mughal perfection. The Red Fort is one of the loftiest and mightiest gift of the Mughal architecture. The entire construction was done with the minutest attention to detail, rich in splendourand magnificence and a piece of architectural wonder.
Today, the Red Fort stands epitomized in the Indian consciousness as the best relic of India’s past and the background on which India celebrates and reaffirms its pledge with its freedom each year as the Indian Prime Minister unfurls the National Tricolor on Independence Day. Although time has ravaged much of its splendour yet the heritage remains and fills the audience with wonder and delight even today.