Located in the heart of Old Delhi, the historic Lal Kila stands in its glory. It makes an important destination on your itinerary for a Delhi trip. Red Fort was an outcome of the capital shift of Mughals from Agra to Delhi. The construction of the red fort was commenced by Shah Jahan in 1639. The fort isn’t just a long-standing symbol of the splendor of the Mughal era. It has withstood the turbulent trials and disturbances of time—and attack—to be the setting of some of India’s most important historical events that shaped the country.
Here are 5 mind-blowing facts about Lal Kila that you probably never heard of –
1. Mughals place of residence with an inbuilt shopping complex
The construction of Red Fort was completed 10 years later, i.e. in 1648. Apart from being the political and ceremonial center for the Mughals, it was also used as a residential place. The royal family stayed on the premises of the royal red building. The name of Lal Kila is derived from the red sandstone that is used in its construction. The Mughal women had a nack for shopping. Hence, the Mughal architecture came up with an inbuilt shopping complex design. Today also, one can go and shop precious artifacts from the market built inside the red structure.
2. Lal Kila was originally white in color
When the Red Fort was first built, it was white in color. The material used for its construction was white limestone. It was after a few years that the white color started to chip off and the structure began to lose its serene look. Britishers took charge of it and got it repaired with red sandstone. So not only the name but the color of Lal Kila was changed too.
3. The precious Kohinoor diamond was a part of Lal Kila
You would be surprised to find out about this as this one is an absolute shocker. The most celebrated diamond Kohinoor was a part of Shah Jahan’s throne. It decorated his throne in Diwan-e-Khas, located inside the premises of Red Fort. Years later, when Persian invaders visited in India, it was stolen by Nadir Shah. Nevertheless, the royalty of the place still exists and can be felt when you visit the Red Fort.
4. Lal Kila is octagonal in shape
Spread over 256 acres, the marvelous Red Fort is built in the octagonal shape. When viewed from the top, the mind-blowing architectural grandeur of this fort reveals its octagonal shape.
5. The last Mughal ruler was tried in his own home
The last Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar, became a symbol of the 1857 rebellion against the British empire. He was tried by the British for treason in his own home – the Red Fort. The Trial was held in Diwan-i-Khas surrounded by the British court. They found the emperor guilty because of which he was stripped off his title. Later he was exiled to Rangoon (now called Myanmar). When the Mughal empire ended, the British then turned their attention to destroying it. They took away its valuables, demolished its elegant structures and gardens, made it into an army base, and hoisted their flag on it. They also showed it off to the visiting British royalty.
To preserve its heritage, the Red Fort has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. It’s also present on the back of India’s new 500 rupee note, issued post demonetization in late 2016. Save a day to visit this historical beauty located in Old Delhi. It will take you back to the aristocratic era of Indian history.