Wednesday, March 31, 2010

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

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City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

The necessary ruin

[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

There is nothing inside the imposing ramparts of Red Fort, or Lal Quila, except a few gardens, a couple of crumbling halls, and two museums with spotty paintings and antique knives.

Spread within 2.4 kms, its tour is exhausting and occasionally frustrating –some pavallions are barricaded, some are locked and some later structures are downright ugly. A bazaar inside the principal entrance – Lahori Gate - is a cheap tourist trap selling hippie necklaces and Taj Mahal keepsakes. Why then is the Red Fort necessary?

Noisy and touristy, it was the imperial court of the Mughals. Built in the 17th century by emperor Shah Jahan after he moved his capital from Agra to Delhi, the fort was where the Mughals lived out the rest of their dynasty. The best of Mughal culture - poetry, music and cuisine - was created here. This complex had the wealth of the world. There were the chandeliers, the diamonds, the gold-painted walls, the gold-plated railings, the heavy curtains and the legendary peacock throne.

All that has gone. Persia’s Nadir Shah took the peacock throne.The locals stole the gold and silver from the ceilings. The rest was destroyed by the vengeful British, after they replaced Mughals as India’s rulers. The beautiful pavilions were demolished and military garrisons were built.

Following independence, the Indians, strangely, showed more interest in the British barracks than the Mughal ruins. Wall motifs faded, stone jaalis broke. A canal that carried water through the halls to help the royals survive the Delhi heat went dry.

Yet you must wander in this desolation. There are very few monuments like Red Fort that encapsulate the essence of an entire historic timeline within their walls. Edward Gibbon sat amid the Roman ruins and was inspired to write his majestic The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Who knows what Red Fort may make you do.

Where Opposite Chandni Chowk nearest Metro Stop Chandni Chowk

The Red Fort moment

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

A crowd-puller

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

Where the emperor sat

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

Arched appeal

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

School project

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

The canal is dry

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

Lost splendour

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

Glimpses of beauty

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

Lost in the complex

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

Once it was living

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

The locked mosque

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

The British contribution

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

Exhausted

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

Sleep well

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

Happy family

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

Looks familiar?

Mobile Red Fort

Bird's view

Bird of Prey

View from the local train

Train View

McFort

I’m Lovin' It

The Red Fort people

City Landmark – Red Fort, Old Delhi

2 comments:

Sumanta Roy said...

Very informative Mayank. Its a great place to visit. Each time I visit Red Fort and when I return I always turn back and keep watching it till it goes out of my sight.

Ten Reasons to go to RedFort:-

1. Feel patriotic going about Red Fort. Its good to tell others that you visited Red Fort. They will appreciate it especially foreigners.

2. Go back to "Regression" and see if you can relate to any Mughal Badshah. Who stops you to dream anyways?

3. Get freindly with Foreigners. They will like it. Seeing the world coming to visit Red Fort will make you proud.

4. The sound and light show describing Mughal history is simply mind blowing.

5. Talk to the walls and monuments, they will respond you.

6. Dont u really want to visit the Largest Monument of India? Come on, talk about it.

7. Dont you want to see the place where your favourite bollywood blockbusters were shot? e.g Fanna, Lakhsya, Delhi 6 etc.

8. Go and get red and fortified at Red-Fort.

9. Its not just Red but Red Hot in summer..go and catch some glimpses and feel it.

10. Its open from Sunshine to Sunset so choose your favourite time and get set go!

Janit said...

Nice post man