In this edition on Monuments of India we up date you on the Red Fort, Delhi a historical monument from whose ramparts the first Prime Minister of India delivered his first speech in an independent India. A tradition kept alive even today, when on every Independence Day, August 15, the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from here. The Red Fort is a 17th century fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the walled city of Old Delhi (in present day Delhi) that served as the residence of the Imperial Family of India. It also served as the capital of the Mughals until 1857, when Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled by the British Indian government. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and work was completed in 1648 (10 years). The layout of the Red Fort was organised to retain and integrate this site with the Salimgarh Fort. The fortress palace was an important focal point of the medieval city of Shahjahanabad. The planning and aesthetics of the Red Fort represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which prevailed during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan. This Fort has had many developments added on after its construction by Emperor Shah Jahan. The significant phases of development were under Aurangzeb and later Mughal rulers. Important physical changes were carried out in the overall settings of the site after the Indian Mutiny in 1857. After Independence, the site experienced a few changes in terms of addition/alteration to the structures. During the British period the Fort was mainly used as a cantonment and even after Independence, a significant part of the Fort remained under the control of the Indian Army until the year 2003. The Red Fort is an attraction for tourists from around the world.
The Red Fort was the palace for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s new capital, Shahjahanabad, the seventh city in the Delhi site. He moved his capital here from Agra in a move designed to bring prestige to his reign, and to provide ample opportunity to apply his ambitious building schemes and interests.
The fort lies along the Yamuna River, which fed the moats that surround most of the wall. The wall at its north-eastern corner is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh Fort, a defense built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. The construction of the Red Fort began in 1638 and was completed by 1648.