Saturday, April 2, 2011

Red Fort Delhi.

Red Fort Delhi.
the largest of Old Delhi's monuments is Lal Quila or Red Fort whose thick red sandstone walls, bulging with turrets and bastions, have withstood the vagaries of time and nature. The Lal Quila rises above a wide dry moat in the northeast corner of the original city of Shahjahanabad. Its walls extend from two kilometers and vary in height from 18 metres on the river side to 33 metres on the city side. Mughal Emperor Shahjahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and work was completed in 1648. The fort contains all the expected trappings of the centre of Mughal government: halls of public and private audience, domed and arched marble palaces, plush private apartments, a mosque and elaborately designed gardens. Even today, the fort remains an impressive testimony to Mughal grandeur, despite being attacked by the Persian Emperor Nadir Shah in 1739 and by the British soldiers during the war of independence in 1857.
Mughal Emperor Shahjahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and work was completed in 1648. The fort contains all the expected trappings of the centre of Mughal government: halls of public and private audience, domed and arched marble palaces, plush private apartments, a mosque and elaborately designed gardens. Even today, the fort remains an impressive testimony to Mughal grandeur, despite being attacked by the Persian Emperor Nadir Shah in 1739 and by the British soldiers during the war of independence in 1857.
Entrance to the fort is through the imposing Lahore Gate, which takes its name from the fact that it faces Lahore, now in Pakistan. This gate has a special significance for India since the first war of independence and important speeches have been made here by freedom fighters and national leaders of India. 
The main entrance opens on to the Chatta Chowk, a covered street flanked with arched cells that used to house Delhi's most talented jewellers, carpet makers, weavers and goldsmiths. This arcade was also known as the Meena Bazaar, the shopping centre for the ladies of the court. Just beyond the Chhata Chowk is the heart of the fort called Naubat Khana or the Drum House. The musicians used to play for the emperor from the Naubat Khana and the arrival of princes and royalty was heralded from here. 
                                       



 
The Fort also houses the Diwan-i-Am or the Hall of Public Audiences where the Emperor would sit and hear complaints of the common folks. His alcove in the wall was marble-paneled and was set with precious stones, many of which were looted after the mutiny of 1857. The Diwan-i-Khas is the hall of private audiences where the Emperor held private meetings. This hall is made of marble and its centre-piece used to be the Peacock Throne, which was carried away to Iran by Nadir Shah in 1739. Today, the Diwan-i-Khas is only a pale shadow of its original glory, yet the famous Persian couplet inscribed on its wall remind us of its former magnificence: "If on Earth be an Eden of bliss, it is this, it is this, none but this." 
The other attractions within this monument are the Royal Baths or hammams, the Shahi Burj, which used to be Shahjahan's private working area and the Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque, built by Aurangzeb for his personal use. The Rang Mahal or the "Palace of Colours" housed the Emperor's wives and mistresses. This palace was crowned with gilded turrets, delicately painted and decorated with an intricate mosaic of mirrors, and a ceiling overlaid with gold and silver that was reflected in a central pool in the marble floor. 

Delhi Red Fort

Red Fort Delhi
¤ The Construction

Built during the reign of Shah Jahan, the Lal Qila (or Red Fort) has been a mute witness to innumerable conspiracies, scandals, battles..... Completed in a span of nine years, it cost about ten million rupees , with about half the sum going towards the building of palaces.

The fort is octagonal in shape, like most Islamic buildings in India. The north of the fort is connected to the smaller Salimgarh fort. The Red Fort is an intimidating structure. It measures 900m by 550m, with its rampart walls covering a perimeter of 2.41km. It towers at a height of 33.5m. On the outside, you can still see the moat that was originally connected with the Yamuna River.


¤ The Major Gateways
                                           

Besides the Lahori Gate, the entry point is the Hathipol (elephant gate), where the king and his visitors would dismount from their elephants. The other major attractions of the Red Fort are the Mumtaz Mahal, the Rang Mahal, the Khas Mahal, the Diwan-i-Am, the Diwan-i-Khas, the Hamam and the Shah Burj.

Every year, on the 15th of August, the National Flag of India is hoisted at the Red Fort by the Prime Minister , celebrating India's independence..



 
DELHI INDIA GATE:

India Gate

India Gate ¤ All India War Memorial

India Gate is constructed as a memorial and was built in the memory of 90,00 soldiers who laid down their lives during world war I. Located at Rajpath, India Gate is 42 m high and is popular relaxation area during the summer evenings. India Gate also act as popular pinic spot during winter. Also known as the All India War Memorial, India Gate was designed and constructed by Lutyens. He was the who is considered the chief proclaimer in designing the New Delhi plans.


¤ The Architectural Marvel.

A tour of Lutyens’ Delhi just has to kick off with the stately India Gate at the east end of the broad Janpath (earlier Kingsway) that leads to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Another additional 13,516 names engraved on the arch and foundations form a separate memorial to the British and Indian soldiers killed on the North-West Frontier in the Afghan War of 1919. The foundation stone was laid by HRH the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and the monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. Another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added much later after India had said goodbye to its imperial rulers. It is in the form of a flame that burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who perished in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971.
                                                  

The entire arch stands on a low base of red Bharatpur stone and rises in stages to a huge cornice, beneath which are inscribed Imperial suns. Above on both sides is inscribed INDIA, flanked by MCM and to the right, XIX. The shallow domed bowl at the top was intended to be filled with burning oil on anniversaries but this is rarely done. 

History of India Gate


History of India Gate

Situated at the eastern end of Rajpath in Central Delhi is the 42 m high stone arch of victory, renowned as the India Gate. Formally known as the All India War Memorial previously, the foundation stone of this magnanimous structure was laid by the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and dedicated to the nation in 1931 by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin.

Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the India Gate stands on a low base of red Bharatpur stone and rises in stages to a huge cornice. Above on both sides is inscribed INDIA, flanked by MCM and to the right, XIX. The names of the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives in World War-I, and an additional 13,516 names who sacrificed their lives in the North-West Frontier in the Afghan War of 1919 are inscribed on the walls of this grand construction.

In order to honor the numerous unknown gallant soldiers who died fighting for the country, an eternal flame or Amar Jawan Jyoti was lit under the arch of India Gate in 1971. Uniformed soldiers stand guard over the flame. As a tribute to these dead soldiers, a shining rifle crowned by a soldier's helmet is placed on a high pedestal near the flame.