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Red Fort

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Aleisha Warren

on 9 May 2010

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Transcript of Red Fort

The Red Fort Shah Jahan Aurangzeb The British Raj In 1637 he decided to build a new fort and city with the name of Shahjahanabad at the strategic trading and defensive location of Delhi on the banks of the Jamuna River which had also served as a religious center for Muslims since their rule began. The fort/city took 10 years to build until the official entrance was made by Shah Jahan and his court on April 19, 1648. The planning and design of his new city was of course deliberate. Shah Jahan had the core of the city constructed inside the fort walls shaped in an irregular octagonal form. The construction around the fort was left to important court members to build their own palaces. The city grew so rapidly that the population is estimated between 150,00 to 500,00 by the end of his reign.
Planning & Design Where:
The large public audience
hall was located at the
center of the Fort between
the public and private parts
of the fortress.
It is a hypostyle hall constructed of red sandstone with 9 bays and 3 aisles. It also has cusped arches and plaster covering the sandstone that was painted and richly decorated, styles that are typical of his reign. His white marble throne with pietra dura was on the eastern wall which was also decorated with precious stones.
Diwan-i 'Aam (La Qila) Diwan-i-Khas Nahr-i-Behisht Rang Mahal Moti Masjid Where:
The Private Audience Hall was located
behind the Jharokha and on the eastern
edge of the Fort.
It had a series of pavilions that lined the edge of the Jaumna River for the royal family and other favored guests to use. It was constructed of white polished marble with semiprecious stones inlaid into the walls and had columns with floral motifs carved into them. Where:
This water feature also called the Water Stream of Paradise, it ran through the pavilions of the private quarters of the Fort.
Water was fed to them through the Shah Burj or Imperial Tower from the Jaumna River. Where:
The pavilion was located at the
eastern end of the Fort.
It was meant for the use of the Royal ladies as part of their quarters. It was carved with extreme details on the walls and ceilings. Besides the Nahr-i-Behisht
running through it, it has a hammam,
especially important during the hot
summer months. Lahore Gate Where:
It was located on the
side of the fort walls.
Built as part of the Fort walls, it was the main entrance into the fort and was aligned with the Public Audience Hall. Behind it was the Chatta Chowk, or a covered bazaar with 32 bays
used for shops.
Also called the Pearl Mosque, it was built on the western end of the hammam because no mosque had been built inside the Fort walls previously.
Built in 1659, it was a three bulbous-domed structure made of carved white marble, polished to shine like a pearl, and a three-arched screen that led down to a courtyard with a recessed pool. Although it was relatively small structure, it was rather tall. He used this mosque for his private prayers on Fridays. Bahadur Shah Zafar Where:
Also known as the Life-Bestowing Garden, it was built in 1842 by the last Mughal emperor on the northern end of the Fort.
The garden has two intersecting water channels with pavilions at each end of the north-south river and one where the two channels meet.
Hayat Bakhsh Bagh Naqqar Khana Where:
Also known as the Drum
Room, it is located behind
the Lahore Gate and in front
of the Public Audience Hall.
It was a two-story building made of red sandstone where musicians would play music to announce the arrival of the emperor or any other important individual. 1 2 3 After exercising control over the Mughals for over 100 years, the British began to take near absolute control in the mid 1700's. Its military occupied the Indian subcontinent until 1947 when India achieved its independence. During the occupation, the British changed the architectural scene, knocking down buildings, replacing some in a European style, readapted some, and trashed most other structures. 4 On May 10, 1857 Indian soldiers committed mutiny by killing their British officers and then marched to Delhi to liberate the city and declare Bahadur Shah Zafar, who was 82 years old, the emperor of Hindustan. The Indians had been unhappy about the decline in British-Indian relations where the British no longer even tried to hide their lack of respect for the locals and the rightful emperor. The British crushed the rebellion and then wrecked havoc on the Red Fort, establishing it as a military headquarters. They knocked down what was once the royal palaces to build barracks for their soldiers. The barracks were sorely out of place. They quickly had a trial for Zafar and sent him from the Red Fort into exile. Replaced Buildings "Trashed the Place" At some points in time, the soldiers were so reckless with the Fort that reports showed they used things like the marble fountains as trash cans, filling them with water bottles and food wrappers. It was said that every spot in the place was covered in trash inches deep. Restoration New Uses The Dawat Khana, a private palace on the northern side of the Fort, was converted into a tea-house for the British to use. It is still being used as a restaurant today. 5 In the late 1900's under the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mr. Jagmohan, restoration finally began on buildings in the fort. Soon after work began several conservation architects and designers petitioned to have work stop on the buildings because the quality of the work was actually hurting the buildings. Nahar-i-Behisht 150 years earlier some demolition within the Fort caused damage to the hydrological system that had pulled water from the river and fed the water features. In response to that, they built concrete tanks with electric pumps and basically a new water channel which eventually leaked and actually damaged the eastern wall of the Fort. Shah Burj (Royal Tower) When plans to use the Nahar were underway, cracks in one of the marble structures of the Tower were repaired but with the wrong materials, causing water leaks in the Burj also. Khas Mahal (Royal Apartments) The plaster was removed from the buildings (contrary to most conservation practices) and replaced with new plaster. Now it is impossible to try to recover any paintings that were once on the
plaster. One of the jalis was broken and instead of
being replaced or patched, it was propped up by
bricks. Diwan-i-Khas The pietra dura also underwent restorative work. Most likely sometime during the mid-1700s to mid-1800s, many of the semiprecious stones were lute. In 1903 Viceroy Lord Curzon had repairs started on some parts of the pietra dura, replacing the spaces with colored glass, but in high quality workmanship. The most current work on the building's decoration was that of taking out the cut glass and replacing it with cut stones. However, this time the work was done so poorly that the stones did not fit into the marble properly and workers either used epoxy or to fill in the void spaces or scratched out parts of the marble to fit the stones in and also bonded the stones to the marble with Araldite, which will damage the marble if ever removed. The outdoor marble floor paths and some indoor flooring in buildings like the Pearl Mosque and the hammams have been looted or damaged by invaders of the fort to such an extent that visitors are no longer allowed to walk on the remains of the flooring. Looting Bibliography Articles, Books Online Sources Pictures Ehlers, E., and Th. Krafft. "The Imperial Islamic City: A Map of 19th Century Shahjahanabad." Environmental Design: Journal of the Islamic Environmental. Design Research Centre 1-2 (1993): 170-79.
Financial Times Oct 21, 2006 () 28.
Iizuka, Kiyo. "The Shah Jahan's Concept of Town Planning in Delhi." Environmental Design: Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre 1-2 (1991): 30-35.
Mārg [0025-2913] Singh yr:2004 vol:56 iss:1 pg:88 -89.
Tourism Today In 2007 the Red Fort was formally added as a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its importance both for the architectural uniqueness and for the range of events and influences that have occurred there since its inception by Shah Jahan. Every year on August 15th, the Prime Minister of India speaks at the Fort to celebrate India's independence from Britain in 1947, continuing the importance of the Fort into the present day. Today, the Fort is open six days a week to visitors and has daily light and sound shows at night. The Fort remains one of India's significant economic places, producing large sums of money from tourists and locals. 6 7
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