This was the place where the famous Peacock Throne used to be kept. It was looted by Persian Invader Nader Shah in 1738, who returned to Persia ( present day of Iran) in 1739. After the death of Nader Shah ( he was assassinated in 1747) , the Peacock Throne is untraceable till date. It may be dismantled or melted. Some historian refer it was donated to The Ottomans or used by Shah of Iran Mohmmadd Reza Pehlvi.
The name comes from the shape of a throne, having the figures of two peacocks standing behind it, their tails being expanded and the whole so inlaid with sapphires, rubies, emeralds, pearls and other precious stones of appropriate colors as to represent life, created for the Mughal Badshah Shah Jahan of India in the 17th century, which was in his imperial capital Delhi's Public audience hall, the Diwan-i-Am. Shah Jahan had the famous Koh-i-noor diamond placed in this throne.
Visiting Delhi, the first thing a tourist want is to visit the famed Red Fort, it is situated just outside Old Delhi railway station and Jama Masjid & Chandni Chowk. The Fort lies along the Jamuna river and surrounded by moat. Inside the fort a full fledged bazar is there called the Meena Bazar.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and work was completed in 1648 (10 years).The Red Fort was originally referred to as "Qila-i-Mubarak" (the blessed fort), because it was the residence of the royal family. 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 Shahjahan. 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.
Its name, Hayat Bakhsh Bagh, translates to "life-bestowing garden" and it was the imperial garden of the Red Fort. A spacious lawn is bisected by a long water channel, which was fed by a fountain within a richly carved white marble pavilion at one end, and met at the other end by an identical pavilion. In the centre of the garden, the water filled a large pond with a red sandstone pavilion standing in the middle. This pavilion would have been accessible only by boat or a small gondola, but when I visited in March 2009, the pond and water channel were dry. It was left to my imagination to visualise how the Emperors had once seen this garden...
Although all of Delhi's many fortresses were built using reddish sandstone, only this one was worthy of being called the Red Fort (Lal Qila). It was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1638 who subsequently moved his capital here from Agra and called it Shahjahanabad. This was the seventh iteration of the city of Delhi, which remained the Mughal capital intermittently until 1857 when the British completely extinguished Mughal rule, and up to this point the Red Fort had served as the residence of the Emperor and his court. Shahjahanabad is what is nowadays referred to as Old Delhi, the area west of the Red Fort. After 1857, the British used the Red Fort as a military base and made some modifications, but maintained its opulent pavilions and palaces that have made it the "Versailles" or "Topkapı" of Delhi. In 2007, the Red Fort was added by the UNESCO to the list of World Heritage Sites. Structures within the Fort are described individually further below on this page.
This series of European-style edifices was built by the British after they exiled the Mughal dynasty and took over the Red Fort in 1857. The buildings served as the headquarters and barracks of the British military, and much like the presence of the British soldiers in a Mughal fortress, they were very much out of place amid grand Mughal edifices.
Located just to the south of the chief wife's palace (Rang Mahal), Mumtaz Mahal is the women's palace and most private quarters. It is nowadays the Museum of Archeology which showcases some Mughal era objects.
A tiny mosque, Moti Masjid was built by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1660 for his own private use. It is an architectural jewel for it is entirely built in white marble, carved with the most beautiful floral designs. Due to its whiteness, it earned the name "Pearl Mosque" (moti = pearl). It is topped by three onion-shaped domes and many small minarets in the form of lotus flowers.
One of the first structures one encounters when visiting the interior of the Red Fort, Naubat Khana was the "Drum House". Musicians played music from this pavilion for the Emperor and his guests. It is built of red sandstone and decorated with floral patters and pointed or polyfoil arches.
Diwan-i-Khas, which translates to the "Hall of the Private Audience", was where the Mughal Emperor met his closest subjects. It is built of white marble and decorated with exquisite floral motifs. This is one of the most opulent structures in the Red Fort, yet it is said to have been even more luxurious before its entire silver ceiling was stripped and replaced in the 18th century.
This sumptuous palace within the Red Fort was the residence of the chief wife of the Mughal Emperor. Its name, Rang Mahal, means "Palace of Colour" in reference to painted interior which has all but faded. Still, the opulence of the palace is visible and it has retained some of the gilded decorations. A water channel ran through the palace to allow water to flow into a central lotus-shaped fountain.
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