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Red Fort, the dying heritage


LAVIKA KEDIA | New Delhi, July 11, 2011 20:58
Tags : Red Fort | the dying heritage |

At a time when the world is striving to create awareness about the significance of heritage and efforts are being made across the globe to protect and conserve the monuments, several heritage structures in India are on the brink of collapse and are craving for attention.

So is the case with Delhi's Lal Quilla - The Red Fort. Its present state is appalling - building walls are blackened and window panes are broken. The situation of other heritage buildings is no better either.

Beyond the gate of Lal Quilla, is situated Naubat Khana - the Drum House. The Diwan-i-Aam - Hall of Public Audience; the Diwan-i-Khas - Hall of special people; and the Hamam - bathroom - are situated in Red Fort which boasts of carved designs. Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque (the personal mosque of Aurungzeb) lies to the west of Hamam and Mumtaz Mahal, which was also known as 'Chhoti Baithak' is situated along the river front. They are a distinct signs of Mughal architecture.

Red Fort is one among the most important places in India. The great Mughal emperors, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb lived here, and the country was governed from here. It contained the largest state treasury and mint.

Shah Jahan, the distinguished Mughal emperor, shifted his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad and laid the foundation of Red Fort, or the Lal Quila, on April 16, 1639. Red Fort is situated at Chandni Chowk, in Delhi. According to the research, it is said that about one crore rupees was spent on its construction - which was a great amount of those times. Half of this sum was spent to build the exotic palaces within the fort. It is built of red sandstone and is octagonal in shape and its master builders were Hamid and Ahmed.

Given the beauty and significance of the place, tourists from across the world throng this place. A foreign visitor, when asked about his experienced, said, "It is very beautiful. Such monuments mesmerize me to visit India again and again. If it is taken care of more sincerely, no other place in the whole world can beat up the Indian historical treasure".

Even now, in the entrance chamber, several layers of the wall paintings can be traced. "The Naubatkhana was in such a bad condition during the last century that the American Mission declined to take it as a gift. For sometime, it was also used as the police headquarters. Now the building serves as a middle school facility for the Sourastra Community," a security person who guards the building, said.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017