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red fort


Built of red sandstone, the Red fort has an irregular octagonal shape. Its rampart walls cover a perimeter of 2.41 kilometers and rise to a height of 33.5 meters on the town side and 18 meters on the riverside. The Yamuna River used to flow on the eastern side of the fort when it was built, filling the moat that runs outside the ramparts. The moat was thus a considerable obstacle for an enemy army. However, the moat today remains empty as the river has moved, over 1 kilometer to the east.

Originally known as Qila-e-Mualla, Red fort or Lal Qila was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan after he transferred his capital to his newly planned city of Shahjahanabad (Delhi) from Agra in 1638. The foundation stone of this massive citadel was laid in 1639 and it was completed after nine years in 1648. Designed by the Mughal architects Ustad Hamid and Ahmad, Red Fort is an important symbolic monument in India even today. Every year on Independence Day (15th August) the Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag and addresses the nation, from the ramparts of Red fort.

To the north, a bridge of 900 meters by 550 meters, connects the fort with Salimgarh. It is said that the cost of construction of the whole fort, including the magnificent palaces and other buildings that the fort contains, was around one crore rupees in the Mughal period. However, during the First War of Independence of 1857, the British army occupied Red Fort, and demolished more than 75 percent of the fort.