Built to last forever, the magnificent Red Fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. A picture of this marvellous piece of history can be seen on the Rs. 500 note too. The famous Kohinoor diamond was part of the luxurious furnishings here, while the Diwan-i-Khas or the official hall had ceilings carved in silver, which were plundered, and are currently restored in wood.
François Bernier was a French physician who looked after Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan’s eldest son till his execution, and was later part of Aurangzeb’s court for 12 years. Taken in by its beauty, he too has written descriptively about the jewelled Peacock Throne in his book ‘Travels in the Mughal Empire’.
The glory of the fort can also be read on an inscription in the official hall. The quote by the famous Persian poet Amir Khusrow goes thus:
“If heaven can be on the face of the earth,
It is this, it is this, it is this.”
Despite its coloured history, this marvel has stood the test of time. Even today, travellers are eager to get a vantage view of the walled city. All the famous Mughal monuments can be seen from its high walls—the Dilli Gate, Jama Masjid and the Indian Flag flying high atop the Lahori Gate.
RED FORT/JAMA MASJID, NEW DELHI
Thought by ILF Expert Ambica Gulati