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Indian Independence Day: Red Fort: 10 Fascinating Historical Facts About the Red Fort (Lal Qila) of New Delhi
The Red Fort, affectionately known as “Lal Qila,” is an iconic testament to India’s history, standing as a silent witness to the ebbs and flows of time.
With its intricate architecture and rich history, the Red Fort continues to captivate the hearts and minds of people worldwide.
Let’s delve into 10 amazing historical facts that make the Red Fort a treasured jewel in India’s heritage.
1. Built by a Visionary Emperor:
Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1638, the Red Fort was designed as the main residence for the Mughal emperors.
Its striking red sandstone walls and exquisite architecture reflect the grandeur of the Mughal dynasty.
2. Names of the Rulers:
Throughout its history, the Red Fort witnessed the reigns of several Mughal rulers, including Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb, Bahadur Shah II, and more. Each ruler left their mark on the fort, contributing to its magnificence.
3. The 1857 Rebellion:
The Red Fort holds a poignant connection to the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
It became a focal point for the uprising against British colonial rule, with Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal emperor, using it as his rallying point during the revolt.
4. Under British Control:
After the suppression of the 1857 rebellion, the British took control of the Red Fort.
The fort was stripped of its royal splendor, and significant portions were repurposed for military use.
5. Subhash Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army:
During World War II, the Indian National Army (INA), led by Subhash Chandra Bose, briefly captured the Red Fort in 1945.
This marked a symbolic moment in the struggle for independence, as the INA aimed to liberate India from British rule.
6. Independence Day 1947:
The Red Fort etched its name in history on August 15, 1947, when India finally gained its hard-fought independence.
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, hoisted the national flag at the fort, ushering in a new era for the nation.
7. Annual Prime Ministerial Speech:
The tradition of the Prime Minister of India addressing the nation from the ramparts of the
Red Fort on Independence Day continues to this day. This iconic speech serves as an annual reminder of the values and aspirations of the nation.
8. UNESCO World Heritage Site:
In 2007, the Red Fort was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, acknowledging its outstanding cultural and historical significance.
This recognition reaffirms its status as a global treasure.
9. Architectural Marvels:
The Red Fort boasts remarkable architecture, including the Diwan-i-Aam and Diwan-i-Khas, showcasing intricate designs, marble inlays, and ornate carvings that embody the artistic finesse of the Mughal era.
10. Symbol of National Identity:
The Red Fort stands as a powerful symbol of India’s identity and unity.
Its majestic walls continue to echo the stories of struggles, triumphs, and aspirations, reminding us of the indomitable spirit of the Indian people.
The Red Fort’s history is a tapestry woven with threads of valor, resilience, and heritage.
As it stands today, the fort serves as a living testament to the nation’s past and a beacon of inspiration for generations to come.
With its rich history, architectural splendor, and enduring significance, the Red Fort remains a cherished jewel in India’s crown of cultural heritage.