In many ways, the Delhi Red Fort is the sister site of the Agra Fort, which is itself conjoined with the Taj Mahal. As with the fort in Agra, the Delhi Fort was built as the Mughal dynasty reached its full glory in the seventeenth century, under the guidance of the famous Emperor Shah Jahan. And as with the Red Fort in Agra, the history of the Red Fort in Delhi is as much tied up with his infamous son Aurangzeb as it is with Shah Jahan himself. Having deposed his father, Aurangzeb went about making numerous additions to both attractions, and as a result the Delhi Red Fort we see today features a fascinating symbiosis of various architectural styles and influences.
While the Red Fort, also known as the Lal Qila in Delhi, is smaller than the Agra Fort, it still exhibits an impressive scale. Built from red sandstone, its walls at one point measure more than 100 feet high, making them a huge and shimmering crimson visage than can be seen from much of the Old Town. These walls open at two separate points: the Lahore Gate and the Delhi Gate, which is itself considered one of the must-see attractions in the city.
Once inside, the Delhi Red Fort presents a visual barrage to the visitor, with various impressive meeting halls, decorative artworks, and open-plan spaces calling for attention. The Rang Mahal (Palace of Colors) is particularly worth seeking out. This was the home to the Emperor's many wives and mistresses, and it's defined by various decorations, which reach their zenith in the form of a beautiful lotus-shaped fountain.
Visitors are advised to also head to the Diwan-i-Am, or Hall of Public Appearances, which is a luxurious white marble chamber from which the Emperor would hold private meetings and conduct issues of the state. Unfortunately the Hall's remarkable silver ceiling was removed in the eighteenth century, but nonetheless the Hall remains an inspiring piece of architecture, and it is one of the more picturesque attractions to be found anywhere in the Delhi Fort.
One of the great characteristics of the Red Fort in Delhi is the tranquility of its atmosphere, which makes for an excellent retreat from the general bustle of the city. This is a place to spend relaxed hours, getting to understand Mughal architecture, and taking a breather from the noise and pollution outside the Fort's walls.
The Delhi Fort sits on the banks of the Yamuna River in the heart of Old Delhi, adjacent to the bustling Chandni Chowk area. The Fort is a large structure that looms over the area, so finding it once you're in the vicinity should be no trouble. If you do happen to get stuck, just ask for directions to the river; the Red Fort in Delhi is easy enough to spot once you reach the Yamuna.
The Red Fort in Delhi is part of the famous Golden Triangle tours, which also head to Jaipur and to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Combine this with the fact that New Delhi is the country's capital, and it's easy to see why such an abundance of tourist amenities are to be found here. The incoming visitor will find plenty in the way of Delhi hotels and convenient transportation links to help make the most of time spent here on a vacation to India.