brown concrete building

Lal Qila: The Red Fort of Delhi

Red Fort, also known as Lal Qila, is situated in Agra, New Delhi. It is an iconic component of Mughal India‘s architecture. The fort is a symbol of the Mughal Empire’s power and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Indian Prime Minister now raises the flag here on Independence Day every year. It is considered as one of the seven wonders of India.

History of Red Fort

The history of Red Fort, also known as “Lal Qila”, date back to the 17th century. Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor, decided to relocate his capital from Agra to Delhi and built a new fort. The red fort was built beginning in 1938, and it was finished in 1648.

The Lal Qila, a magnificent specimen of Mughal architecture, was constructed using red sandstone. For almost 200 years, it was the Mughal rulers’ royal palace. Numerous Mughal kings were crowned there, as well as the Indian War of Independence’s declaration in 1857 and other significant occasions.

Until 1947, when India attained independence, the British used it as a military barracks. In 2007, this historical site became as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

brown concrete building during night time
Photo by Godwin Angeline Benjo on Unsplash

How to go there

The Lal Qila is easily accessible from any part of the world, as it is located is the city center of Delhi.

Form USA: Most convenient way to reach the red fort to take a flight from united states to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. From there, the Lal Qila is about 20 kilometers away. So, one can hire a taxi or car from the airport, which is the most convenient way to go there.

From UK: From United Kingdom, one can take a flight to reach the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. The easiest way to reach the red fort from the airport is hiring a taxi or car.

From Delhi: One can go Lal Qila from any part of Delhi, because the fort is in the city center of Delhi. There is a metro station near the fort, named Chandni Chowk. For there you can go to the fort on foot. Besides, you can go by hiring a taxi or car from any part of Delhi.

Enter the Red Fort

There are two gates that lead into the Red Fort. One of these is the Lahori Gate, while the other is the Delhi Gate, with the Lahori Gate serving as the main entrance. One must purchase a ticket at the ticket counter located outside the fort or you can book in online at Archaeological Survey of India.

crowd walking under arch shed
Photo by Tarun Anand Giri on Unsplash

Ticket pricing:

Indian35 INRFree
Foreigner550 INRFree

Once inside, visitors are required to go through security checks and are prohibited from carrying any dangerous objects.

Timing of Red Fort

Red Fort, also goes by the name “Lal Qila”, is open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. We must note that the fort closes on Mondays. Don’t forget to carry your photo ID or Passport while visiting the Fort.

Major attractions of Red Fort


The Diwan-i-Aam, also known as “Hall of Public Audience”, is one of the major attractions of Lal Qila, New Delhi. The Mughal emperor used it to address the people and hear their complaints. They positioned The imperial throne in the middle of the room.

Diwan-i-Aam is a historical large open-air hall, which is decorated with murals and paintings that show scenes from court life. It is a must-visit place if you interested to know the rich history and culture of India.

  • NB: Avoid using flash and tripod in the hall.
Diwan-i-Aam of Red fort.
Rupeshsarkar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Another name of The Diwan-i-Khas is “Hall of Private Audience”, and it is one of the must-visit places within Red Fort. The hall is made of white marble, which is a perfect example of Mughal architecture. There is throne in the middle of the hall for private events and private gatherings.

A colonnade made of white marble that is adorned with elaborate carvings and frescoes encircles the hall. The fort allow you to take pictures while exploring the area, but make sure that you avoid using flash or carrying a tripod.

Diwan-i-Khas, white in color and a beautiful architecture.
Jakub Hałun, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rang Mahal:

The Rang Mahal or the “Palace of color”, is popular tourist attraction in Delhi. This amazing structure, which was constructed on top of a basement, was originally painted inside, giving it its colorful name.

The mughals made the palace with with red sandstone and marble, and decorated it with intricate cravings and frescoes. The hall is home to several rooms, “Zenana” is one of them. It was the private chamber of the emperor’s wives and mistresses.

  • Entry Fee: 10 INR for Indians; 250 INR for foreigners
Rang Mahal of Lal Qila, Wjite in color
Hans A. Rosbach, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Moti Masjid:

The Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) is a white marble mosque inside the Red Fort in Delhi. Two aisles and three arches make the structure whole. Mughal emperor Aurangzeb built the mosque within the Red Fort in 1659. The Moti Masjid was constructed using white marble, and it is frequented by many visitors to the Lal Qila.

Moti Masjid of Lal Qila, white in color.
Biswarup Ganguly, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hayat Bakhsh Bagh:

The Hayat Bakhsh Bagh which means “Life-Giving Garden”, is the largest garden within the Red Fort. They decorated the garden beautifully by pools, fountains, and cannels. It is renowned for its fountains, flowers, and trees and was created to mimic the Garden of Paradise.

The garden is divided into four squares, each with its own causeway, water channel, and red sandstone-framed parterre. It is one one of the best architectural masterpiece of the Mughal era. Don’t miss the opportunity to go there when you are at Red Fort.

Hayat Bakhsh Bagh of Red fort. Red in color
Sauravps13, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sound and Light Show:

The Sound and the Light Show is a popular evening activity in Red Fort, Delhi. The show lasts for around 45 minutes and conducted both in English and Hindi. The narrates the history of the Red Fort and Mughal Empire in entertaining way.

The show is a great way to learn the history and the culture of Mughals’ and India. The timing of the Sound and Light show is:

  • May to August: 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm (Hindi); 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm (English)
  • September to October: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Hindi); 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm (English)

Ticket Pricing for the Sound and the Light Show:

  • For adults: 60 INR during weekdays; 80 INR during weekends
  • For Children: 20 INR during weekdays; 30 INR during weekends
The Light and the sound show of Delhi
Abhinavmnnit, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lahori Gate:

Lahori gate is the main entrance of the Lal Qila which is in the western wall. It is the place where the Prime Minister of India hoists national flag on the Independence Day, since 1947.

This gate got its name because of the way it leaned toward Pakistan’s Lahore region. It is undoubtedly one of the major attractions of Red Fort.

Lahori Gate of Red Fort, Red in color.
Ranjeet Chauhan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Delhi Gate of Red Fort:

Delhi gate of Red Fort is one the major attractions of Lal Qila which is in the southern wall of the Lal Qila. The look of the gate is similar to the Lahori Gate.

The British Monarchy imprisoned the last emperor in 1857, and confined him on the right side of the gate. Lord Curzon erected stone elephants without riders between the inner and outer gates.

Delhi Gate of Red Fort. Red in color
Udit Kapoor, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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