Last week, I was at New Delhi, the capital city of India.
It is an old city and has been a seat of power for various rulers over the history of India, most significantly, the Mughals.
The first place I visited, was the Red Fort. Made using red sandstone by the emperor Shah Jahan, this majestic fort, currently serves as a frequented tourist spot. It has a museum, used to be a garrison for Indian Army and also features serves as a ceremonial and political centre in the modern times.
The nearest metro station is Chandni Chowk, which is almost a kilometre away. The distance is very much walkable. If not, take cycle rickshaws, but do bargain hard with them.
There are ticket charges. ₹35 for Indians (including the museum pass) and ₹200 for foreigners (kindly confirm). No extra charges for cameras though.
One enters the fort by the Lahori Darwaza.
The gate opens to a small courtyard, following which one enters the Chatta Chowk. In the ancient times, this place would sell gold, silk and other items for the imperial household, today, there are shops which sell souvenirs.
Crossing the Chatta Chowk, one should find themselves in front of the Naubat Khana and the house of the commons, the Diwan-e-Aam.
Moving on, one gets to see the quite magnificent Diwan-e-Khaas, which was the house of the lords, as one may say. The walls are quite intricately carved and they have paintings, which look marvellous even now.
Beside the Diwan-e-Khaas, the Khaas Mahal is located, which would serve as the emperor’s chambers and is made in white marble. It is indeed a sight to behold.
Moving on, one finds a dried out reservoir with a red sandstone structure in its centre, this is the Zafar Mahal, added by and named after Bahadur Shah Zafar. On either side of the Zafar Mahal, one can see pavallions, Sawan and Bhadon, named after the Indian seasons.
With this, my tour ended within the Red Fort. I took nearly 45 minutes for the round. I didn’t visit the museums, which I would have, had there been some more time. I would recommend it be checked out.
There are pay per use toilet facilities available outside as well as inside the fort premises, which are maintained by Sulabh, hence they ought to be clean.
Once I was done with the Red Fort, I took the metro, from Chandni Chowk station, changed at the Central Secretariat, and went on towards the Kalkaji Temple Road, to visit the Lotus Temple.
Stay tuned, for the Lotus Temple post.
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