Part 3 – Shahjahanabad – Lal Qila, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Raj Ghat
Of the oldest parts of Delhi, those which has still retained the old touch, is the Walled City of Shahjahanabad. The area is named after Mughal Emperor Shahjahan who developed it. The area is also referred to as Purani Dilli or, as famously known throughout the country - Delhi 6. A hub of famous place, Shajahanabad can make a foreign tourist stumble at the first feel. Crowded and stuffed with traffic, highlighted by a randomly spread network of electric cables, this is one of the most congested places in India you will visit. This very nature of Shajahanabad makes it a subject of curiosity amongst the western travelers to which this kind of a locality is unheard of.
The most famous destination of Shajahanabad is Lal Qila, also called the Red Fort, a monument of immense historical as well as national importance. It was built in the 17th century. This battlefield of the Uprising of 1857 is only partially open for commoners, as the rest of it is still occupied by the army. This is the place from where the Prime Minister of India speaks with the country every Independence Day, on 15th August after the flag hosting.
Lal Qila was the ruling headquarters of Mughals until it was captured by the British after a fierce war of 1857 in which Bahadur Shah Jafar, the last Mughal emperor to have ruled India was exiled to Rangoon.
The grand entrance to Lal Qila is known as Lahore Gate, where the national flag hosting takes place every year. Soon after the entry you arrive at Naubat Khana, a 49 feet high chamber which served as music place. It is also called as Naqqar Khana. There is a small museum here displaying weapons and stories from the battle of 1857. Up ahead comes the grand structure of Diwan-e-Am, the chamber of public audience. This grand structure built in red stone displays exquisite craftsmanship, and yet it is believed that today it comes nowhere near its original grandeur.
Diwan-e-Khas is by far the best creation in the Lal Qila complex. A place that has witnessed several incidents that would have an effect on the history of the nation was designed just as aptly to suit its importance. It was where the legendary peacock throne had been kept until it vanished never to be heard of again.
Shah Burj is another striking place with a stately ambiance in Lal Qila. Mumtaz Mahal, Rang Mahal, Khas Mahal Hira Mahal, Zafar Mahal and Moti Masjid are other palatial structures of attraction at Lal Qila.