Huge, red sandstone walls, which stand 110 feet (33 meters) high in some parts, gave Red Fort in New Delhi its name. The walls were built to keep out invaders during the reign of the Mughal Emperor of India Shah Jahan in the 17th century. Shah Jahan is also famous for founding the Taj Mahal.
Today, Red Fort is a popular tourist destination, attracting thousands of visitors every year. The busiest day of the year is August 15, when the Indian prime minister hoists the national flag at the fort to celebrate independence from the British.
The massive structure sits on 255 acres (103 hectares) within 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) of defensive wall. The fort consists of buildings with floral decorations, double domes, intricate carvings and art forms that showcase the peak of Mughal architecture.
As you enter through Lahore Gate, you will see Chatta Chowk. This covered bazaar was once a marketplace where items such as silk and jewels were sold to members of the noble class. Today, it’s filled with hawkers selling souvenirs.
While you’re at the Red Fort, explore the Indian War Memorial Museum, set up as a tribute to the soldiers who participated in World War I on behalf of the British.
Sound and light shows depicting Indian and Mughal history are held each evening for a small fee, additional to the entry price.
Allow for at least two hours to see most of the monument and museum, but between four and six hours are recommended for a thorough exploration.
Red Fort is closed on Mondays. Getting there is easy with regular buses from downtown New Delhi and from the airport, both of which take about 30 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes by car, and 45 minutes on foot, to get to Red Fort from downtown.