Red Fort (Lal Qila)
Highlights of this octagonal complex include the Diwan-i-Aam, where emperors and prime ministers once addressed the public; the Mumtaz Mahal, which hosts a Mughal history museum; and the Diwan-i-Khas, a small hall full of decorated archways and topped with regal chhatris (domed canopies).
The Red Fort is a highlight on most group and private sightseeing tours of Old and New Delhi, many of which stop at the nearby Chandni Chowk market, India Gate, and the Jama Masjid. Evening tours may include admission to the Red Fort sound and light show along with dinner.
Things to Know Before You Go
One of the best-preserved architectural sites in Delhi, the Red Fort provides a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of India’s former Mughal Empire.
The Red Fort is huge, spanning over 120 acres (49 hectares); set aside at least two hours for your visit.
The complex is wheelchair accessible, featuring wide pathways and limited steps.
Wear sunscreen and bring a hat or a parasol, as much of the fort is uncovered and open to the elements.
How to Get There
The Red Fort is located in bustling Old Delhi, just north of the Jama Masjid, on the western banks of the Yamuna River. It’s right next to the Lal Qila metro station on the Violet Line of the Delhi Metro and about a 10-minute walk from the Old Delhi Railway Station. Most visitors arrive by car, metro, or as part of a guided tour.
When to Get There
The Red Fort is open throughout the year, Tuesday to Sunday, from sunrise to sunset. The best time to visit is in winter, when the weather is comfortably cool. If your Delhi trip coincides with the sweltering summer season of May and June, consider arriving early in the day when temperatures are at their coolest and crowds are smallest.
The Mughal Empire
One of South Asia's early modern empires, the Mughal Empire ruled over parts of what we now know as Afghanistan, Kashmir, Assam, and Bangladesh. Allegedly founded by a warrior chieftain from the region now known as Uzbekistan, the empire reigned from the 16th century through to 1857 when it was officially ended by the British Raj.
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