The Red Fort in Delhi, India

Success is measured in small steps in Delhi.

We found our hotel. We left the hotel. We got searched at a mall. We got back to the hotel. We got a beer. (This is the condensed version – the original occupies three and a half tightly-written pages in my journal.)

That first afternoon in India we didn’t take a single photo; we were afraid to pull the cameras out!

The next day was another rigamarole, trying to book a train for Agra. (Another page and a half in the journal.)

That settled, or so we thought, we headed off to see some Delhi sights. Our first stop was at the Red Fort where we were searched again. There was a separate area for women to be frisked. With highly visible security everywhere we finally took out our cameras.

The fort was beautiful in the early morning light, enveloped in a mist that the sun was trying very hard to dissolve.Exterior in the fog of the Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaTwo Muslim men entering the Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaI think it’s called the Red Fort because red sandstone was used in the construction of most of the building. Although somewhere I read that it was built of white limestone in the 1600s and the British painted it red in the 1800s. Why they would do such a thing is not mentioned…The Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaArches in the Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaMuch of the building is intricately carved with Islamic motifs which consist of geometric shapes, flowers and what looks to be Arabic script. If walls could talk I wonder what it would say?Intricate Stone Carving at New Delhi's Red FortThe intricate tracery of a tree through one of its doorways.Intricate Tracery of a Tree Through a Door at New Delhi's Red FortGuard station in the Red Fort.Guard station in the Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaA portion of the fort facing the back is all soft creamy marble inlaid with semi-precious stones.Guard Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaThis inlay work is called pietra dura. Some of the stones used were agate (green), carnelian (red/orange) and possibly lapis (blue). Agates and carnelian are translucent and make the Islamic floral motifs glow.The Red Fort in Delhi. This marble inlay work is called pietra dura. Some of the stones used were agate, carnelian (red) and possibly lapis (blue).Open to the outside, the carved marble lattice windows create shade and allow breezes through. Marble lattice windows in the Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaMarble niches. I like the geometric pattern they create when they’re empty but keep wondering what they might have contained when the Shah was living there.Arched cubbyholes at the Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaMarble columns.
Decorative marble pillars in the Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaBoys on a school trip.Schoolboys at the Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaWoman in red.Woman in red in the Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaAl feeling confident enough to hand over his camera to someone else to take our picture.Al and I at the Red Fort in Delhi, IndiaNext up on our agenda was the Mosque, walking distance away IF we could handle the street market in-between the Red Fort and it!!!

A few notes on the Red Fort. It is a UNESCO world heritage site, constructed under the supervision of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, also known for commissioning the Taj Mahal. The architectural style is called Indo-Islamic, formed when the Hindu Indian builders were learning to incorporate the elements of Persian Islamic design into their construction techniques.

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14 responses to “The Red Fort in Delhi, India

    • India was the most overwhelming country I have ever visited; pages of my journal are devoted to tiny incidences that have no photos attached – but my description of each of the architectural masterpieces I saw usually have only a few lines…

  1. The architecture of the Red Fort is incredibly beautiful. The details of the walls and windows are amazing. Thank you for the tour! 🙂

  2. The details of your photos are incredible especially the flower, echoing Amy’s comment. It’s amazing to see the silhouette of the fort in that fog.

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