Revisiting Red Fort

Ornate arched gateways at the Red Fort;   Photo: Animesh Pal

My first memories of the city of Delhi are from a trip a long time ago, when we halted there for a couple of days on our way to Nainital. And when I say a long time, I mean some twenty odd years. Of course, then the city was a different version of its current self. That summer wasn’t all that unpleasantly hot. What I remember most from that trip is when my parents took us to visit the Red Fort. The lawns outside were green and made for a welcome resting spot. We still go over the pictures from that trip…my younger sister, hardly more than a toddler, sporting a white jumpsuit with a yellow bunny drawn over the front. My parents, a happy young couple. All of us lazing in the gardens, sipping on bottles of Gold Spot (The Zing Thing!) through matching orange straws…it was a great outing.

But honestly I didn’t quite remember much of the Red Fort per se; the monument itself is not so much a part of those memories. Which is why I went to visit the Fort again when I was in Delhi a couple of years back. I was met by a very different Delhi this time around, the heat was intense, and population had grown manifold. The queue in front of the entrance to the Red Fort was so long that I contemplated giving it up altogether. Thankfully, I didn’t, because had I turned away I would have missed the immense beauty within the walls of the Fort. The red sandstone pillars and white marble pavilions are awe-inspiring. Each individual building has a unique character, a special appeal to it. The engravings, marble inlay and filigree work on the structures makes one marvel at the skill of those craftsmen who carved them. Every design, detail and measurement, so precise. Everything around me made me wonder about the life of those that lived there more than a century ago. That grandeur can only be imagined today…

Most tourists who visit Delhi, do make a trip to the Red Fort as well, and I truly feel that the heat and the crowd and the long wait to the entrance are all worth their while. The memory of such a thing of beauty is what is theirs forever.

Marble pillars with etched designs; Photo: Animesh Pal
The sun sets behind one of the many ‘chhatris’; Photo: Animesh Pal
Marble inlay work; Photo: Animesh Pal
Open veranda; Photo: Animesh Pal

2 Comments Add yours

  1. priyadarshidutta says:

    ..A visit to Red fort would certainly remain incomplete without enjoying the culinary delights at Karims for non vegetarians and a host of other options for both vegetarians and non vegetarians in the lanes of Chandni Chowk…

    1. twobitwo says:

      Absolutely! I also ate at one of those small shops at Paranthey Waali Gali, and was blown away by the taste and sheer variety on offer.

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