it was said, "He who possesses the Red Fort in Delhi possesses
India." Today, the tricolor of the flag of independent India
flies over the fort. Constructed between 1638 and 1648 by Emperor
Shah Jahan, the Lal Qila or Red Fort was intended
to be the seat of his capital city--appropriately named Shahjahanabad.
However, before Shah Jahan could move from his base at Agra, he
was deposed and imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. The private audience
hall, or Diwan-i-Khas, of the Lal Qila
in Delhi once contained the fabulously bejeweled Peacock Throne,
which was carried off to Persia in 1739 by Emperor Nadir Shah
when he sacked the city. Beginning with Babur in 1526 and ending
with Aurangzeb in 1707, India was under the reign of the 'great
Mughals.' The atmosphere of the Lal Qila at its zenith can be
ascertained by the famous Persian inscription carved into the
white marble walls of the Diwan-i-Khas: "If
there is paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this."
Lindsay Hebberd. All rights reserved. No text or images from this
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