Red Fort Complex

New Delhi State, Central District, New Delhi
N28 39 20 E77 14 27
Date of Inscription: 2007
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(vi)
Property : 49.1815 ha
Buffer zone: 43.4309 ha
Ref: 231rev
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The Red Fort Complex was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad – the new capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The private apartments consist of a row of pavilions connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht (Stream of Paradise). The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement. The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions The Red Fort’s innovative planning and architectural style, including the garden design, strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield.

The planning and design of the Red Fort represents a culmination of architectural development initiated in 1526 AD by the first Mughal Emperor and brought to a splendid refinement by Shah Jahan with a fusion of traditions: Islamic, Persian, Timurid and Hindu. The innovative planning arrangements and architectural style of building components as well as garden design developed in the Red Fort strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield. The Red Fort has been the setting for events which have had a critical impact on its geo-cultural region.

Criterion (ii): The final flourishing of Mughal architecture built upon local traditions but enlivened them with imported ideas, techniques, craftsmanship and designs to provide a fusion of Islamic, Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. The Red Fort demonstrates the outstanding results this achieved in planning and architecture.

Criterion (iii): The innovative planning arrangements and architectural style of building components and garden design developed in the Red Fort strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield. The Red Fort Complex also reflects the phase of British military occupation, introducing new buildings and functions over the earlier Mughal structures.

Criterion (vi): The Red Fort has been a symbol of power since the reign of Shah Jahan, has witnessed the change in Indian history to British rule, and was the place where Indian independence was first celebrated, and is still celebrated today. The Red Fort Complex has thus been the setting of events critical to the shaping of regional identity, and which have had a wide impact on the geo-cultural region.

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