Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has served as the residing place of many mughal emperors before the rebellion of 1857. For around 200 years, the palace has been a place from where the Mughals ruled. One of the most interesting structures in Red Fort is Diwan-i-Khas that is visited by a large number of tourists.
Location: Lal Quila, New Delhi
Entry Timings: 09:30 am to 04:30 pm
Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk Metro Station on Yellow Line
Nearest Bus Stand: Subhash Park Bus Stand
Diwan-i-Khas is an important part of the globally famous Red Fort that was built in 1639 by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. Also known by the name Shah Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas was used as a hall where the mughal emperors used to conduct private meetings to discuss important things with important visitors, guests or his courtiers.
What is the architecture of Diwan-i-Khas?
Diwan-i-Khas is a rectangular structure with its length and width being 90 feet and 67 feet. Common people were never allowed to enter the Diwan-i-Khas as only the private audience were allowed to be present there. It had two yards on the western side from which one was used for noblemen and eminent people whereas the other enclosure was used for people who were not having high ranks.
The rectangular structure has arched structures on three sides of Diwan-i-Khas which are mounted on and supported by piers. There are five arches on the front and three arches on the other two shorter sides. Floral designs and patterns are drawn on the lower parts of the piers while the upper portion is painted. On the top of four corners, there are beautiful chhatris that will leave you awestruck.
How was the interior of the Diwan-i-Khas decorated?
Diwan-i-Khas was built by Shah Jahan using white marble. The inner walls and the ceiling of the hall was adorned with precious stones which were later taken by other people like Jats or Marathas. The ceiling that was decorated with the precious stones in the past was replaced by a wooden ceiling in 1911. There is also a marble platform in Diwan-i-Khas on which the famous peacock throne was placed. The emperors used to sit on the throne while having discussions with the courtiers or guests. The throne was later looted by Nadir Shah in 1739 when he invaded the place. All the other important and precious things were taken by other people in the course of time after the rebellion of 1857.
A beautiful stream of water flowed through the center of the hall and was called the Nahar-i-Bihisht, literally meaning Stream of Paradise. Diwan-i-Khas was so beautifully built and decorated that Amir Khusrau was completely impressed with the place. It is believed that he quoted, “if there be a paradise on the earth, it is this, it is this, it is this”.
What is done to protect Diwan-i-Khas?
The Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and as Diwan-i-Khas is a part of it, it is also preserved just like the other parts of the Red Fort. Some restoration work has been done in the interiors and also the painted and gilded pattern that was present on the piers has also been remade.
The Red Fort and its parts display the royalty that the mughal emperors enjoy during their reign, so if you are a history enthusiast, you are going to fall in love with the place.