Red Fort is one of the best historical places to visit in Delhi and was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as his palace for his capital city Shahjahanabad. Built in 1639 the red fort got its name due to the extensive use of red sandstones in the construction of its outer walls. The main entrance of the Red Fort is Lahori Gate and is of great interest to the tourists.
Location: Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Entry Timings: 10:00 am to 06:30 pm
Nearest Metro: Chandni Chowk Metro Station on Yellow Line
Nearest Bus Stand: Jama Masjid Bus Stop
What is the historical significance of Lahori gate?
The Lahori Gate marks the main entrance to the Red Fort and is one of the best examples of the Mughal architecture. It is covered on both the sides with apartments with series of arches called the Chhatta Chowk. The gate is on the western side of the fort and got its name as Lahori Gate because it leads to Lahore in Punjab(now in Pakistan). The other side of the gate leads to one of the most crowded places in Delhi, Chandni Chowk.
The Lahori Gate is one of the fourteen gates of Delhi. Most of the gates have been destroyed by now, only a few are remaining including this Lahori gate along with Kashmere gate, Ajmeri gate and Moti gate.
What is the architecture of the Lahori Gate?
Lahori Gate is a three storeyed 41 feet high and 24 feet wide gate that serves as the main entrance to one of the most magnificent fort of the Mughal times, Red Fort. The gate itself displays the beauty of the Mughal architecture. The storeys of the gate has been decorated with square, rectangular and cusped arches which adds to the beauty of the gate.
The complete gate has been built with red sandstones except the domes on the top of the gate. The seven domes on the top are made of white marble instead of red sandstones that are in shape of umbrellas and are commonly called chhatris. The gate has two semi-octagonal towers on both the sides and on the top of both the towers, there is an octagonal pavilion on each tower.
The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had added an parapet or defensive wall in order to protect oneself from attacks, and as per many experts this addition has spoiled the beauty of the gate. When Shah Jahan was imprisoned, he said to Aurangzeb that he had made the fort a bride, and set a veil on it, meaning that the beauty of the gate and the fort was hidden due to the fortification constructed by him.
The Chatta Chowk is adjacent to the Lahori gate. This is where the Meena Bazaar was held during the mughal era. Buying silk, jewellery and other items for the household was done mostly from here itself. These arcaded apartments also housed many people inside them.
What is the current situation of Lahori Gate?
Since independence, flag is hoisted and a speech is given by the prime minister of India every year on Independence day. Therefore, the security of the gate had become important. The security of the gate was increased from 1980s and a lift for safety had also been added to the gate. The windows of the towers were also blocked for the same.
Which other gates allow entry to Red Fort?
Other than Lahori Gate, there are two more gates for entering the great Red Fort.
The gate is located on the southern side of the fort and this gate is quite similar to the Lahori Gate. There are two stone elephants on both side of the gate and this adds to the grandeur of the place.
There is a small entrance on the southern side of the fort, called the water gate. The gate is called this because it was located on a river bank, even though there is no river flowing from there anymore.
Other than the Lahori Gate, there are many structures within the Red Fort belonging to the Mughal era that represents the beauty of their architecture. Red Fort and the structures inside it are must-visit places for everyone travelling to Delhi.