Red Fort

The 'Oval Office' of the Mughal king - Diwan-i-KhasA shadow of its glorious past

The phrase, “If there is paradise on earth, it is here, it is here“, is often quoted in reference to Kashmir.
It was originally said by the father of Qawwali, Amir Khusrau, in praise of Delhi.
The same can also be seen written in persian, embedded on two pillars at the Diwan-i-Khas at Red fort. Diwan-i-Khas was a special court room, akin to the Oval office of USA where the Mughal emperors used to meet their advisors and take important decisions apart from normal chit-chat with close friends.

Red fort was the jewel of the new town of Shahjanabad. It took 9 years, 3 months to be built and cost 60 lakh rupees. The now ruined but still beautiful marble buildings inside the fort could easily have rivalled the Taj Mahal had they not been destroyed by the British in 1857. Even in the condition they are now, the mirrors of the Rang Mahal do reflect the glory of the exorbitantly rich past.

The whole fort meanwhile is a juxtaposition of the British and Indian architecture. After 1857, many buildings inside were broken down and 4 huge buildings – the barracks – all distinctly British were constructed. They are an eye sore as they overshadow the beautiful gardens.

The most beautiful part of the palace, though I could only imagine it was a stream of water flowing throughout the line of the royal buildings – the Diwan-i-Khas, Khas Mahal, Rang Mahal. Imagine a drawing room completely built from Marble with a stream of water throughout with a huge beautiful fountain in the middle, a peacock throne to sit on, silk curtains, persian carpets. Now how could a person who lived there ever doubt about him living in a paradise.

“If there is a heaven on earth”

“It is here. It is here.”

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