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The foundation stone was laid in 1618 when Shah Jahan decided to move to Delhi from Agra. The monument was inaugurated in 1647. Like most Mughal architectural wonders, Red Fort was built with red sandstone and in fact derives its name from the granite that was used.
This octagon-shaped monument has two entrances Lahore Gate and Delhi Gate. Lahore Gate entrance takes it name from the fact that it faces Lahore, now in Pakistan. The main entrance of Lal Quila opens on to royal market - Chatta Chowk that used to house jewelers, weavers and goldsmith. Chatta Chowk is also known as Meena Bazaar.
Red Fort has a hall for public audience - The Diwan-e-Aam - and a hall for private audience - Diwan-e-Khas. The Diwan-e-Aam was used by the Mughal emperors to hold court and to meet dignitaries and foreign emissaries.
The highly ornamented white marble pavilion of Red Fort - Diwan-e-Khas once housed the Peacock Throne which was plundered by Nadir Shah in 1739.
It is believed that enamored by the beauty of Diwan-e-Khas the
Mughal emperor Shah Jahan got the following words engraved on the building:
"If there is paradise on the face of this earth, it is this, it is this."
Lal Quila also stands witness to the end of Mughal rule and freedom of India from colonial rule. British deposed the last Mughal ruler, Bhadur Shah Zafar at the Red Fort.
India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru announced India's freedom from British rule and hoisted the tricolor of free India in 1947 from the ramparts of Red Fort. Since then, Red Fort has also been hosting the Independence Day celebrations and the Prime Minister's speech on August 15 every year.