Lal Qila named for its red-sandstone walls, the Red Fort, near the Yamuna River in Old Delhi, is the mainly of Delhi's Moghul palace-cities, outdoing still Lutyens' Delhi in majesty. Built by Shah Jahan in the 17th century, Lal Qila recalls the era of Moghul control and magnificence—imperial elephants swaying by with their mahouts (elephant drivers), a royal army of eunuchs, court ladies approved in palanquins, and other vestiges of Shah Jahan's pomp. At its peak, the fort housed about 3,000 people.
Behind the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the British moved into the fort, built barracks, and ended the grand Moghul era; finally the Yamuna River changed course, so the view from the eastern ramparts is currently a busy road. Still, if you use your imagination, a visit to the Red Fort gives an outstanding idea of what a fantastic city Shahjahanabad was.
The sight of the chief entrance, called Lahore Gate, flanked with towers facing Chandni Chowk, is unfortunately blocked by a barbican (gatehouse), which the paranoid Aurangzeb further for his special security—to the grief of Shah Jahan, his father. From his prison, wherever he was held captive by his power-hungry son, Shah Jahan wrote, "You have complete a bride of the palace and thrown a veil over her face."