The Red Fort Darbar
The photograph you are seeing is the Red Fort, built by Emperor Shahjahan in 1648. It belonged the Mughal dynasty and the Red Fort was the residence for the Monarchs for about 200 years.
After I pressed the shutter button I had to gaze at this massive marvelous structure, I just drifted away to the year 1648. What was it really like? WOW! I said to myself… -taking a seat on one of the benches- and with the few fact that I had gathered about this structure and the history the empire I began to put the pieces together it my mind, as thought I was actually there in the days of 1640’s.
Some time after 1648 especially when it was new, these arches were adorned with lavish drapery made from best silks and velvets, these rich colorful curtains waved in cool Delhi breeze in autumn and blocked the cold winter chill, and were elegantly tied to the nearest pillar during the hot sultry summers. The floors never saw dust collect, it must have been spread with wool and silk plush ornate rugs brought from the finest weavers from both near and distant places. The walls decorated with carving of delicate designs and embedded with semi and precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, topaz and emerald just to name a few. Fresh flowers adorned and massive halls with the fragrance of roses filled the air, especially when the King was there ascended on his throne, This massive hall had designated areas allotted for family, friends, ministers, advisers, counsel and his subjects. The servants were in abundance perhaps one or more for every task.
This red sandstone structure was the court of the king, the best of the best advised him, and his subjects were judged here. Some were rewarded for their valor others for their talents and then there were those that were not so lucky, these were condemned. This was the place where life or death for some was decided.
During the waning years of the empire when the Persian invader Nider Shah attacked New Delhi, his aggressive ruthless invasion put fear in the Mogul emperor of that time and was handed the keys for the kingdoms treasury. His loot yielded so much wealth that he didn’t have to collect taxes from his subjects for 3 years. He also made off the famous Peacock Throne which thereafter served as a symbol of Persian imperial might. Among a trove of other fabulous jewels, Nader also took with him the Koh-i-Noor and Darya-ye Noor diamonds that was the wealth of the kings of this kingdom.
As I came back to earth still appreciative at the wonderful red sandstone structure I began to think of all the unsung heroes, and realized how fitting it would be to celebrate and honor the ones that have been lost in the shuffle-the skilled sculptures, masons, craftsmen and all the little guys that carried the stones and mortar – they gave so much for all of the world to admire. And let us not forget the great Chefs that established the Indian Classical cuisine know as the Mohali cuisine we all now enjoy. For with out them this could have never been a success. So for all those men and woman sometime way back in 1630’s and40’s, thank you guys and gals, you all did a great job, your blood sweat and tears have not gone in vain.