Jahangir succeded his son Shah jahan ascended the throne of Hindustan in the hail of his grand-father with great pomp and show. After a reign of eleven years at Agra, Shah jahan resolved to move the capital of his empire to Delhi. He paid several to the city of Dina panah, and with the help of Hindu astrologers and Muhamdan Hakims, he fixed the site of the present fort as that his citadel, round which he afterwards built shahjahanbad, the capital of his empire and generally known to later historians as Modern Delhi. On the 12th ZIlhaji 1048 A.H. (1638 A.D), the workmen assembled and laid the foundation stone of the fort under the supritendence of ‘Izzat Khan’, afterwards 1057 A.H. (1647 A.D) governer of sindh, assisted by Ostads Ahmad and Hina the chiefs of the workmen. On the transfer of Izzat Khan from Delhi, the building of the fort was entrusted to Alah Vardi Khan who raised the walss all around 12 yards high, in 2 years, 1 month and 11 days. Alah Vardi Khan was appointed to governership, and the work was confined to Makramath Khan who after nine years labour, finished it in 20th year of the reign Shah Jahan. On the 24th of Rabi 11 of 1058 A.H. (1648 A.D.) Shah jahan entered the fort through the gate facing the river, and held his first court in the Dewan Aam.
The fort is an irregular octagon with its two long sides on the East (river side) and the west (city side) and six smaller ones on the north and the south, about 3,000 feet long and 1,800 feet braod, towards the river , the wall about 60 feet high, is built against the bank, and the buildings of the fort stand on a level with the top of the wall presenting to the spectator on the side a splendid panorama both of the fort and the city of Shah jahanbad. Between the river and the wall there is a high sandy bank which is seldom under water. On the land side, the fort presents a grand view of lofty and massive red sand stone walss with a glacis and deep ditch, the width of the walls is about 45 feet at the base and about 30 feet where the embattled parapets stand, the ditch is 75 feet wide and 30 feet deep. Of these walls, Bernier who visited Delhi in the reign of Aurangzeb, remarked that they excelled those of the city in height, width and strength. Except on the side of the river, the citadel is defended by a deep ditch faced with stone, filled with water and stocked with fish. Adjoining the ditch are large gardens, full of flowers and green shrubs at all times, which contrasted with the stupendous walks, produce a beautiful effect. These garden have disappeared but the might have been seen in a neglected state before the mutiny of 1857. Two superb gateways with barbicans in front on the middle of the western wall and the other near the south western corner of the southern walls of the fort, from the level of the grounds on which they stand, the gates are 110 feet high.
Besides the gates on the city side of the fort there are two smaller gates, one, called Khijri Gate, under the Musamman Burj on the river face of the fort and the other on the north, leading into Salimgarh. There are two Khirkis, wickets, one close to the Asad Burj on the south eastern corner of the fort, and the other on the north eastern side about half way between the gateway to the north and the Shah Burj.
The walls are surrounded by embattled parapets and are ornamented with 21 small pavilions, 7 of which are round and the rest octagonal. The citadel is believed to have cost 100 lakhs of rupees half of which sum said to have been spent on its walls and the other half on the building inside.
Through the gateway of the Nakar Kahnah you passed into the courtyards of the Hall of the public Audience the renowned Diwan-e Aam. The impressive ceremonies, which were observed on State occasions in the court of the Grand Mughal commenced here. Diwan Aam or Hall of the Public Audience court within this splendid hall once stood was about 550 feet long and 800 feet wide... read more
It is an oblong building, with a flat roof and arched doors in the style of the Diwan khas. The roof is protected by a plain parapet, and on each of its four corners, there is an open square pavilion supported by four stone pillars. With the exception of the inner walls of the rooms, which are up to the waist, covered with marbles, the building is constructed of grey sand stone.... read more
Diwan-e-Khas or Hall of the Special Audience, the courtyards which the visitors entered through the lal Pradah was barely a fourth of that of the Diwane Aam. The next court was about 210 feet long by 180 feet. A very handsome and striking court, richly ornamented buildinds opposite a beautiful hall of white marble. On the eastern wall of this enclosure stands the Diwan khas near .... read more
Passing through the covered bazaar of the Lahore Gate, the visitors entered a well kept square about 200 feet long at 140 feet broad, surrounded by a range of arcade departments where, in olden days, the omrahs western corner of the square stood certain public buildings where the Emperor’s Nazir transacted business In the centre of the square was a tank, fed by a canal which divided.... read more