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Photographer's Note

Red Fort Complex along with the earlier Salimgarh Fort occupies an area of around 120 acres and is an important reference point for the Indo-Islamic city of Shahjahanabad.

As a symbol of Independent India, Red Fort is a national monument which is manifest in the continuing tradition of Independence Day speeches delivered from the rampart of the Lahori Gate by the Prime Minister of India on 15th August of every year. Red Fort is a high security area with fully armed security personnel all over the monument.

The Khas Mahal (Private Palace), next to Diwan-i-Khas has three sections - the Taasbikhana (Chamber of Telling Beads) facing north, the Khwabgah (Sleeping Chamber) in the center and the Baithak (Sitting Room) to the south.

On the north side of these rooms there is a fine carved marble screen with the Scales of Justice suspended over a crescent surmounted by clouds and stars.Check the window in the back & you’ll see part of this screen.

Interestingly, there is a claim that the Red fort was actually build by some Hindu Raja (Raja Anangoal) in 1060 A.D, a good 600 years before Shah Jahan, who’s credited as the builder of the Red Fort.

According to these claims, what you see in the marble screen is the royal emblem of its builder King Anangoal. It consists of a pair of swords laid hilt to hilt curving upwards, the sacred Hindu pot (kalash) above the hilts, a lotus bud and a pair of scales of justice balanced over it. "Dotted around are representations of the sun from whom Indian ruling dynasties claimed descent. At the sword points are two small conches considered sacred in Hindu tradition. Bigger conches may be seen at the left and right corners at the base.

This royal Hindu insignia of the Hindu king who built Delhi's Red Fort, is still there in the Khas Mahal pavilion. But even this visual symbol has been blatantly misinterpreted. The two swords laid hilt to hilt, curving upward are being inadvertently styled by ignorant guides, archaeologists and historians as an Islamic crescent. The sacred Hindu Kalash (water pot) on the hilts is never noticed. The lotus bud on the kalash represents royal wealth. The pair of scales is symbolic of impartial justice."

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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