The Red Fort is a historic fort which served as the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years, until 1857. The Red Fort, the largest monument in Delhi, is one of its most popular tourist destinations and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Constructed in 1639 by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as the palace of his fortified capital, the Red Fort is named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone and is adjacent to the older Salimgarh Fort, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. This stunning structure, with its tall, red sandstone walls, covers an area of more than two kilometers, the entirety of which is crescent shaped and surrounded by a moat.
The impressive Lahore Gate is the main gate to the Red Fort, named for its orientation towards the city of Lahore, while the even grander Delhi Gate was used by the emperor for ceremonial processions. Entering through the Lahore Gate, visitors reach Chhatta Chowk, a 17th-century covered bazaar where items such as silks, jewelry, gems, and silverware can be purchased, along with souvenirs and food items. The Naubat Khana within the Red Fort once housed the musicians who played for the emperor, and its fine galleries still contain many interesting musical instruments such as kettledrums, gongs, and cymbals. Diwan-i-Am, the Hall of Public Audiences where the emperor would receive his subjects is also worth seeing for its stunning white marble. Some buildings are in fairly-good condition, with their decorative elements undisturbed; in others, the marble inlaid flowers have been removed by looters.