1) The Red Fort was originally white
The ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) has found traces of Mughal lime plaster (mixture of lime, gum, bael fruit and marble dust) on some parts of the fort. The original plaster is believed to have either faded or painted over by the British. While restoring the fort, ASI plans to use Mughal lime plaster on those parts that were white. So the next time you visit this monument, don’t be surprised if some of the buildings within the premises like Mumtaz Mahal and Naubat Khana have changed colour!
2) Kohinoor diamond was part of furniture
The term ‘live life king size’ was probably coined keeping Emperor Shah Jahaan in mind. His royal seat stood in Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), made of solid gold frame and studded with precious stones such as rubies, emeralds, pearls and diamonds including the world’s largest, the Kohinoor. It was pilfered by Nadir Shah, the ‘Persian Napoleon’. After passing several hands, it is now part of England’s royal Crown Jewels collection.
3) Royal wives & concubines
The emperor was one lucky man. His private pavilion, the Khas Mahal was near Rang Mahal, the women’s quarters, where he would sometimes go for dinner, and maybe stay for ‘coffee’. Rang Mahal housed his wives, mistresses and their maids. No man besides the emperor and the princes could enter these quarters and only eunuchs were trusted to relay messages.
4) Trial of Bahadur Shah Zafar
In 1857, in a small town called Meerut, Indian soldiers rebelled against the British. This mutiny spread to other parts of the country. Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor was declared emperor of India by the revolters. Known more for his poetry than skills in war, Zafar was just the nominal head. The uprising, however, was unsuccessful and he was tried for treason in his own home, the Red Fort. The trial took place in Diwan-i-Khas before the British military court. Found guilty, he was exiled to Rangoon (now Myanmar) and his title was stripped from him, no longer to be passed on to his descendants. He was 82 at the time.
For more details, click here: Red Fort, Delhi