Lal Mahal (Red Palace)

Lal Mahal (Red Palace)

Lal Mahal which means ‘Red Palace’ was once the delight of Mughal Architecture situated about 20 metres from Bara Khamba in the Nizzamuddin area of Delhi. This Palace is an excellent example of utter neglect by the Delhi Government seen completely demolished today. It was once known to be the first Islamic Palace that ever survived through these 800 years and was a relic of the Delhi Sultanate era built during the 13th Century and approximately sometime in 1240 AD.

The Lal Mahal depicted the first of its kind underground cellars or rooms also known as tykhanas that provided a cooling respite to the Royalties during the summer months of Delhi was seen recently destroyed with only a partial portion left intact and people around that area sate that this portion that survived might also be soon demolished if the government does not take action to stop any further construction work over this historical place. The Palace once depicted impressive and well carved Chhatris or umbrella shaped structures made of red sandstone which was the first to get destroyed. Historical books state that a traveller named Ibin Batuta had once stayed in this beautiful Red Palace during his visit to Delhi and it was during the reign of Sultan Muhammed Bin Tughlaq that saw construction of numerous Palaces and Forts in this region during his time.

The Archaeological Survey of India or ASI in short had deemed this Palace as a protected monument in 1910 but somehow, the demolition works seems to have slipped through the eyes of ASI and many locals state that this area was apparently sold to a private firm in Mumbai and they want to build a Multiplex or Commercial Complex in this area. The Historian named Zafar Hassan also quoted in his reports that the Lal Mahal was definitely an architectural delight that would increase in value immensely through the coming years and probably being a Heritage site, it is a priceless 800 year old masterpiece. It was seen with a central dome shaped roof and chambers attached to the Pavilions each facing on four different directions along with the outer ornamental roof like projections decorated intricately and hence the entire palace was actually constructed over a base that was a roof of the basement chambers or tykhanas used by the King during summer months.

As of now and currently, visitors can actually get a glimpse of whatever remains of the Palace structure as the tykhanas are still partially visible however, after a few months, the remaining fragments might just soon vanish and can be such a disgrace to the Delhi Tourism board and ASI, if they are not able to save this original and first Palace ever built in Delhi.

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