The Garden Guide

Book: C.M Villiers Stuart Gardens of the Great Mughals
Chapter: Chapter 5 Gardens of the Plains - Delhi

Red Fort Delhi

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The palace in the Delhi fortress has perhaps suffered more at our [ie British] hands than that of Agra. On the other hand, what remains has recently been very carefully restored, and the ruined walls replaced, wherever possible, by borders of shrubs and flowers, skilfully planted to suggest the original outlines of courts and gardens; and though the palace is not so picturesquely situated as that of Agra, Delhi is particularly interesting owing to its having been built by Shah Jahan on one uniform plan. Outside the west walls of the fortress, adjoining the moat, was formerly a large square, with gardens on either side running down to the water. The entrance to the more private apartments is through the great court of the Diwan-i-Am (Public Hall of Audience), behind which were originally several small garden courts, in front of Various buildings. Bernier saw these zenana quarters during the Kings absence from Delhi, and says that 'nearly every chamber has its reservoir of running water at the door; on every side are gardens, delightful alleys, shady retreats, streams, fountains, grottoes, deep excavations that afford shelter from the sun by day, lofty divans and terraces, on which to sleep coolly at night. Within the walls of this enchanting place, in fine, no oppressive or inconvenient heat is felt.'