It is well documented that Dalmia Bharat Limited has been selected as a ‘Monument Mitra’ to adopt and develop tourist amenities at the Red Fort. As part of the initiative, Dalmia Bharat Limited has recently opened a world-class visitor centre at the nation’s iconic 17th-century heritage site. Showcasing the rich heritage of the Mughal-era fort, the multi-storied centre has been designed and curated in close collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The Red Fort Centre is housed in a historic 19th-century British barrack at Red Fort that has been conserved by Dalmia Bharat Limited. Visitors can now take a walk down the history lane through mesmerizing key attractions which includes immersive experiences, state of the art installations, and unique exhibitions at this centre.

Red Fort Centre consultant Shagufta Siddhi giving a guided tour of the centre.

The Red Fort Centre is divided into two floors. The ground floor features attractions such as a unique 10-minute 360º immersive viewing experience with wall, ceiling and floor projections as well as an augmented reality photography room for visitors. “We welcome our fellow citizens and guests from across the world to visit and experience Delhi’s old-world charm through the best-in-class Red Fort Centre. It aims to provide a first-hand understanding of how the transformation and history of Delhi and the majestic monument’s grand opulence have left a mark. We are hopeful that our nation-building efforts will lead to greater awareness about our country’s rich heritage and we also look forward to giving back to the community through multiple facets including employment generation that this endeavour is creating,” averred Puneet Dalmia, Managing Director, Dalmia Bharat Limited.

The first floor houses the Interpretation Centre which features an introduction to Delhi before the establishment of Red Fort and Shahjahanabad referred to as ‘Safar,’ the magnificent architecture, royal traditions, and luxurious living in the fort titled ‘Zindagi,’ defining moments in India’s history with Red Fort as the fulcrum described as ‘Tareekh,’ and a section called ‘Hum Ek Hain,’ which houses the Harmony Installation, the Unity Room and the Pledge for India as part of positioning Red Fort as the Fort of India and India’s unity in diversity. A nominal ticket of Rs.100 each is charged for the first floor Interpretation Centre, the 360-degree Show, and the AR Photography per visitor. The centre is open to the public from 10 AM to 6 PM from Tuesdays to Sundays.
Another major attraction at the Red Fort Centre is the meticulous recreation of the iconic Chhatta Chowk Bazar at the Red Fort—India’s first covered marketplace—in all its glory. The drama is heightened by the presence of an actor dressed up as a character from a period costume drama i.e. a slippery merchant selling items at the bazaar during the Mughal era. He greets the visitors and exchanges pleasantries and soon begins to spin yarns about his day to day routine such as his quarrels with his wife or the quotidian affairs at the bazaar.
As part of the government’s ‘Adopt a Heritage Project,’ Dalmia Bharat Limited has been given the responsibility to provide excellent tourist facilities at Red Fort to make the monument tourist-friendly and enhance its tourist potential and cultural importance in a planned and phased manner. The Red Fort Centre is a major step forward in this direction. “The pandemic was a major challenge. For almost two years the conservation work was on the backburner. Also, structural conservation was definitely a tough part. The building had to be put together in a manner that it is air-conditioned as the original structure wasn’t meant for air-conditioning as well as the kind of lighting that has been done is very state of the art. So, I think the battle has been won. The challenge now is to ensure that the public continues to enjoy this. It’s important for the visitors to appreciate the importance of such experience centres in making our monuments come alive,” explains Shagufta Siddhi, an archivist, educator, and curator of cultural events who helps the Red Fort Centre with their public outreach and student body engagement as a consultant.
Tourists can also visit the Souvenir Shop run by Luv Indiya Concepts and the Snack Point run by Café Delhi Heights with a specially curated menu. This makes the Red Fort country’s first national monument to host a full-fledged restaurant. “Opening Cafe Delhi Heights in historic Red Fort is an all together different feeling. Food is a lens for culture and it’s our honour to be able to serve our food at the icon of India’s freedom. The restaurant is part of an agreement between Dalmia Group, the ASI and Cafe Delhi Heights. It is located on the ground floor, with an experience center build up by Dalmia’s. The aim is to give customer different and an exclusive experience of the medieval and modern history of Delhi. We are really glad and thankful to be a part of such a great historical monument. It is a proud moment for Cafe Delhi Heights. We also want to thank our customers who are showing us so much love and support in this journey,” rejoiced Vikrant Batra, Co-Founder, Cafe Delhi Heights.