Meet Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's 'daughters' at Red Fort on Saturday

New Delhi, Nov 22: Visitors going to the Red Fort in New Delhi on Saturday will get a rare chance to 'meet' famous Mughal princesses Jahan Ara and Roshan Ara, whose names are linked with the capital city's celebrated history.

With an aim to make history and heritage engaging and more accessible to people, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Delhi Circle, has organised the date with history as part of its celebrations to mark World Heritage Week (November 19-25).

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Visitors to Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) at the 17th century fort would be welcomed by Shah Jahan's 'daughters', who will share with them the sagas of the eras gone by during the one-hour programme scheduled between 2:30-3:30 PM. "Those visiting the Diwan-i-Khas on Saturday would be startled, as the two princesses would suddenly walk into their midst, sometime between that hour. "Artistes dressed up in Mughal-era costumes have been hired for the purpose. The idea was to let history itself speak to you," Superintending Archaeologist of ASI's Delhi Circle Vasant Swarankar told PTI.

Born in 1614, Jahan Ara Begum, was the eldest daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. She is buried in a tomb in Nizamuddin area in South Delhi. Roshan Ara Begum, a talented poet and the mastermind behind her brother Aurangzeb's accession to the Mughal throne was their second daughter. Swarankar said, "After two Mughal princesses, a brilliant Sultan Tughlaq will meet his 'subjects' in Delhi on the closing day of the week-long celebrations (November 25) at the Tughlaqabad Fort."

The heritage week celebrations kicked off in the capital on November 19 with an exhibition of rare archival painting and images of Qutub Minar complex at the world heritage site itself. "About 80 images, drawn from our archives consisting of rare sketches, paintings, lithographs, photographs and contemporary pictures have been displayed at the site in Mehrauli. Since, people cannot see it towering minaret illuminated at night, we have also included shots of the same as part of the exhibition," he said.

A 8-foot cut-out of the "much-loved monument and veritably the symbol of Delhi" has also been kept at the exhibition site for people to get photographed with, he said. Old Delhi's famous street market Chandni Chowk was designed and built by Jahan Ara. Mughal styled-garden 'Roshanara Bagh' in North Delhi was built by Roshan Ara.


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