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Fort of Agra

The Fort of Agra is one of the most beautiful fortresses of India, located in the city of Agra. It was built by Akbar in 1565, at a time when wars were more frequent than at the time of the construction of the Red Fort in Delhi by Shah Jahan, and was designed as a citadel surrounded on three sides by a moat and defended on the fourth by the river. The fort was completed by his grandson, Shah Jahan. Unlike Akbar, who preferred red sandstone with elements of marble in the construction, Cihan used his favorite material, white marble. Shah Jahan later transformed the Agra Fort into a palace, and later, after his son Aurangzeb took over in 1658, it became a gilded cage for the Shah himself for many eight years.

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General Information.

Indians/foreigners 20/300 rupees, video 25 rupees; open from dawn to dusk

Visiting Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal on the same day will get you a 50 rupee discount off the price of the two tickets.

The huge twin walls of the fort, resembling the shape of an ear, rise to a height of 20 meters and are 2.5 km in circumference. The Yamuna River originally flowed along the straight eastern side of the fort and the emperors had their own ghats at this location. There is a whole labyrinth of buildings, a city within a city, including various underground structures. Many of these structures were destroyed by Nadir Shah, the Marathas, the Jats, and finally the British, who used Agra Fort as a garrison. Even today much of the fort is used by the military, so civilian access is restricted.

The Amar Singh Gate, located on the south side, is the only entrance to the fort today. This is where you can buy entrance tickets. The broken design of the gate must have confused the assailants who overcame the first hurdle-roves teeming with crocodiles.

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From here the path leads directly to the large Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), which is always closed. On the right before the Moti Masjid you will see the large open Diwan-i-Am (Audience Hall) used by Shah Jahan for internal government affairs. Here is the throne room where the emperor listened to the petitioners. Opposite it is the small and incongruous tomb of John Colvin, Lieutenant Governor of the Northwestern Province, who died of illness in the fort during the First War of Independence in 1857.

A small staircase to the left of the throne of Diwan y Ama leads to a large courtyard. On your left is the small but elegant Nagina Masjid (Jewel Mosque) built by Shah Jahan in 1635 for female courtiers. Downstairs was the Women’s Bazaar, where the palace ladies bought goods.

On the far side of the courtyard, along the eastern wall of the Agra fort, is the Diwan-i-Klias (Hall of Private Audiences) for meetings with important persons or foreign ambassadors. The legendary Peacock Throne of Shah Jahan once stood in this hall, adorned with precious stones, including the famous Kohinoor diamond. Au-Rangzeb took the throne to Delhi, then in 1739 Nadir Shah took it to Iran. After his assassination in 1747, the throne was dismantled into pieces. At some distance from the Taj Mahal rises above the river Takhti-i-Jehangar, a huge piece of black rock with an inscription on its edge. The throne that once stood here was made for Jehangir when he was Prince Salim.

Farther to the right (facing the river) is the Slush Mahal (Mirror Palace), the walls of which are lined with tiny mirrors. At the time of the survey it was closed for restoration, but through the cracks in the doors you can see the shimmering mirrors.

Farther away, on the eastern side of Agra Fort, you will find the Musamman Burj and the Khas Mahal, beautiful white marble octagonal towers and the palace where Shah Jahan sat for eight years until his death in 1666 and from where he could see the Taj Mahal, the mausoleum of his wife. When Shah Jahan died, his body was transported from here by boat to the Taj. The Mina Masjid, closed today, a little to the side of the eastern edge, was his personal mosque.

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The large courtyard is Anguri Bagh, a garden that was revived only a few years ago. The courtyard has a seemingly harmless entrance (now closed) that leads down a flight of steps into a two-story maze of underground rooms and corridors where Akbar kept his harem of 500 concubines.

Continue south and you will find Jehangir’s Palace, a red sandstone palace probably built by Akbar for his son Jehangir. It mixes architectural styles from India and Central Asia in a reminder of the Mughal cultural roots of Afghanistan. In front of the palace is the Hauz-i-Jehangir, a huge bowl made of a single piece of stone that was used for bathing. Walking further, you get back to the main path leading to the Amar Singh Gate.

Red Fort

Red Fort is a beautiful fort-like structure, built in Agra during the Mughal dynasty.

The fort got its name from the red brick which is the main building material.

The red fort is located near the Taj Mahal and has a rather unusual shape – the crescent. In addition, it is built with a second wall, which for centuries protected local residents from belligerent neighbors.

The wall is 21 meters high and 2.4 kilometers wide.

Interestingly, the fort and the wall have a completely finished look.

All the structures around the fort are made of red brick.

It is possible to get inside the sight only through the gates: Lahore Gate and Delhi Gate. Inside the fort there are several palaces, parks with ponds and mosques. There is a very clear combination of Islamic and Hindu styles in the architecture of the structure.

View of the fort from the river by Ghulam Ali Khan, 1852-1854.

History of the Red Fort

According to historical documents, the construction of the fort began in 1565. It was started by the famous Akbar, a pagishah belonging to the Mughal dynasty. This politician is known not only as a fair military leader who came to the throne at the age of 14, but also because he made Agra the capital of India during his reign.

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In 1571 the almost completed Red Fort was enclosed by a protective wall. Akbar issued a decree that all structures be built of red sandstone.

Naubat Khana and the court before its destruction by the British, in 1858

Fifty years later Shah Jahan came to power. He returned the Indian capital to Delhi and even founded a new city. During his reign the Red Fort acquired several more walls. But already as a material, he ordered the use of white marble with the addition of precious metals.

After the relocation of the capital, the Red Fort became completely empty. The head of state never came here again, leaving only a few servants in the structure.

Aurangzebu, who was world famous for his cruelty, ascended the throne. He murdered all his brothers and dethroned his father, becoming the sole heir.

In 1803, the British managed to seize the Red Fort, despite good defenses. A Sepoy Rebellion followed, making the fort a real battlefield.

Open in full size 2722×1960

The Red Fort is nowadays not only a famous landmark but also a Declared Historic Site. No one lives in the fort today, but despite this, it remains a major political site.

During Agra’s Independence Day in late summer, it is from the wall of the Red Fort that the head of the city congratulates the citizens.

In response, the people of the city fly kites into the sky, symbolizing the will and equality. Also, every year a festive parade takes place within the walls of the fort.

Numerous poets and writers have dedicated their works to the beauty of the fortress, which delight readers to this day.

Since its founding and to this day the fort has been preserved in good condition.

After the capture of the British invaders, the Red Fort was reconstructed many times, and almost all the jewels and luxuries were transported to England. Today, no restoration work is being done on the structure.

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Anyone can go inside and learn the whole history of the place.

There are armor, weapons, and even utensils from that era. But there are a few rooms that are forbidden to enter. The reason is that they are regularly used for military trials.

If you are located in Goa, you can take a plane or train, which take you directly to Agra.

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