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Agra Fort | History | Major Structures | How to Reach

Overview

This architectural wonder, Agra Fort, was constructed by Emperor Akbar in 1573. It is built completely of red sandstone and is situated on the right bank of the Yamuna River. The erstwhile Mughal palace in the fort lasted till 1638. Located just 2.5 kilometers from the Taj Mahal, it is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Agra Fort, which has many names, including Lal-Qila, Fort Rouge, and Qila-i-Akbari, is renowned as a symbol of Agra and is so enormous that it is considered to be a walled city. This is the finest representation of Mughal architecture, constructed completely from red sandstone. The most beautiful buildings, including the Pearl Mosque, Diwan-i I Khas, Diwan-i I Aam, Moti Masjid, and Jahangiri Mahal, are all located within the Agra Fort. The Indian Army uses part of the Agra Fort, thus it is off-limits to the public. The Taj Mahal’s pavilions provide breathtaking views of the Yamuna River and the majestic Taj Mahal.

History

Delhi was the capital of the first Sultan of Delhi, Sikandar Lodi until he moved it to Agra. Ibrahim Lodi and his son Firoz Lodi then had control of the fort that was called Badalgarh for nine years, until their loss in the first battle of Panipat. The Mughal emperor Babur dispatched his son Humayun to Agra, where Humayun conquered the Badalgarh Fort and took possession of a huge wealth, which included the famed Kohinoor diamond. The Mughals were unsuccessful in retaking the fort after Humayun fell to Sher Shah Suri. Akbar was struck by the significance of Agra when he got there, and he thus declared it the capital. Akbar’s workmen were sent to the Badalgarh Fort to recover the rubble and haul it back, loaded with red sandstone from Rajasthan. It took 1573 to construct following the labor of 4,000 builders and was eventually finished in 1575.

In order to make the fort his own, Shah Jahan, the grandson of Akbar, demolished parts of the buildings and replace them with new structures. Shah Jahan was imprisoned in the Muasamman Burj at the fort overlooking the Taj Mahal toward the end of his life.

Layout

From above, the fort seems semicircular. The fort’s base faces the Yamuna. The Agra Fort is surrounded by a huge red sandstone wall. Its 2 km circumference is broken by elegant bends and towering bastions. The fort’s walls are 70 feet high. The fort is approximately 2.5 km long. It has four (one on each side). The Delhi and Lahore gates are the most visible. Amar Singh Gate replaced Lahore Gate. The Delhi Gate was Akbar’s primary entryway and defense against attackers. The Elephant Gate is an interior entrance. The fort’s gates were designed to prevent attackers from entering even with war elephants. The Indian army still guards the Delhi gate.

It has palaces and halls. Among the palaces, Macchi Bhavan, Khas Mahal, and Shah Jahani Mahal stand out. Enter via Amar Singh Gate. On the right is the beautiful Diwan-I-Am (Hall of Public Audience). The royal pavilions house the renowned Nagina and Mina Masjids. The fort also contains marble royal baths used by the princesses. The fort also included temples and a ladies-only market. A hidden tunnel was excavated near the fort’s base to facilitate emergency access. the remains of Akbar’s formerly beautiful palace (Shish Mahal) and a grape garden. The fort supposedly once contained 500 magnificent buildings. Sadly, many of the structures were demolished for various causes.

The Agra Fort’s Major Structures

Shahjahani Mahal – Shah Jahan tried to make the Shahjahani Mahal a white marble palace, but it’s one of the first buildings he attempted to do it with.

Nagina Masjid – Shah Jahan ordered the construction of the mosque Nagina Masjid. Only white marble was used to construct the mosque, and it was regarded as a personal place of prayer.

Bengali Mahal-  Akbar and Shah Jahan both constructed this palace, with the latter’s modifications. The palace’s unique feature is that it is believed to be hiding secret structures underneath it.

Akbar’s Mahal – Even in the fort, Akbar’s palace, a historic structure, is still standing. Akbar died at this palace. Red sandstone was used for the construction of the whole palace.

Jahangir’s Hauz – The tank was constructed by Jahangir, and it is a monolithic structure. In the beginning, this tank was utilized for bathing. The Bengali Mahal currently includes the area around the river.

Babur’s Baoli (step well)  – Babur constructed a stone step well to meet the water requirements of the old fort of Agra. This was most likely one of the fort’s first improvements.

Diwan-I-Am (Hall of Public Audience) – Shah Jahan constructed this hall. Surprisingly, the hall was originally constructed with red sandstone but was subsequently shell-plastered to give it the appearance of white marble.

Ghaznin Gate – The Ghaznin gate really belongs to the mausoleum of Mahmud of Ghazni, one of the Ghaznavid Empire’s kings. The British relocated the gate inside the fort for political reasons.

Entrance cost: Foreigners: INR 550; Indians: INR 40

It’s free to enter for children under the age of 15.

The Amar Singh Gate is the entrance gate for going inside the Agra Fort.

How to Reach:

By Road

The NH2 and the new Yamuna Expressway link Agra to Delhi. Depending on traffic and time of day, the trip takes approximately 4-5 hours. A four-hour journey connects Jaipur to Agra via NH11. Gwalior is a 1.5-hour drive away through NH3, while Lucknow and Kanpur are approximately a 2-hour and 5-hour journey apart via NH2.

By Train

Agra is located on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai routes and is well linked to the majority of Indian cities. Regular trains go to Agra from places like Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior, and Jhansi. Agra is also well-linked to cities across the nation, including Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai. Agra has five railway stations: Agra Cantt Station (the main station), Agra Fort Railway Station, Raja ki Mandi Railway Station, Agra City Railway Station, and Idgah Railway Station. The Taj Mahal and Agra Fort are a short distance from the Agra Cantt train station and may be reached by pre-paid cab, auto-rickshaw, or cycle rickshaw.

Some FAQ

Are the Agra Fort and the Red Fort are same?

Agra Fort, commonly known as Red Fort, is a large red sandstone castle built in the 16th century on the banks of the Yamuna River in the historic city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

What is the distance between Agra Fort and Taj Mahal?

The Agra fort, approximately 2.5 kilometers from the Taj Mahal, is situated on the Yamuna River’s banks and has an area of 94 acres. Tourists visiting the Taj Mahal often stop at the Agra fort because of the short distance between it and the fort.

On which day of the week does Agra Fort close?

The fort is open to the public every day of the week, therefore there are no closed days at Agra Fort.

 

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