Situated close to the famous Taj Mahal (2.5 km away), Agra fort is remarkable for the fusion of Persian art of the Timurid and the Indian art form. Also known as Red fort, this monument reflects the opulence and power of Mughal Empire. This fort was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982. This powerful fortress was founded in 1565 by the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) on the right bank of river Yamuna, and was built from the 16th century onwards till the early 18th century, starting with Emperor Akbar’s reign in the 16th century to that of Aurangzeb in the early part of the 18th century, including the contributions made during the reign of Jahangir and Shahjahan.
History and Legends
This grand fortress has been captured and ruled by many emperors. Sikandar Lodhi was the first sultan of Delhi who lived in the fort. After his death, his son Abrahim Lodhi, ruled from here for nine years, till he was defeated in first battle of Panipat in 1526, in which the fort was seized by Mughals.
Babur and Humayun successively ruled from here till Humayun was defeated in 1540 by Sher Shah. Humayun recaptured it in 1955 but was again defeated by king Hemu, who was eventually defeated by king Akbar. The fort remained with Mughals till the time of Aurangzeb. Various constructions were done by different kings who ruled the fortress.
It is believed that Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, in the memory of his deceased wife, was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in Agra Fort, he was kept in Musamman Burj a tower with a beautiful marble balcony, from which he had a view of the building made in the memory of his wife , it is believed that Shah Jahan died here.
The fort was a battle site during famous 1957 Indian rebellion, which witnessed the end of British East India Company’s rule in India, and led to a direct rule of India by Britain.
What to see in Fort
Agra fort is one of the most obvious symbols of the Mogul grandeur. The walls are constructed from red sandstone and are rising above a moat and interrupted by graceful curves and lofty bastions. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls which comprises many exquisite buildings like Moti Masjid- a white marble mosque (built during 1646–1653), Nagina Masjid (1658–1707). Diwan-E-Am, Diwan-E-Khaas, Muhamman Burje (an octagonal tower)-where Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan died in 1666 A.D., Jahangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal , Sheesh Mahal etc. Many of these buildings are made from pure marble with beautiful carvings.
The fort has two notable gates the “Delhi Gate” and the “Lahore Gate.” The Lahore Gate is also popularly known as the “Amar Singh Gate,” Delhi gate build during the reign of Akbar is a masterpiece, it faces the city on the western side of the fort. Entry is allowed to the tourist through Amar Singh Gate. Agra Fort is an interesting mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture.
How to reach
Agra is well connected through air, rail and road
There is a domestic airport at Agra, with regular flights to major cities of India
There are various express trains available from Agra city to other major cities of India
Agra is situated in the Golden Triangle of the Tourist Circuit (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur), It is connected to Delhi and Varanasi By NH-2, to Jaipur by NH-11 and Gwalior By NH-3 and is well connected to major cities by road.
The fort remains open for visitors from sunrise to sunset
Important Information :
The entry to Agra Fort is allowed through the Amar Singh Gate only. Some portion of this fort is used by the Indian Army. The public access to that part has been prohibited. So you cannot see that area.
There is no entry fee for children below 15 years of age