The fort is built alongside the Yamuna river and stretches almost 2.5 km. It consists of a wall built in red sandstone and several buildings inside. The wall has 2 gates, the Delhi Gate and the Amar Singh Gate. You can only enter the fort via the Amar Singh Gate. Part of the fort is still in use by the Indian Army and are not accessible to the public, but there's still enough left to get an insight on the way the Mughals lived in the 16th century.
The Agra Fort has a semi-circular plan and it's walls are seventy feet high. Four gates were provided on its four sides, one Khizri gate opening on to the river.
Two of the gates are called the 'Delhi Gate' and the 'Lahore Gate'. The Delhi Gate, which faces the city, is considered the grandest of the four gates. It leads to an inner gate called the Hathi Pol (Elephant Gate) where two life sized stone elephants with their riders stand guard.
Akbar Gate Akbar Darwazza was renamed Amar Singh Gate by Jahangir. The gate is similar in design to the Delhi Gate. Both are built of red sandstone.
The complex includes the large Diwan-i-Am (the Hall of Public Audience), the Diwan-i-Khas (the Hall of Private Audience), mosques, a long bazaar, palaces, formal gardens, and pavilions. The Agra Red Fort draws from both the Islamic and Hindu traditions, and is a product of the first truly Mughal style. It served as an influential example to later construction throughout the empire, notably at the Red Fort in Delhi.
Though it was originally built as a military installation, the Red Fort in Agra is also famous for having served as a prison for Shah Jalan after his son seized power... (he's most famous for having contructed the Taj Mahal for his wife....)
You can actually see the Taj from here if you look over the wall down the river to the southwest.. (if it aint too smoggy out, that is....)
Continuation of the attractions at Agra Fort:
Mina Masjid (Heavenly Mosque)
Nagina Masjid (Gem Mosque) - mosque designed for the ladies of the court, featuring the Zenana Mina Bazaar (Ladies Bazaar) - right next to the balcony, where only female merchants sold wares
Naubat Khana (Drum House) - a place where the king's musicians played
Rang Mahal - where the king's wives and mistresses lived
Shahi Burj - Shah Jahan's private work area
Shah Jahani Mahal - Shah Jahan's first attempt at modification of the red sandstone palace
Shish Mahal's glass worksSheesh Mahal (Glass Palace) or Shish Mahal - royal dressing room featuring tiny mirror-like glass-mosaic decorations on the walls
The Red Fort is a big defence complex with mighty walls (made of red sandstone, which gives the name for this place) and a beautiful Palace. Situated right on the riverbank you can see the Taj further on the horizont.
It actually is only a short walk from the Taj Ganj quarter and the magnificent Taj Mahal. Go for a walk!
The Red Fort is associated historically with Taj Mahal. It was the palace of the father of Taj Mahal builder.
When that prince decided to build another Taj Mahal in black marble, the father subjected him to prison in the Red Fort. He accused him of wasting money.
So he put him in a place at the top of the Red Fort, where he can see Taj Mahal while feeling disable to build another one. When he got too old to see, the father brought him a big diamon, so he would see the picture of Taj Mahal reflected on it.
Entry fees (for foreigners): Rs300
The main attractions of Agra Fort are as follows:
Anguri Bagh - 85 square, geometrically arranged gardens
Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience) - was used to speak to the people and listen to petitioners and once housed the Peacock Throne
Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) - was used to receive kings and dignitary, features black throne of Jehangir
Golden Pavilions - beautiful pavilions with roofs shaped like the roofs of Bengali huts
Jahangiri mahal - built by Akbar for his son Jehangir
Khas Mahal - white marble palace, one of the best examples of painting on marble
Macchi Bhawan (Fish Enclosure) - grand enclosure for harem functions, once had pools and fountains
Musamman Burj - a large, octagonal tower with a balcony facing the Taj Mahal
More attractions and photos are at part 2 of this tip.
Diwan-E-Aam, the hall of Public Audience was constructed by Akbar the Grate with red sand stone and is situated towards the west side of "Machli Bhawan" It was remodelled by Shah Jahan, who built its pillars, arches and ceiling with typical inlayed marble work.
On the back side of the hall, there is beautiful balcony, which is situated a few feet up from the ground.This is made of white marble and the flowers are made of valuable gems and mosaic.The throne was kept in this balcony and the emperor used to listen to the problems of the people and used to solve them.Just below this, there is a four sided balcony, made of white marble from where the Prime Minister used to put in front the writen problems of the people to the emperor.There were two rooms on both sides of throne on which there was a screen of marble made, which was made specially for the Harem ladies, who used to listen to the public also.
The Red Fort of Agra is historically and architecturally very important, but I won't bore you with all known details here. In general though, the complex is better described as a fortified palace, as the Muslim Mughal emperors spent most of their time defending themselves from the largerly Hindu populace over whom they ruled. From that perspective, Agra's Red Fort is the most important one in India because the great Mughals Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb all lived here. This complex contained not only the palace but administrative offices, and it contained the largest state treasury and mint. Foreign ambassadors, travellers and the highest dignitaries who participated in the making of history in India were received here. The current red sandstone construction of the fort was begun after 1558 by Akbar, but the location had been the site of a red brick fortress dating back to before 1080AD when it was first mentioned. See the link below for futher details. I would recommend three days in Agra, but since we had only two, I was required to visit Red Fort in the afternoon when the high sun cast contrast on my image taking activities. However, I have a least a few good ones to show here, in fact, enough to merit a second tip, so don't stop browsing after examining these images.
At the end of his life, Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb, in Red Fort, within the confines of the Musamman Burj, and octagonal tower also known at the Jasmine Tower. This structure along the ramparts of Red Fort faces toward the Taj Mahal. In 1658, Shah Jahan was deposed by his youngest son Aurangzeb, and imprisoned here for the last seven years of his life. Under the car of his daughter Jahanara, Shah Jahan must have peered daily toward the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. There are indeed several grand views of the Yumana River and the Taj Mahal.
do not miss to see over Yamuna river when visiting Jahangiri Mahal. you'll see >> Taj Mahal from a distance! and it will be a romantic views in the evening.
something ironic thing just across in my mind whenever see this beautiful scenery. remember about a statement 'love will last forever' >> according to Shah Jahan's gift to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, a gorgeous charbagh called Taj. she's passed away when give a birth and never see how beautiful charbagh that made for herself. then in other hand, Shah Jahan was kept as a prisoner by his own son Aurangzeb in this Jahangiri Mahal before passed away. so he spent the last years of his life watching this scenery from a distance ....
The Agra Fort was built between 1565 and 1573 by Emperor Akbar. This fort, and the one in Fatehpur Sikri, boast advanced systems for air conditioning, plumbing, and defense, and are magnificently decorated with carvings and marble inlay.
Although the object of most visits to Agra is the Taj Mahal, I think it would be a travesty to skip the Agra Fort. I was awed by the size and atmosphere of it.
Jali Patterns are cutwork made in the marble screens in forts and tombs. The patterns can be floral, as in this picture, or geometric. Light spilling through the perforations casts decorative shadows on the floor. . .so the beauty extends beyond the piece itself.
As beautiful as the Taj Mahal was, there was something equally magical about visiting the Agra Fort (completely new to my eyes) and discovering the wealth of art and design it held.
The Musaman Burj or Octagonal tower was, like the Khas Mahal, built between 1631-40, and is situated at a location where the main wall of the fort takes a turn to the east. It is thought that a small palace from the time of Akbar once sat here, which was demolished by Jehangir, whose new buildings were in turn removed for this multi-storied marble tower - Shah Jehan's gift to his beloved Mumtaz Mahal.
It was here that Shah Jehan spent the last days of his life - he was imprisoned in the fort for the 7 years until his death by his son Aurangzeb, and from here he could gaze out on the Taj Mahal.