Apart from Taj Mahal there is a fort in Agra called Agra Fort. Which is also a popular Mughal building in Agra. It was built by Mughal King Akbar. This fort is a collection of Palaces and Museums developed by Mughals like Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangjeb. It was the home to Mughal Dynasty until 1638.
History, Architecture of Agra Fort :
Agra fort is situated along the left side of Yamuna river. Its wall is made up of Thick and strong redstone. Agra Fort is surrounded by two thick walls, outer wall has a height of 40 feet and inner wall is 70 feet. There was also a deep digging around the walls filled with waters. In earlier times crocodiles were there to save Fort from enemies.
Agra Fort was made by Emperor Akbar, It’s construction started in 1575 and took 7 years to built. Kasim khan who was the governer of the Mughal Army, was given the responsibility to built this fort in time. Construction costs was around 35 Lakh.
It is one of the most beautiful fort in India, A popular writer Abul Fazal said “there was around 500 palaces inside this fort’ but right now only few palaces are left. Later Mughals modified and destroyed the palaces as per their choice.
Shah jahan did lot’s of changes inside the Fort. All white marbles Places were built under his guidance. Meanwhile Red Places are the Old ones.
There used to be four main door for the entrance, but right now only two is in use and others were closed permanently. Gates are Amar Singh Gate, Delhi Gate, Water Gate, Darshani Gate. Only Amar singh gate is open right now, Delhi Gate is open only for Army as Battalion of Army occupies around 80% of Area. Rest 20% is open for Tourist.
Following are the main Tourist attractions inside Agra Fort :
Amar Singh Gate : It is located in South side of Fort, which is open for public use. This gate was constructed by Mughal king Shahjahan. Amar singh rathore was the king of Jodhpur and was the courtisan of Mughal King, this gate was named because of him. In 1644, salabat khan who was the care taker of Army insulted Amar singh rathore. Amar singh killed him instantly and tried to fled the spot. He used horse to fled the spot, Amar singh gate was built where he jumped along with his horse.
Jahangir Palace and Hauj : When you enter the Amar singh gate, you will see a palace on Right hand side made up of red stone that is Jahangir Palace. This palace is two storey palace, which was built by king Akbar for his son. Its walls are beautifully carved and designs are delicate.
Its four corner had been used for various purposes like East part was used for library, West part was used for Temple, North side for conversation and South side for delicate Art work. This palace is a beautiful example of art work between Hindus and Middle Asia. Hindu temple was later destroyed by Mughal king Aurangjeb. There was a Big Fish pond outside the Jahangiri Palace, which is now filled up.
Angoori Bagh : It is located just infront of palace. It was built by Akbar for his wife and other Womans of Haram. Soil for this Garden was believed to be brought from Kashmir.
Khaas Mahal : Khaas Mahal is a beautiful palace, made up of White Marbles. This place was used by the womens of Harem. It is Also called Aramgah (resting place). It was earlier used by shahjahan for Artwork and sleeping purpose. It was also said that there were photographs of all mughal kings inside this palace which was destroyed by King of Bharatpur during fight.
There are two beautiful Palaces on both side of Khaas Mahal :
On south side there was a home for Jahan ara, she was the lovely daughter of king Shahjahan. It was made up of white marbles.
On North side there was a home for Roshan ara, she was the 2nd daughter of Shahjahan. This palace still looks fabulous. There is also a basement inside these palace, which was good for resting in summer.
Diwan-e-Khas : Diwan-e-khas was built for the high profile peoples and guests. It was built by Shahjahan in 1637 by white marbles, it is situated along the river. There are two big Halls. Its ceiling was decorated by golden color and floor was decorated beautifully by white marbles. It was built by same peasants, who built Taj Mahal. Diwan-e-khas was the important place for the king, the king used to gather with important persons and used it for secretive meetings.
Mayur Sinhasan was placed here itself. Later Aurangjeb took that Mayur Sinhasan with him to Delhi. After few times Attackers took that Seat along with them, right now it is located at Tehran.
Sheesh Mahal : This Palace is one of the most beautiful palace of Fort. It was used by womans of Harem. Its walls was filled with beautifully designed mirrors. It is located in North side of Khaas Mahal. It was built by Shahjahan in 1630, he made it for his family members and womans.
It was designed like Turkey style architecture. Inside it there is a bath place. There are 2 halls, 2 water tanks – 1 for hot water and another for cold water. Its floor was made up of white marbles beautifully decorated with fishes artwork.
King used this place for his pleasure with other womans in dim light of Diya. Fountains used to throw a fragrance water on floor. This place was used to called Heaven. But all these facilities was exclusively for King only.
Samman Burj or Summan Burj : Jasmine Tower, samman Burj or musamman Burj, all these names belong to the same place, it was built by Jahangir for his wife Noorjahan. After some time, Shahjahan reconstruct this place for his wife Mumtaj Mahal. Precious and colorful stones has been used for its construction. there is a artwork in Jasmine Style here, that’s why it is called Jasmine Tower Also.
Aurangzeb House Arrest his father at this place itself. It is also a death place of Shahjahan, where he took his last breath in the arms of his daughter Jahanara, at that time he was looking at the Taj Mahal where his wife Grave was situated. This is a place where you can see Taj Mahal very easily, it looks like a piece of Moon. You will feel like a Palace has come down form Heaven.
Infront of samman burj , there is a beautiful fountain beautifully decorated in Persian Style. Its courtyard is 44×30 feet in size and is joined with small road. On this Courtyard, there is Game situated. Where king used to play games. Womens from Harem wears colorful dresses and stands on each boxes. They walk only when players told them to.
Nageena Masjid : Nageena Masjid was built by Aurangjeb in 1675 for Harem Womans. It was built up of White marbles and is located in North side of Machchi bhawan. Harem womans come here for Worship. It is a small mosque but beautifully decorated with Mughal Artwork. On its south side there is a door for Meena Bajaar.
Diwan-e-aam : Diwan-e-aam or Common Man place was made from redstone for common people. It was built by King Akbar. It was rebuilt by Shahjahan, and he did a beautiful artwork of white marble on its ceiling. Throne seat was also built by Shahjahan, He usually sit at this place and listens to the problems of common people.
Meena Masjid : It was built by Aurangjeb for his father during house arrest in Agra Fort. It was made by White Marbles, Inside it is 22×13 feet, infront of it courtyard 22 square feet.
Meena Bajaar : This market was started by King Akbar for womans of harem. It was built by red stone. Most of the precious things were sold here. Only king was allowed to enter this market in simple clothes. This markets works only once in a month. It is the same place where Shahjahan had love at first sight with Mumtaj.
Moti Masjid : On the North side of Deewan-e-aam there is mosque of white marble, which was built by Shahjahan in 1647-1654, and the total cost was 3 Lakh rupees. There were 3 gates, 2 for Harem womans and 1 for common people.
Gates were made up of Red Stone. Mosque courtyard is made up of White marbles. In between there is a big tank for water storage. In south east side, there is a big pillar which is used to check time for Prayer.
Almost 90 peoples can easily gather together here. Mosque has three Domes, and on its ceiling there were beautiful gems, that’s why it is called Moti Masjid.
Haathi Gate or Delhi Gate : Delhi gate is another popular gate of Agra Fort. This gate is located near to Jama masjid. On both sides of its gate there are two minarets of white marbles. Above to this gate, there was a place for Welcome King with musical instrument with singing.
On the both sides of the gate there were two idols of elephant with idols of Rajpoot kings were situated, these were Jaymal and fatta, who fought with Akbar at Chittorgarh. Although they were enemy of Akbar, but Akbar used to respect his enemies also.
In 1567 he built these idols in there memory. Thats why the gate has a name of Hathi Pol . After some time, in 1666 Aurangzeb destroyed these idols. Currently, these gates is being used by Indian Army and is permanently closed for Normal People.
Interesting facts about Agra Fort :
- Agra fort served as a model for Delhi Fort and Fatehpur Sikri Fort.
- Tunnel Story connecting Agra Fort and Delhi Fort is FAKE.
- Shahjahan was imprisoned in Agra Fort by his Son Aurangzeb until his Death.
- This Fort was primarily used for Military Purposes Till Now.
- Till now 80% Area is Under Indian Military Regiment.
- Shahjahan used to take Boat from this Place to Taj Mahal.
- All White Marbles Palaces was built by Shahjahan.
- ‘Kohinoor’ diamond was once place in Shahjahan Throne.
- Agra Fort is the center of Agra City.
My Personal Experience :
Agra Fort is Really beautiful Fort in Agra. Inside building could be categorized into two forms : Red Palaces built during Akbar, Jahangir era, White Palaces built during Shahjahan Period. Rest 80% area of Agra Fort is Under Government Control, common people are not allowed inside.
Agra Fort could become more touristic if Indian Army vacates it, also underground Jails should be open. You could easily spend 2 hours there.
TIPS For Agra Fort :
- Nearby there are lot’s of Restaurants (Shri Ram Poori wala), visit Bijlighar Circle.
- It is located just 1 km from Taj Mahal.
- Agra Fort Timings : 6 a.m to 6 p.m
- Winters are preferable because of weather. During summers and rainfall it becomes humid as temperature goes upto 48 degree.
- Security is very tight here, heavy bags, eatable items, knife, drugs, alcohol, cigarette is not allowed inside. We suggest you to go through latest rule from https://www.tajmahal.gov.in
- Drinking Water or Loo Facility is Available inside Agra Fort.
- Although Taj Mahal is closed on Friday but Agra Fort remain open all week (as of 2020).
- Take Taxi/Auto to reach this place. Nowadays OLA (Rs. 50 Discount Code – 2X2R2KU) or UBER services are available.
- Agra Fort Entry Ticket Price : INDIAN – Rs 50, FOREIGNERS – Rs 650
- Book Online Tickets to Avoid Line and Get 5% Instant Discount.
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I hope you have got plenty of information about Agra Fort. If you have any questions or suggestions, then please comment below. Thank You.