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Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh

 

Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh

The red fort of Agra (not to be confused with Red Fort of Delhi), was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan after his ascension to the Mughal throne. An older fortified building called the Badalgarh was located at this site and came under the reign of several northern Indian empires such as the Delhi Sultanate, Afghans, Maratha and the Mughals. Agra fort was also the final resting place of Shah Jahan when he was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb.

Agra Fort was begun by Akbar between 1565 and 1573. It is situated on the west bank of the Jumna River, about 2km upstream from the Taj Mahal (map). Akbar built the fort of sandstone; his grandson Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal, constructed palaces of white marble within the fort itself. Shah Jahan was imprisoned in Agra Fort following the coup of his son, Aurangzeb, and died here in 1657.

Agra Fort is entered today at the south end, through a low outer wall and gate (shown here) built by Aurangzeb. Visitors then pass in succession through two of Akbar’s gates, the Amar Singh and the Akbari, before finally gaining admittance to the fort proper. The original entrance to the fort was through the grander Delhi Gate in the west wall.

The behavior of Mogul rulers, towards members of their own family, was appalling by any modern standard. Besides overthrowing and imprisoning his father, Aurangzeb murdered two brothers and a nephew on his way to the throne; his father, Shah Jahan, had similarly killed one brother and two nephews during his own climb to power. In that time there were no fixed laws of succession, and the harem system provided all too many candidates for the throne; it was, literally, kill or be killed for eligible males of the royal family. There are many similar, and equally appalling, examples from places as far apart as ancient China, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

The Red Fort is situated in Agra, Uttar Pradesh on the banks of Yamuna River. It is known as Red Fort because it is built of a kind of red sandstone. Within this Fort there lies some of the most exquisite architecture of the Mughal Period; like the Pearl Mosque, Moti Masjid, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am and Jahangiri Mahal.

The Red Fort in Agra encompasses a radius of three kilometers and is bordered by a wall, which is 70 foot tall. Two walls made of red sandstone surround the fort. The Red Fort has four gates.

The fort contained more buildings in it but just a few of those remain till date. The most eminent of these remaining buildings is the Jahangiri Mahal; a multi-storied palace built by Akbar for his Begum, Jodha Bai. Among the other important structures that still remain are the Mausam Burj, the Diwan-i-khas, and the Shaha Burj.

Visiting Time and Entry Fee

The Red Fort in Agra remains open from sunrise till the setting of the sun, to welcome the visitors. The best time of the year for places to visit in Agra is from November to February. Children under the age of twelve will have the privilege to enter without any ticket. However, the adults will need to buy tickets worth five rupees to enter Red Fort.

Agra is well connected to Delhi by the means of air. Railway is another option to reach there. People from far away places come to visit Agra’s Red Fort. It is simply stunning, a mind-blowing experience, the impact of which remains forever.

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