THE AGRA FORT, INDIA

THE AGRA INFORMATION

Agra Fort Main

The Agra Fort is the highlight of the city Agra. It is located about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. It is also known as Red Fort, Fort Rouge, and Qila-e-Akbari. It was the capital of the Mughal Dynasty and also their main residence. The Agra Fort is a symbol of power, strength, and resilience, as it stands today in full glory.

It was built in the year 1573 under the reign of Akbar – one of the greatest Mughal Emperors. It took more than 4000 workers and eight years of hardship to complete the fort. The fort houses numerous impressive structures like the Jahangir Mahal, Khas Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas, Diwan-e-Am, Machchhi Bhawan and Moti Masjid. In 1638, the capital of the Mughal dynasty was moved from Agra to Delhi, causing the Agra Fort to lose its status as the main residence of the Mughal emperors. Often described as the walled city, Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, the fort is a major tourist spot and attracts many tourists from all over the world.

The Agra Fort History

The History of Agra Fort covers many levels as the fort has been owned by many emperors and rulers in the past. Every ruler has changed its appearance accordingly. It all began in the year 1526 when the first battle of Panipat was fought between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi of the Lodi dynasty. When Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi, he made the fort and the palace of Ibrahim Lodi as his home. The fort soon became an important monument to the Mughals. Even Babur’s successor, Humayun was crowned in the fort in the year 1530.

 In 1540, Sher Shah Suri of the Sur Empire defeated Humayun in a war at Bilgram. Sher Shah Suri took over the ownership of the fort and made minor changes to it, according to his architectural taste. The fort stayed with the emperors of the Sur dynasty for the next 15 years. In 1555, Humayun managed to recapture Agra and with it the fort as well. But a year later, Hemu Vikramaditya, the general and military commander of Adil Shah Suri (final emperor of the Sur dynasty) captured Agra. He pursued the fleeing army to Delhi and the Battle of Tughlaqabad ensued between him and Tardi Beg Khan, the military commander of the Mughals. 

Tardi Beg Khan lost the battle convincingly and Hemu Vikramaditya crowned himself the king. However, on November 5, 1556, and barely a month into the kingship of Hemu, Akbar, along with his army, marched into Delhi and defeated the forces of Hemu. The fort once again belonged to the Mughals but was fast disintegrating. Back then, it was known as Badalgarh and was built with bricks alone. Realizing its historical and situational significance, Akbar decided to rebuild it with red sandstone. 

During the reign of Shah Jahan, the fort was modified considerably and took the current form. The fort was invaded and captured by the Maratha Empire in the early 18th century. Thereafter, it changed hands between the Marathas and their foes many times. After their catastrophic defeat at the Third Battle of Panipat by Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761, Marathas remained out of the region for the next decade. Finally, Mahadji Shinde took the fort in 1785. The Marathas then lost their battle against the British in the Second Anglo-Maratha War and with it the fort. The British then enjoyed the comfort of the fort until it was handed over to the government of India in 1947.

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Tickets and Timings

The Agra Fort is open for its tourists from sunrise to sunset.

Ticket prices are the following:

Indian Tourists - INR 40/-

Foreign Tourists - INR 550/-

No Entry fee is there for Children below the age of 15 (Foreigner and Indian both).

The Layout of the Fort

The Fort is standing in the area of 94 acres (380,000 m2). It has four gates in four directions i.e. Lahore Gate, Delhi Gate, Khizri Gate, and Elephant Gate.

The Lahore Gate is commonly known as Amar Singh Gate. It is the main entry gate by which tourists get to enter the fort. The Delhi Gate is the grandest of all gates but it is not open for tourists as the Indian Army uses the area. The Khizri Gate opens to the River Yamuna. The Elephant Gate (Hathi Pol)  – guarded by two life-sized stone elephants with their riders – added another layer of security.

On visiting the Agra Fort, you will come across Diwan-e-Am or the Hall of Public Audience. This hall with numerous pillars is said to be erected by Shah Jahan in the year 1628. On heading little forward, you will see Royal Pavilions abounding in elegant mosques including Nagina Masjid and Mina Masjid, palaces like Macchi Bhavan, Khas Mahal, Shish Mahal, and Shah Jahani Mahal and the Zenana Mina Bazaar.

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Conclusion

On a visit to Agra Fort, you will be attracted to the intricate carvings and the pure marbles that are used in its making. Besides, the breath-taking views of the Yamuna River and the Taj Mahal from the balconies of the pavilions will leave you mesmerized. 

 

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