Agra Fort: The Living Saga of Mughal Empire’s Valiance
Imagine the old, fragile and powerless Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, endlessly staring at Taj Mahal from a tower with marble balcony in Agra Fort. The same Shah Jahan who had once transformed this military fort into a grand palace, adorned with white-marble work, and then stands helpless.
Gazing at Taj Mahal, constructed for his beloved Mumtaz Mahal was the only respite he had. Years passed by and one day, his life surrendered its existence. Dramatically, in pain! Nevertheless, his story continues, in its own way. Especially for those who can feel it.
Delving into Agra Fort would touch your heart, subtly. With so many stories, of different dynasties and eras, locked in a singular fort, Agra Fort silently draws your attention. Like an untold narrative, waited for you with bated breath.
Over the years, this historical destination in Uttar Pradesh has been known as ?Lal Quila?, ?Red Fort Agra? and ?Fort Rogue?. Just like various names, it also witnessed the rule of several emperors like Ibrahim Lodi, Sikandar Lodi, Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb, Hindu ruler Hemu and finally the British Empire.
Embraced by circular bastions, ramparts and ruins of once-crocodile filled moat, Agra Fort still stands strong, quite audaciously. Exquisitely revealing hidden stories as well as dramatic episodes and hushed cries of indelible battles, this Mughal Fort dates back to the 11th century.
Embroidered by River Yamuna and located quite close to Taj Mahal in Agra, this UNESCO world heritage site was once called a ?walled city?. Its foundation was laid by Hindu Raja Badal Singh, leading to its name being called as ?Badalgarh? or ?Brick Fort?. It was only after Mughal Emperor Babur?s victory that it started evolving with the Mughal in terms of Islamic architecture, impeccable painting styles and defence strategies.
History of Agra Fort reveals how Battles of Panipat, Second-Anglo Maratha wars and even the 1857 rebellion played a pivotal role in deciding the future of this majestic fort-cum-palace. In 2004, it even won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. India Post also issued a stamp emulating the Agra Fort.
Following are the tourist attractions of Agra Fort
Four imposing gateways structure the formidable entrances to Agra Fort, pointing towards the four cardinal directions. The two most important gates are Lahore Gate and Delhi Gate. Sturdy drawbridges were constructed over the moats, adding to the intrinsic charm of these gates. Most often, red sandstone has been used to construct these gates. Motifs, white-marble inlay work, arcades and decorative patterns add to the beauty of these gateways.
Adding to the culture of step-wells in North India, Akbar?s Baoli was noted for its intricate step-wells. Purely utilitarian in its perspective, this step-well is located in the large vicinity of the Akbari Mahal. The addition of a rotating gallery further added to its utility. The addition of subterranean chambers, brick-work and spacious designing adds to its beauty.
This public hall was utilised by the kings to receive important ambassadors, kings and nobles. Gold and silver lead work embellished the ceilings of the two halls comprising it. Five arched openings lead to the entrance. It was constructed way back in 1635 and is also known for Persian inscriptions. Exquisite carvings and marble inlay work in terms of floral patterns adds to its charm, which continues through time.
The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had built Shish Mahal in the form of a palace. Waterfalls, tanks and fountains add to its beauty. Located at the north-east corner of the court, this unique building is constructed of profuse yet delicate mirror works, spread across the walls, ceilings and arches. Constructed in 1637, it used to endow a luxurious bathing experience. Even today, the mural glass ornamentation stands up to be the best in India.
Colloquially called as ?Pearl Mosque?, it was built by Shah Jahan around the Diwan-i-Khas, meant for the royal members of his court. Arched recessions and side arcades add to the beauty of Moti Masjid. Bulbous domes and Hindu-style kiosks add charm to the mosque. A casual stroll around the mosque permeates a unique kind of spiritual ecstasy.
So, what are you waiting for? Experiencing the beauty of Mughal architecture is incomplete without visiting Agra fort. Opt for our irresistible Agra fort packages and explore the unknown facets of North India. The entire ambience revolving around the majestic fort draws you into past, mystically.
Best Time to Visit
Between October to March it is the best time to plan a visit to Agra and do sightseeing.
How to Reach
By Air: Agra Airport is 8 km from the main city.
By Rail: The main railway station is Agra Cantonment.
By Road: Buses for all key cities are available from ISBT and Idgah Bus Stand, the two major bus terminals.
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