Red Fort Agra

Entrance to Red Fort, Agra

Entrance to Red Fort, Agra

Red Fort of Agra a magnificent citadel in the once capital city of the mighty Mughal empire at its peak which lasted from the 16th Century until the early 17th Century the Mughal Empire was ruled from Agra due to its central position on the map of then India. The first Mughal emperor to come to Agra was Sikandar Lodhi and made it his capital, the struggle for power continued and Agra saw the rise of rulers like Babur, Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan during whose reign various developments were done to the Agra fort and these rulers had an integral part in shaping the complex to its present-day condition.

Agra Fort an exemplification of excellence and a UNESCO World Heritage Site was commissioned by Akbar- the great Mughal emperor in 1565 as a military establishment and was built on the site of the ruins of Badalgarh Fort, which was a strong foothold of the Chouhan Rajput Rulers, it took around 8 years and as per historical records and had almost 500 buildings many of which were demolished during wars and conquest. Some of the subsequent rulers, notably Jahangir and Shah Jahan who had finer tastes in architecture, renovated this Military establishment partially converting the imposing Agra Fort into a series of the palace and living quarters incorporating Persian- and Timurid-style and architectural features making this once military establishment into an architectural wonder.

Red Fort Agra defence walls.

This beautiful nearly crescent-shaped fort is situated on the right bank of River Yamuna towards the east of Agra city built of red sandstone found at Barauli in present-day Dhaulpur, Rajasthan.

The boundary walls of the crescent-shaped fort have a circumference of 2.5 km which raises to around 21 meters in height.

It is surrounded by a moat which was filled by dreaded crocodiles at one time to prevent enemies from reaching the walls of the fort and the fort complex could only be accessed by a foldable bridge above the moat via the Amar Singh gate whose statue can be seen on the road just outside the fort, the gate is named after the Rajput King from Rajasthan who managed to escape the fort on his horse jumping around 70ft after killing the kings relative Salabat Khan who induced feud between the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and the Rajput King.

Red Fort Agra Diwan-E-Aam

Diwan-E-Aam at Red Fort Agra

The fortified complex with its various set of buildings and palaces behold a whole city inside, the use of vivid architectural styles used in the structures and these set of structure collectively create an architectural marvel one can’t take his eyes of being it the vividness, beauty or the great use of art with red sandstone, marble, and glass. The domes, arches, works of inlay in marble, and carvings on the walls captivate the visitor attention on the first sight as one enter’s through the gigantic gate into the complex to open green fields of greenery and set of palaces in the complex showcase the riches of the Mughals and one can clearly see the fortune spent on the monument.

Who built Red Fort of Agra?

The Red Fort, Agra was originally built by Akbar in red sandstone was later renovated into its present form with the addition of magnificent palaces added during the reign of Shah Jahan, unlike his grandfather he liked to have buildings made from white marble, and for the same he destroyed some of the earlier buildings inside the fort to get them built again in the white marble with precisely delicate work of inlay. At the end of his life, Shah Jahan was deposed and restrained by his son Aurangzeb, in the fort and died in the Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with views of the Taj Mahal
Red Fort Agra Jahangir Palace

Panoramic view of Jahangir Palace at Agra Fort

Agra Fort was the seat of power and the residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until in 1634 Shah Jahan shifted his capital to the now Delhi where is its counterpart the Red Fort of Delhi which was built in 1639 and is a successor to the Red Fort of Agra. The last Indian rulers to have ruled at Agra Fort were the Marathas and then later it again became a military establishment for almost a century under the British Army, the fort also played a part in the Indian Rebellion of 1857 which was the first rebel against the British East India Company. In the year 1983, the fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The huge defense walls nestle various spectacular monuments built with great detailing be it the mosaic or the carvings of Mughal, Persian, and Hindu Architectures found in various buildings. The Diwan -I-Aam, Diwan- I -Khas, Mussaman, Jahangir Palace, and Sheesh Mahal each building having its own importance as briefed below. –

 White Marble

Mussaman Burj overlooking the Yamuna

Diwan-E-Aam –

It is the place where the emperor would hear the petitions of the general public while seated on his throne on a balcony, this structure originally made out of red sandstone by Akbar and was later renovated in the present form by Shah Jahan, which is significant in the vividly decorated throne room with inlaid carvings and panel of marble with floral motifs influenced by Shah Jahan’s taste in architecture. It is the place where the emperor would hear the petitions of the general public.

Diwan-E-Khas –

Diwan-E-Khas the hall of the Private and dignified audience was used for receiving distinguished visitors and access was granted to only a few chosen ones. The famous Peacock Throne was once kept there before Aurangzeb took it to Delhi and was finally carried away to Iran

Jahangir’s Palace –

Red Fort Agra

Red Fort Agra

Built by Akbar for his only son Jahangir to provide the prince with all the luxuries inside the fort this double-storeyed building with protruding balconies and domed Chattaris, was made of red sandstone with painted walls and ceilings painted in bright colors and golden paint a Rajput style of art making it a blend of Hindu
and central Asian architectural styles.

Anguri Bagh or the grape garden –

Anguri Bagh

Built by Akbar for the ladies of the royal harem to stroll and meet and was therefore surrounded by double story buildings on three sides to prevent other men from seeing the royal ladies. During the time of Shah Jahan the beauty of the garden was enhanced by decorative flower beds and grape vines, but currently just a lavish green lawn with a few plants and trees.

Sheesh Mahal –

This beautiful place belonged to the royal ladies of the harem and is one of the most precisely decorated with the walls in a room filled with delicate work of inlay art using mirrors from Belgium, it is also are one of the first and the finest example of glass mosaic decoration in India.

Musamman Burj –

Inlay Marble Decor

Inlay Marble at Agra Fort

It is a beautiful octagonal tower with an open pavilion at an elevation with cool evening breezes flowing in off the Yamuna river, from here the Taj is visible very clearly and appears like a shining piece of the moon or the most beautiful place of heaven has fallen on earth and Shah Jahan lay on his deathbed, gazing at Taj Mahal.

Come join us on the Indian Saga Tour to explore the Agra Fort and explore the best of North-India in this 15-day journey.

Also, if want to know about the amazing Monkey Temple Jaipur