Location: Better to call it with the name ‘Walled City’, Agra Fort is a historic site that is built in Agra, Uttar Pradesh in India. The renowned sister monument named as the ‘Taj Mahal’ is at the distance of about 2.5 Km northwest from it.
Built by: Hindu Sikarwar Rajputs
Historic dynasties connected to reign over the Agra Fort:
- The first acquaintance with the fort was come into the notice in 1080 AD during invasion of a Ghaznavide force for snatching the throne from Hindu Sikarwar Rajputs.
- Sikandar Lodi (1488-1517) dwelt in the fort after his coronation as the first Sultan of Delhi shifting to Agra.
- Descending Sikandar Lodi, Ibrahim Lodi housed in the ‘Agra fort’ for nine years until he took his last breathe in the battle of Panipat in 1526.
- Having conquered the Battle of Panipat in 1526, Mughal Babur took over possession of Koh-i-Noor while living in the fort. Baoli (step well) was also built by him.
- ‘Coronation ceremony’ of Humayun was also held here in 1530.
- Since, Humayun faced defeat by the hands of Sher Shah at Bilgram in 1540.
- Suris housed the fort till 1555.
- The reign of Agra was, afterwards, taken over by the Hindu king Hem Chandra Vikramaditya alias Hemu.
- The Mughal emperor Akbar, finally, appeared winner at the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556 and shifted his capital to Agra in 1558.
- The fort was revamped by King Akbar by replacing brick with the red sandstone brought from Barauli area in Rajasthan. Thus, a Brick fort called Badalgarh was carved in new avatar. The renovation lasted till 1573 engaging some 4,000 builders for eight years in construction work.
- The complete makeover of the dilapidated fort was done by the Akbar’s descendant Shah Jahan who was the diehard fan of exquisite architecture. Being fallen in love madly for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, he collapsed several forts inside to make his own white marbled Taj Mahal, a wonder.
- Drained and despaired Shah Jahan took his last breath in Muasamman Burj.
- The fort also witnessed the Indian Rebellion of 1857 that set the sun of British East India Company in India and shone the stars of British rulers who acquired the possession of India.
- Area: 94 acres (380,000 m2) enclosing semicircular region, the chord of which goes along the river.
- Height of walls: Seventy feet
- Architectural style: Hindu Islamic architecture
- Double ramparts: The ramparts are attached to massive circular bastion at intervals with battlements, embrasures, machicolations and string courses.
- Khizri Gate: The gate that opens at the river side is known as ‘Khizri Gate’.
- Lahore Gate: Lahore Gate is also famous as ‘Amar Singh Gate’ since it would recall the contribution of notable ‘Amar Sigh Rathore’.
- Delhi Gate: The gate on the western side of the castle is ‘Delhi Gate’ which is the most splendid out of all reciting the grandeur of masterpieces constructed during the reign of Akbar. It was set in approximately 1568 for ensuring strict security and surveillance as being the formal passage used by king. The inlaid embellishment in white marble appears magnificent.
- Drawbridge: For ensuring reach to the fort passing the gate from the mainland, a wooden Drawbridge was constructed to surpass the abyss or moat.
- Hathi Pol or Elephant Gate: An inner gateway in the carved figure of two gigantic life-sized stone elephants with their riders assured strict vigil over the passersby.
- Amar Singh Gate: British renamed this gate and felt better to call it by the name Akbar Darwazza. Since northern passage was in usage of the Indian military, thus, Amar Singh Gate is used by the tourist to visit the place.
- Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience): It used to be the house of very famous ‘Peacock Throne’. This hall is utilized for hearing the plea of the people.
- Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience): Kings and dignitaries were entertained here where black throne of Jahangir was kept.
- Golden Pavilions (Jahan Ara Pavilion and Roshan Ara Pavilion): These are the pavilions with spectacular view of the beautifully carved roof in the shape of a Bengali huts.
- Jahangir Mahal: It was ordained by Akbar to be constructed for appeasing his son Jahangir.
- Khas Mahal: The outstanding abode of painting sculpted on marbles while naming it White Marble palace.
- Macchi Mahal (Fish Enclosure): The shed where pools and fountains used to be there once that was called as grand enclosure for harem functions.
- Mina Masjid (Heavenly Mosque): Mujahara used to utilize this place as private mosque.
- Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque): This is an enchanting ambience chosen by members of royal court as mosque.
Musamman Burj: This large architecture was built with the balcony facing towards the Taj Mahal in octagonal shaped tower.
- Takht-i-Jahangir: it is a throne that belongs to Jahangir.
- Nagina Masjid (Gem mosque): It is a place allotted to the females for serving devotional purposes as in mosque.
- Naubat Khana (Drum house): King’s musicians were assigned this place for playing music.
- Rang Mahal: It was a restricted zone for men as females of royal family and their mistresses used to spend their life there.
- Shahi Burj: Shah Jahan used to formulate & accomplish his secrete work here.
- Shah Jahani Mahal: It was the first modified structure made by Akbar using red sandstone.
- Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace): It used to be the dressing room of the royal people which was beautified with mirror-like glass-mosaic decorations and drums fixed in walls.
- Zenana Mina Bazaar (Ladies Market): This place was owned by the female merchandisers for dealing in wares.