Agra Fort Travel Guide, Information, Tips and Best Information
Agra Fort An architectural masterpiece, The Red Fort of Agra or Agra Fort was built by Emperor Akbar in 1573. It is, in fact, a massive fortification located on the right bank of the River Yamuna in Agra, Uttar Pradesh and is made entirely of red sandstone. The fort was once the ersthwhile residence of the Mughals until the year 1638. One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and lies at a distance of 2.5 kilometres from another wonder of the modern world - The Famous Taj Mahal. The area of Agra Fort is so massive that it is often referred to as a walled city. Made from red sandstone brought to Agra all the way from Rajasthan, this imposing structure is as majestic as it is beautiful and delicate.
Agra Fort is one of the most special monuments built by the Mughals and has richly decorated buildings. It is the perfect example of the Mughal style of art and architecture and is one of the most visited tourist spots in Agra. Built purely out of red sandstone, this expansive architecture stands out against the soft azure of the sky. Within the premises of the fort lie the most exquisite structures of the Mughals like the Pearl Mosque, Diwan-i I Khas, Diwan-i I Aam, Moti Masjid and Jahangiri Mahal. Each and every one of these edifices has remarkable handiwork and ornamentation that make this place a delight for every history and architecture lover. You can also get a splendid view of Taj Mahal from the Agra Fort!
Major Attractions in Agra Fort
Jahangiri Mahal (Jahangir's Palace): It was the principal zenana palace (palace for women belonging to the royal household), used mainly by the Rajput wives of Akbar. A splendid gateway leads to an interior courtyard surrounded by grand halls covered with profuse carvings on stone, heavily fashioned brackets, piers, and crossbeams. Jahangiri Mahal is the most important building of the Akbari period in the Agra Fort.
Khas Mahal : In the Khas Mahal enclosure (built by Shahjahan), later Mughal architecture comes of age. The Khas Mahal is an airy edifice, overlooking the specially laid Angoori Bagh (grape garden; a simple formal Mughal garden). Windows closed with jali (intricately perforated decorative stone screens) present fabulous view of the riverfront. The two copper-roofed pavilions built in the Bengali traditions were meant for prominent ladies of the harem. On three sides of this garden are residential quarters of women. Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace) or the royal hammam (bath) is decorated with myriad glass pieces and a central fountain.
Musamman Burj (an octagonal tower): Within the Agra fort is the most romantic, ornamental pavilion wherein lived two beautiful and powerful Mughal queens-Nurjahan (Jahangir's chief queen) and Mumtaz Mahal (Shahjahan's chief queen). The quality of pietra dura (stone inlay work) decoration is fabulous and perfect. Here Shahjahan spent his last few years as a captive held by Aurangzeb (Shahjahan's son). Shahjahan languished and died looking at the Taj Mahal.
Diwan-I-Khas (hall of private audience) : was built by Shahjahan in 1636-37. It is a small hall with double marble columns inlaid with pietra dura decoration. Here the Mughal emperor received important dignitaries or foreign ambassadors. On the terrace, in front of this hall, are two marble thrones. The black throne belongs to Jahangir who, as Prince Salim in rebellion against Akbar at Allahabad, had ordered it for himself. Below this terrace lies the grand courtyard of Machchi Bhawan, meant for harem functions. On another side stands a small mosque built for Shahjahan by Aurangzeb.
Diwan-I-Aam (hall of public audience): The arches are covered with white lime polished to a smooth finish. The triple arched royal canopy has lavish pietra dura ornamentation. Here was kept the famous Peacock Throne ordered by Shahjahan. He met officials and commoners and listened to the petitioners in the Diwan-I-Aam. Further north stands the Moti Masjid (pearl mosque), its three domes in white marble raising their heads over the red sandstone wall. Moti Masjid is known for its sheer grandeur and perfect proportions.
PLACES TO VISIT IN AGRA
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