Agra Fort

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Agra, India

Agra Fort Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
450 reviews
Akbar's fort Oct 18, 2015
This fort was built over a period of time by various Mughal emperors, although an earlier brick fort had also occupied this site. It was Akbar, the third emperor, who had that by-then ruined fort rebuilt in red sandstone when he made Agra his capital in 1558. Later his grandson, the fifth emperor Shah Jahan, added to and altered the fort. His preference (as we can see from his most famous architectural legacy the Taj Mahal) was for white marble over red sandstone, and so we have the sort of contrast seen in my third photo.

You enter through the Amar Singh Gate, also known as the Lahore Gate, as the Delhi Gate, the largest of the fort’s four gates, is off limits to tourists as it falls within the military area of the fort. But like the latter, the Amar Singh Gate is carefully designed to maximise the fort’s impregnability, with the twisting path making it difficult for the enemy’s elephants to charge and break through the gates.

The first part of the fort you come to is a large garden area on one side of which is the Diwan-i-Aam or Hall of Public Audience, one of Shah Jahan’s additions (Akbar and his successor Jahangir had received petitions and held audiences in wooden structures within the fort). Despite appearance it isn’t built in his favourite white marble but of sandstone plastered with ground white shells to resemble it. It is open on three sides and divided into three aisles. On the rear, closed side is the marble chamber or jharokha from where Shah Jahan would address the people.

The main area of the fort that we focused on in our brief visit was the Khas Mahal. This is one of Shah Jahan’s additions, built as his private residence, and was also known as Aramgah-i-Mualla (the Exalted Place of Rest) or Aramgah-i-Muqaddas (the Holy Resting Apartment). It is a small palace suite, with three main chambers behind an open platform. The suite of rooms includes the private sleeping quarters, which consist of bedrooms for Shah Jahan and his queen linked by a central larger chamber and with terraces at the back overlooking the river Yamuna. There are great views from here of the Taj Mahal. No doubt the emperor chose this spot for his private rooms in part at least for that reason, a decision that was perhaps to haunt him. Towards the end of his life his son Aurangzeb declared his father unfit to rule, probably with little foundation, and had him put under house arrest. This small suite of rooms became his prison, apart from when he was allowed out to pray at the mosque in the fort. From here therefore he would be constantly reminded of the Taj Mahal, where his beloved Mumtaz Mahal was buried, but could never visit it to mourn her as he had intended.

The central chamber is built from Shah Jahan’s preferred white marble and shows some of the same decorative touches as the Taj Mahal, including pietra dura flowers and vines, and carved marble friezes. The side rooms though are of red sandstone covered with white plaster made from grounds shells, like the Diwan-i-Aam. They have colourful frescos, traces of which remain.

The Khas Mahal overlooks a garden, Anguri Bagh, seen in my main photo. This is laid out in the charbagh style, i.e. divided into four, and within each section low red sandstone walls separate beds of ground cover plants. It is assumed that grapes once grew here, giving it its name (angur = grapes).

Around the remaining sides of the garden courtyard are living quarters, thought to be those of the harem. Some of these still have their original wooden doors and are very photogenic.
Agra Fort
Agra Fort - the Diwan-i-Aam
Agra Fort
Agra Fort - the Khas Mahal
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DPK DPK
8 reviews
Amazing Fort Feb 15, 2014
A nice fort built by Shah Jahan, it lies only few kms away from Taj Mahal. I would recommend taggin it with your visit to Taj. A Rickshaw ride or even better a horse buggy is the best way to reach it after exiting Taj from the west gate. Beautifully made up of red stone and marble it offers incredibel views of the Taj Mahal from its rooms. Would highly recommeng a guide while visiting this fort. A good english speaking guide would not cost more then 250-300 rupees.
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Nair2011 Nair2011
246 reviews
Well maintained historical fort Jun 09, 2012
Agra fort, Lal Kila, is an historical fort located in the bank of Yamuna in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. This fort is very well maintained and one of the must visit places.

The fort is huge. Over 94 acres of land used to build this fort. Has many decorative halls with marble carved walls. King Shaja han have spent his last days in this fort. The room where he spend his last days looking at Tajmahal is part of this fort and we feel part of history while watching Taj Mahal from the said room.

This fort is a listed UNESCO world heritage site, 1983. Entrance fee is INR 10 for Indians and 10USD for foreign nationals.

Certified guides are avialble in different foriegn languages. Light and Sound show happens at 7.30PM is a definite watch.
Fort Entrance
Side View
Pillar
Entrance
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
Great tourist site number 2 in Agra Feb 14, 2011
Although many tourists regard Agra as a one stop shop for the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort is perhaps the less famous gem of the area. It is located just opposite the Taj Mahal on the banks of the Yamuna. Built in the sixteenth century during the Mughal occupation of India, the site is UNESCO World Heritage status.

The site is a gorgeous red or terracotta colour and can only be described as a walled city inside.

The complex is a wonderful collection of palaces, mosques and wonderful green spaces. The carving and the intricacy are no less amazing than the Taj Mahal, and the views of the Yamuna and Taj Mahal are incredible from here. The site is great to get lost in as well, and before you get fatigued, save some space for the museum towards the end of the complex, which houses some great Islamic paintings and manuscripts.

After the Taj Mahal, this has to be a key stop on anyone’s itinerary of Agra. Go see it!
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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montecarlostar says:
Definitively another "can't miss" when you are in Agra... good review, Vipin!
Posted on: Jun 02, 2011
sarahsan says:
I´ve been there! Fantastic place!
Posted on: Jun 02, 2011
Vipin says:
thanks very much Rhea! i'm glad i took the photos then :)
Posted on: May 28, 2011

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