When mentioning Agra, India, the first that comes to mind is usually the famous Taj Mahal. Of course, this particular symbol of love is one of the top destinations in India. However, there is another attraction that is as important: Agra Fort. What is Agra Fort? Why is it so important? Why is it worth visiting? Well, if you’re curious, be sure to scroll down and read more.
History of Agra Fort
The history of Agra Fort (also known as Lal Qila and the Red Fort of Agra) can be traced back to the 11th century, but the structure that is known today was built by one of the Mughal emperors, Akbar. He built the fort not long after making Agra the capital city of India, and it was known as the palace where the Mughal emperors lived for many generations. The fort took about 8 years to finish with the hands of more than 4000 workers. Now, Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is visited by many tourists, both local and international.
Although it bears the name of Agra Fort, this beautiful architectural work is more likely to be a palace or walled city. This 94-acre structure has a semicircular plan with four gates. Two gates are particularly famous: Delhi Gate and Amar Singh Gate. However, the Delhi Gate is not accessible for tourists since the Indian Military still uses the northern side of the fort, so only the Amar Singh Gate is publicly open. Since this was the place where the royal family lived, the front part of the gate used to be heavily guarded, not only with high walls and soldiers, but also with animals such as crocodiles, lions, and tigers.
Different styles at Agra Fort
Since generations of the Mughal emperors lived in Agra Fort, it is not surprising to discover that there are different architectural styles in the fort. During Akbar’s time, he built the fort using bricks and red sandstone, which gives the fort a reddish-brown color. However, his grandson, Shah Jahan, preferred to build the fort with white marble; he even took down earlier buildings and reconstructed them to his own liking. One of the highlights of Shah Jahan’s part of the fort was his former bedroom that he shared with this beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The bedroom was made completely with the best quality marble and decorated with beautiful carvings that used to be colored in gold; even until this day, many travelers are stunned by the beauty of what used to be the emperor’s personal suite.
The story of the two lovers
Many people know the story behind the Taj Mahal, but during your visit you will learn more about the two lovers. After his beloved wife died, Shah Jahan wanted to keep his promise of building a memorial for their love. However, before the Taj Mahal was completed, the king was captured and imprisoned by his own son, Aurangzeb. His prison in Agra Fort, known as the Musamman Burj, was also made of marble and faced towards the Taj Mahal. Rumor has it that Shah Jahan spent most of his days on the balcony, staring at the development of the Taj Mahal, and died there in 1666.
How to get there
Getting to Agra Fort can be done by taking public transportation. You can ask your accommodation for advice and recommendations; prices will vary depending on your location and the type of public transportation that you are using. The entrance fee to Agra Fort will cost 300 INR (approximately 4 USD). It usually takes up to two hours to stroll around the whole fort.
Experience the beauty of Agra Fort!
Agra Fort is known to be one of the most important forts in India. It is a good option for travelers to learn about Indian history and witness beautiful architecture. So, if you are ever in Agra, don’t just stop by at the Taj Mahal, but be sure to make time to visit Agra Fort as well.
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