What surprises me more in Mughal architecture after Taj Mahal? I node to Agra fort – the place who remained the proud architecture of Mughal Empire for many years. Built on the bank of the river Yamuna, Agra fort is an architectural art in red sandstone.
Agra fort is built in the 16th Century by great Mughal Emperor Akbar. His successor Shah Jahan added more decorations and monuments in the fort.
Agra fort is the most significant and proud Mughal architecture. Agra was the capital of the Mughal Empire and the four generations of Mughal emperors (Akbar, Shah Jahan, Jehangir And Aurangzeb) ruled from the red fort.
In 16th century, Akbar decided to establish a new capital for Mughal Empire in Agra. Before constructing, the fort was known as Badalgarh and belonged to Rajput kings. It was in ruin condition and Akbar reconstructed it. Akbar was inspired by Gwalior fort and used some art in Agra fort.
Shah Jahan added some palaces and mosques in white marble as he used in Taj Mahal’s construction. Shah Jahan built Red Fort in Delhi by inspiring from Agra fort. He started the construction when Delhi was the new capital of Mughal Empire.
Aurangzeb, son of Shah Jahan expanded the fort and created an outer wall on it. Agra fort was the place where Aurangzeb imprisoned Shah Jahan and took over the throne of Mughal Empire. It is said that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj which is located in Agra Fort.
After the death of Aurangzeb, The Marathas invaded the fort and seized it. It becomes the reason for the fight between many kings in the 18th century. In 1803, the British took control of the fort. It becomes an important place during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
The architecture is laid put in the Karmuka style. The structure is rectangular on three sides and on the fourth side it follows the curve of the Yamuna River.
Fort has two main access points called Amar Singh Gate in the south and the Delhi Gate in the west which is also the main entrance. Delhi Gate is decorated with intricate marble inlays.
The Amar Singh Gate leads to the main courtyard and the Jehangir Mahal. There is an impressive courtyard inside the palace. Akbar built Jehangir Palace in the Agra Fort for his son Jehangir.
This palace is the major monument in the Agra Fort. The entrance is quite similar to the Darwazza at the Taj Mahal. The palace complex has rooms, corridors, galleries and halls. Red sandstone was used in the architecture.
Khas Mahal was the place where Shah Jagan lived with his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal. The architecture has Islamic and Persian influences. White marble is covered and it is adorned with pure gold.
Shah Jahan built this palace for his two daughters. It has three white pavilions which see the Yamuna river on a white marble’s terrace. The pavilions are built in red sandstone and were overlaid with while shell plaster.
Musamman Burj and Shah Burj
In the left of the Khas Mahal, an octagonal tower is built by Shah Jahan which is called Musamman Burj. This is the place where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. From the Burj, you can admire the beauty of Shah Jahan’s finest architecture Taj Mahal.
Next to the Mussaman Burj to the west is Shah Burj which is the most ornate building in Red fort.
On the western side of the Musamman Burj, Shish Mahal is loacted. It was used as imperial baths. Extra thick walls used in the architecture for cool interiors.
Deewan-I-Aam is the monument which was used as the meeting room. This dobule chambered building opens on three sides. The interior hall is knowns as Tambi Khana and also have a wooden flat ceiling covered with silver leaves. The room was used by the emperor for important affairs of state.
Shah Jahan also constructed three white marble mosques Moti Masjid, Nagina Masjid and Mina Masjid.
Best time to visit Agra fort
Best time to visit Agra fort is from November to February. Winter season is the best time to visit this monument. Try to visit this place before Taj Mahal.
How to reach
Agra Airport is the nearest Airport. Book a cab or taxi to reach Agra fort. Train is another option. Agra Idgah, Agra Cant and Agra Fort are the nearest railway stations from where you can easily reach here.
You can also take a bus from your city to reach Agra. From Delhi, Yamuna Expressway is the best and comfort route to reach Agra.
Movies shot in Agra fort
Indian cinema’s iconic film Mughal-E-Azam was shot in Agra fort. Few scenes of Mere Brother Ki Dulhan were shot in the premise of the fort. Aashutosh Gowariker’s historical film Jodha Akbar’s few scenes were filmed in Agra fort.