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Red Fort Agra
Geographically located at 270 10’ 47’’N & 780 1’ 22’’ E famous Agra Fort on Yamuna river’s right bank is an important landmark in the Uttar Pradesh state’s Agra city. Considered highly vigorous architectural gem of Mughals this fort had once remained the stronghold of the erstwhile kingdom. Some of the notable features of this fort include presence of several opulently decorated historic buildings inside it which portray the Mughal styled architecture and art we can witness today. The 3rd Mughal emperor Akbar had constructed this fort on an area which was believed to be an ancient site named Badalgarh before this construction. Agra became India’s capital instead of Delhi for the first time when the then Sultan of Delhi, Sikandar Lodi (1487-1517) shifted it there. Son of Sikandar Lodi namely Ibrahim Lodi held this fort under his control for 9 year when his father died in 1517. It was in the battle of Panipat in 1526 that Ibrahim Lodi was defeated and killed as well. This fort saw the constriction of various palaces, mosques and wells during the period of Lodi rulers.
Once Mughal king Babur sent son Humayun to the Agra city this fort finally came under his control as it was seized by him and so did he capture the enormous treasure named ‘Koh-i-noor’ diamond with its global popularity. Later one a baoli or step-wall was also built inside this fort by Babur. Once the coronation of Humayun was held in 1530, one of the water-carriers or saqqa namely Nazam had been crowned emperor for half-a-day because he had saved Humayun from drowning once. Famous Sher Shah of the Sur dynasty occupied the Agra fort upon defeating Humayun at Bilgram in 1540 and then garrisoned it thoroughly.
By 1558 the arrival of Akbar in Agra changed the course of region’s administration especially when he ordered for the use of sandstone to renovate this fort. Approximately 4000 builders had to work every day to complete this renovation task in 8 years from 1565 to -1573.
Being surrounded through a fortification wall of 21.4m height this fort has unique semi-circular on its plan and therefore looks unique. Other attractions include its double ramparts besides the broad massive circular bastions seen on different places. All four sides of have each gate respectively out of which famous Khizri Gate or the water gate remains famous due to its opening on river front side at which Ghats or quays were located. Over the centuries this fort has survived by many offensives that the time, people and nature imposed. This fort spread over a huge area of approximately 94 acres of land. Currently this fort has preserved more than two dozen monuments inside it.
According to the court historian of Akbar namely Abul Fazl there is a record of 5000 buildings being constructed here and nearby areas in unique Bengali and Gujarati styled architecture. Maximum number of such buildings has already vanished now. It is said that even King Shah Jahan had ordered the demolition of a few such buildings to build his own white marble palaces on those locations. In the later years British too destroyed some of those buildings to raise the barracks. The southern side has merely 30 Mughal buildings today which have survived yet. Some of the famous ones from them include Delhi-Gate, Bengali Mahal and Akbari-Gate amongst others which represent the building which Akbar constructed during his rule.
Although Jahangir used to visit Agra on regular intervals and even stayed in this fort he concentrated on building forts and palaces in far off Lahore and in Kashmir regions. The white marble palace inside it was constructed by the great Mughal king Shah Jahan. The three white marble mosques which he built here are Moti Masjid, Nagina Masjid and Mina Masjid that still remains a landmark here.
Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb imprisoned him in this fort for almost 8 years until his death in 1666. His burial was held in the Taj Mahal in Agra. Aurangzeb built the barbicans nearby its two gates as well as on the riverside area to empower defense management.
Even though Shah Jahan had already shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi in the year 1638, he used to live here itself. Agra literally lost its actual royal charm after he died. By then Aurangzeb was often involved in various regional wars and conflicts. He would though continue holding durbars here on regular basis. It was in the year 1666 that Shivaji visited Agra to meet Aurangzeb in the Diwan-i-Khas inside this fort. By 1707 Aurangzeb too died. The history of Agra fort in the 18th century remains saga of multiple sieges and plunder. It was held by even Jats and Maratha kings before its final capture by the British rulers in 1803 until country’s freedom.
- OPENING HOURS - Sunrise to Sunset
- Entry Fee: Free entry for the children below 15 years of age
- Indian Visitors: Total Rs.20.00 (Rs.10.00 by ASI as Entry fee and Rs.10.00 by ADA as Toll tax).
- Citizen of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries: Total Rs.60/- (Rs.10/- by ASI as Entry fee and Rs.50/-by ADA as Toll tax).
- Other Foreign Visitor: Total Rs.300/- (Rs.250/- by ASI as Entry fee and Rs.50/-by ADA as Toll tax).
(Note: It is to be noted by the Foreign Visitors that those of you buying Agra Development Authority (ADA)'s Pathkar (Toll tax) ticket of Rs.500/- for Taj Mahal visits are not required to buy other Pathkar (Toll tax) tickets while visiting the monuments such a\s Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar's Tomb and Itimad-ud-Daulah's tomb on any particular day’s visit plan.
There is no levying of Toll taxes by ADA on the monuments during Fridays.
AUDIO GUIDE FACILITY: Audio Guides Facility in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Hindi and Bangla is available at Agra Fort. Please contact near Ticket Booking counter.