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All about The Agra Fort
Agra Fort is one of the best historical tourist spots in Uttar Pradesh. This fort is located in the city of Agra on the bank of Yumana River about 2.6 km away from world’s seventh wonder Taj Mahal. Previously, Agra fort was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. But the Mughal ruler, Akbar reconstructed it with red sandstones of Rajasthan. This beautiful fort is covering an area of about 94 acre with four gates on its four sides, one Khizri gate opening on to the Yumana River. Two others are Delhi Gate and Lahore Gate. Delhi Gate is being used by Indian Military that’s why this gate cannot be used by tourists; they can enter via Lahore Gate.
Agra Fort previously known as Badalgarh when the Hindu Sikarwar Rajputs controlled it during the beginning of 11th century. Thereafter Lodi dynasty captured this fort until the first battle of Panipat in 1526. Ibrahim Lodi was the last ruler of Lodi dynasty who defeated by Babur, the founder of Mughal Dynasty. Babur used to live in this fort at the palace of Ibrahim. But, after his rule over during the reign of Humayun the fort was captured by Ser Shah in 1540. After few years in 1556 during the second battle of Panipath Mughal ruler Akbar recaptured the Agra by defeated Hindu King Hemu.
(The Agra Fort, abode of Mughal rulers)
Akbar permanently settled at Agra as his capital and he used to live at Agra Fort since 1558. As the fort was in ruin so, he realized to reconstruct it. Akbar collected lots of expert architects and rebuilt it with red sandstone from Barauli area in Rajasthan. Some 1444001 builders worked on it for eight years to give the present looks of the fort and it was completed in 1573. During the reign of Shahjahan some outside construction of Agra Fort were demolished to construct Taj Mahal. And later, some others parts were destroyed by British between 1803 and 1862 for raising barracks.
Places to see inside Agra Fort
Diwan-I-Am or hall of public audience was used for common people of the empire who gathered here to meet their emperor. It was constructed between 1631 and 1640 ad close to Machchhi Bhawan. The raised rectangular balcony from where the emperor talked to commoner.
Diwan-I-Khas or hall of private audience was used for the reception of important guests of emperor. It was constructed in 1635. Diwan-i-Khas was decorated with highly refined inlay work in floral patterns on the borders and exquisite carvings in the middle in relief.
Jehangiri Mahal is a must see place in Agra Fort. It was constructed by Akbar between 1565 and 1569 ad as a gift to his beloved son Jahangir. It has an arched doorway with two beautiful Jharokhas and an octagonal tower on its each side. This monument made of with red sandstones.
Shish Mahal or Glass Palace used as the royal dressing room. It was constructed by Shah Jahan on the western side of the Muthamman Burj. The palace consists of two large chambers connected through a broad arched opening in the center and two narrow passages on the sides.
Khas Mahal was constructed by Shah Jahan between 1631and 1640 ad for his two beloved daughters. It has a beautiful tank in front the Mahal and mainly constructed with white marble.
Mina Masjid or Heavenly Mosque was used by the emperor and the royal ladies of Mughal Dynasty. It was constructed by Shah Jahan between 1631 and 1640 ad near Diwan-i-Khas.
Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque was built between 1648 and 1654 ad by the northern side of Diwan-I-Am. Moti Masjid is better than other mosques in the complex due to its pearly white marble interiors.
Musamman Burj is an octagonal tower constructed by Shah Jahan between 1631 and 1640 ad for his beloved wife Mumtaz. This monument is located at the eastern turn of main wall of Agra fort.
Nagina Masjid or Gem Mosque was constructed between 1631 and 1640 ad by North West side of Machchhi Bhavan. It is mainly consists of pure white marble used as the personal purpose of the emperor.
Machchi Bhawan or Fish Chamber was used to rear gold fishes for the Mughol rulers. This Bhawan is located just in front of Diwan-i-Khas.
Besides of these you will find some more attractive monuments in side the Agra Fort like, Royal Pavilions, Naubat Khana, Rang Mahal, Shahi Burj, Shah Jahani Mahal, Zenana Mina Bazaar and Akbari Mahal.
How to reach Agra Fort?
If you travel for Agra Fort by Airways then the airport of Agra will be suitable for you. The airport is located just 7 kms away from city center. Indian Airlines operates flights from other major cities of India to Agra on a daily basis. You can also catch a flight to Delhi international Airport which is about 205 km away from agra fort.
Travel by Railways
Agra is very well connected to Delhi by daily basis trains and also rest major parts of India. There is a good network of trains connecting Agra with the rest of India. The main railway stations of Agra are the Agra Cantonment, Rája-ki-Mundi and Agra Fort. Agra Fort railway station is maintain a walking distance from the agra fort.
Travel by Roadways
You will get lots of government and private regular bus services from Agra to major Indian cities. Main bus stand of Agra, Ìdgah operate lots of buses between the city to Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Fatehpùr-Sikri, etc. You have to make some sort local journey after reaching to the Agra city to Agra Fort. You will get lots of local bus, taxi, auto-rickshaw and cycle rickshaw here.
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