Traveling is one of the most famous recreation, that people, all over the globe, like to indulge in, and through traveling they not only enjoy a break from their routine lives, but also get to see the world around, unique places and different cultures. An India travel would also offer you opportunities to explore a thousand years old civilization, which has had as strong a mythological ground as now it has in terms of technology and modernization. A trip to the historical places of India, would be a very refreshing and knowledgeable trip for a tourist.
The country has many architectural buildings, structures, monuments, from various time periods, scattered all over the country, and a trip to these iconic places will give you a glimpse at the lifestyle, culture, art and splendor of that time. Agra is a very important city for the country, and its monuments equally important. You can take a visit to the Agra Fort here, which is one of the top 10 forts and palaces of India.
Agra Fort is located in the city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, which was the capital of Mughal kingdom and later an important military center for the revolutionaries of freedom struggle against Britishers. The Fort is only 2.5 k ms away from the Taj Mahal, the white marble beauty.
The Fort can also be referred to as a walled city, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1558, the Mughal emperor Akbar announced it as his capital, and got it renovated. Originally just a brick fort from 11th Century, the fort was the property of Hindu Rajputs, which later came under the authority of Lodi Dynasty and then moving onto Mughals.
Originally made in bricks, it got additions and more stable structure under Mughals, in red sandstone. The Delhi Gate is an important structure, which opens up to the entire city, while Lahore Gate is also known as Amar Singh Gate, and is the one used by tourists. Heavy inlay work is done on the Delhi Gate which is a master piece of art in itself. The entire fort has many structures inside, which are designed in Indian and Persian styles of art, with patterns of birds, animals, trees and also verses in Persian. Of the earlier 500 Mughal buildings, only 30 have survived the light of the day, and are under strict protection of government.
Special Attractions of Agra Fort
Also known as 'Hall of Public Audience', this is the open area, where gatherings for mass audience used to take place, and the emperor would address them for important and special matters. This place also used to have a beautiful throne for the emperor called, Peacock Throne, which was stolen by Nadir Shah. It is a huge area with space for many people.
Also known as 'Hall of Private Audience', this is the area where emperor would discuss important matters with his officials, special guests and important people. This also has the throne of Jehangir, black in its structure. It is a comparatively smaller area than Diwan-i-Aam, built in white marble.
It is the main structure and the most popular one, from the entire complex, which has been divided into two parts, Akbari Mahal and Jehangirir Mahal. Built in the red sandstone, it stands sturdy and grand as an intimidating beauty. The building was of prime importance to the women folk of Mughal household, as it served as the zenana, from where women could see the outer world and its activities, hidden behind it.
Another important attraction of the fort, the Burj is the place where Aurangzeb kept his father Shah Jahan under house arrest for the last years of his life, and where he died. The Burj is a tower, octagonal in shape, and a balcony of it face the beautiful marble structure Taj Mahal, and the river Yamuna. Designed in Pietra dura , such refined work can be seen here, as no where else.
Various mosques have been built inside the fort, by the line of Mughal emperors, namely, Mina Masjid, Moti Masjid, which were built by royal members; Nagina Masjid, for the ladies; and all these have been designed especially according to the Persian art.
The fort has its fair share of natural beauty as well, with shapely gardens, well mowed and maintained. The Anguri Bagh or the Grape Garden is a huge grassy area, arranged in a proper symmetry and geometric patterns.
Important facts about the Agra Fort:
· The prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture was bestowed on the Fort, in 2004.
· In the movie adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, the Fort played a major role.
· The Fort also features in the video game, Age of Empires 3: The Age of Dynasties.
· Shah Jahan used various gems and semi precious stones in the renovation and styling of the Fort, which was looted by the invaders.
· For the famous Sepoy Mutiny, 1857, the Agra Fort played a key role, as it was their revolutionary center.