Agra Fort is World Heritage Site inscribed by UNESCO located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It is located 2 kilometers away from its more famous sister monument Taj Mahal. It is more than likely that you’d end up visiting Agra Fort besides the iconic Taj Mahal if you happen to visit Agra.
History of Agra Fort
The fort was originally built as a brick fort and called Badalgarh. The very first time this fort assumed importance was during the reign of Sikander Lodi who moved to this fort and ruled from here.After many captures and recaptures, fort finally landed into the hand of Mughals.
Akbar realizing the strategic importance of the fort moved to Agra and made it the capital of Mughal Empire and it remained so untill Shah Jahan moved it to Delhi.
The fort was in a crumbling condition when the Mughal Emperor Akbar decided to rebuild it with red sandstone from Barauli area in Rajasthan.
It took 8 years to turn the brick fort into the magnificent Agra Fort and finally the fort got its new structure in 1573. The fort is spread over 94 acres of land with the 70 feet high walls. You could also see Taj Mahal from the windows of Agra Fort.
There are total 4 gates of the fort, out of which “Delhi Gate” and “Lahore Gate” are the two well-known gates. The Delhi Gate is considered as the grandest gate of the all, which was also a masterpiece of Akbar’s time. This gate is now only used by the Indian military.
Expansion by Shah Jahan
Agra fort was extended substantially during the reign of Akbar’s grandson Shah Jahan and unlike his grandfather Shah Jahan preferred white marble for construction of his palaces.
It is said that Mughal Architecture reached its zenith when Shah Jahan completed the construction of his magnum opus Taj Mahal to commemorate love for his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal.
Tourists can enter the fort by the Lahore gate, which is also known as the Amar Singh Gate. There are many attractions in the Agra Fort that grab the attention of tourists with their fascinating charm.
Things to see includes Anguri Bagh, Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Golden Pavilions, Jahangiri Mahal, Mina Masjid and much more.
The biggest achievement of the Agra fort is the winning of Aga Khan Award for Architecture in the year 2004.