Sunday, January 25, 2015

Incredible India - Agra Fort

As part of Incredible India series, this post is for Agra Fort located in historical Agra city of Uttar Pradesh, most populous state in India.
Agra Fort is like a walled city surrounded by a 21.4 m high fortification wall and is situated on the river bank of Yamuna riverFort has been built by thick and strong walls of red sand stone. Agra Fort is an amalgamation of buildings and palaces, which were built by Mughal dynasty from Emperors Akbar, JahangirShah Jahan to Aurangzeb.  

The present day structure was built by the Mughals, though a fort had stood there since at least the 11th century. Agra Fort was originally a brick fort known as Badalgarh Fort, which was a strong foothold of the Rajput rulers. 

Fort is also the place where Aurangzeb imprisoned Shah Jahan, his own father for 8 years until Shah Jahan died in 1666 in the lap of his dear daughter Jahan Ara gazing towards the Taj, the tomb of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal and was later buried in the Taj Mahal
Agra Fort is also famous for the fact that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was kept under house arrest by Aurangzeb from 12th May to 17th August 1666 AD and with his brave skills & planning, Shivaji successfully managed to escape from this heavily guarded fort to reach Raigard. 

Previously Agra Fort had 4 main gates but presently only Amar Singh Gate and Delhi Gate are in use. The monumental Delhi Gate, which faces the city on the western side of the fort, is considered the grandest of the four gates and a masterpiece of Emperor Akbar's time. Amar Singh Gate was built by Emperor Shah Jahan and named after the great Rajput hero, Amar Singh Rathore, Maharaja of Jodhpur. Legend has it that in 1644 AD in the court of Emperor Shah Jahan, Salabat Khan, imperial treasurer insulted Amar Singh, who then slewed Salabat Khan. This act turned Mughal army against Amar Singh, who then riding on the back of his horse jumped the high walls of the fort near the spot where Amar Singh Gate was built. 

Though this fort has lost the glamour and grandeur of the Mughal rule, yet it still is a magnificent monument that deserves a visit and go down the lanes of history. Diwan-I-Khas, the 'hall for private and distinguished audiences' was built by Shah Jahan with white marbles in the year 1637 AD. The pillars and arches of this dignified building are inlaid with semi precious stones and colored flowers. Its ceiling was decorated with golden colors and the floors with shining marble slabs, which were taken away by the Jats during their invasion of Agra. The famous peacock throne of Shah Jahan was placed here and was later taken to Delhi by Aurangzeb, which was then taken away by invaders to now present Teheran

As part of Incredible India series, I had earlier shared blog posts on Karnataka Road TripQutub MinarGolconda FortHumayun's TombTemples in DelhiBird WatchingGwalior Fort, Gwalior Palace Museum & Temples in Gwalior.

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