The Red Fort Agra
Near the garden of Taj Mahal stands an important Mughal monument from the 16th century: the Red Fort of Agra. This historic fort is located in the province of Uttar Pradesh, India. Formerly, it housed the ceremonial and political center of the Mughal state. This building is amongst the largest forts of India, with an area of about 38 hectares. The Agra Fort was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
The current Red Fort of Agra houses a number of museums, marble palaces, mosques and gardens.
A brief History
Situated on the banks of River Yamuna, Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort of Agra, is one of the oldest historical monuments built of red sandstone. It was constructed in the mid-16th century, during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years, till 1857. Its name comes from Hindi translation "Lal Qila", owing to its red sandstone walls.
Developed and decorated in Mughal art, the original construction of the Red Fort of Agra was carried out by Akbar. However, all his descendants having successively resided inside the monument have converted it into a new building and palace. As a result, the site has various dependencies witnessing the presence of various kings on the site, such as Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb.
The main credit of its foundation is given to Mohammad Kasim Khan. Several holes were created in the fort, spread in such a way so that the enemy could easily fall into it. The site also features different places to bomb the enemy positions from the wall.
When Emperor Shah Jahan surrendered his soul, his remains were deposited by his son Aurangzeb in the fort. It is said that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony overlooking the Taj Mahal.
At the beginning of the 18th century, the fort of Agra was attacked, and then besieged by Maratha Empire. Over the years, he passed into the hands of Marathi leaders and their enemies. After the victory of Ahmad Shah Abdai in 1761, the Marathas were driven out of the region. Finally, Mahadji Shinde seized the fort in 1785.
Later the fort was the site of battle during the Indian rebellion of 1857. The revolt that had put an end to British East India Company, has led India to a century of direct domination by Great Britain.
The Red Fort Nowadays(The Red Fort of Today)
The Red Fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations of India. Today, the only entrance serving the Red Fort of Agra is the Lahore Gate which is on the west side of the site. Inside like everything around the fort, security is very strict since a tragedy resulted in the death of three people in 2000. Security guards are now digging in front of the entrance. The bags are allowed, but are first passed on through checking machines to ensure the full safety of visitors.
This mighty fortress of red sandstone encircles within its 2.5 km long walls the imperial city of Mughal kings. It is home to many palaces, to mention only the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, the courtrooms and two beautiful mosques.
On 15 August, India's Independence Day, the Prime Minister of India hosts the national flag at the Red Fort and gives a speech. In the evening there is a spectacle of sound and light depicting Mughal history.
Agra Fort has an important significance in terms of architectural history. The site has splendid palaces of red sandstone and white marble. The exterior walls built during the time of Akbar include two gates called Amar Singh and the gate of Delhi.
The two doors are constructed in red sandstone and consist of an enormously façade alongside two twin towers. The interior of the fortress is largely empty, except of a row of residential units overlooking the river.
Admission Fees ?
The Red Fort of Agra is open daily from morning to night, except on Mondays. It takes Rs 550 for the entrance ticket.
Those who bring cameras must pay an additional fee of Rs 25. There is no entry fee for children under 15 years of age.
How to get there ?
To discover the city of Agra, it is best to rent a taxi. Online booking is a reliable and simple way of hiring a taxi. However, due to tourist traffic, you will surely find a vehicle outside the station or thanks to the services offered by your hotel.
The People traveling with Active India has car on their disposal along with driver to drive them to the Red Fort of Agra.