Agra Fort in India.
Generally about Visiting and Touring around Agra Fort and it's old Mahals and Mosques.
The admission charge for Agra Fort is 300 Rupees for non-Indians - it's open daily and we believe that you can get in free of charge on Fridays. This is probably because the Taj Mahal is closed on that day so there are few foreign tourists around - nice and cheap if you are staying in
Agra and have a free morning. Security at Agra Fort is very tight - firstly anyway because this is now the case in most parts of India at their most important sites, secondly because the Fort is still militarily active as the Indian Army is still based in some areas within it.
There are seemingly no apparent restrictions on what you are able to take into the Fort however this can change from minute to minute in India of course.[ Click the thumbnails for a larger picture - use the back button to return to this page. ]
Agra Fort is situated alongside the west bank of Yamuna River - it was originally built by Emperor Akbar between 1565 and 1573 and was constructed from red sandstone. Extra buildings were added by the Emperor's grandson Shan Jahan and much more powerful fortifications and bastions were added by Aurangzeb - the bastions are more than 65 feet high and the walls stretch for some 1.55 miles long. A deep moat once surrounded the fort and there are several huge Gates (Pols) - the
most used of which is Delhi Gate which leads via Hathi Pol (The Elephant Gate) into to the complex.
The entrance for visitors these days is via the South Gate i.e. through the impressive Amar Singh Pol. This is a triple gate which is staggered at right angles to deter attacking forces. A slight incline going alongside high walls leads by yet another gate right into the main fort area.
Various buildings within Agra Fort including the beautiful Jahangir Mahal, Nagina Masjid and Diwan-i-aam
The Jahangir Mahal
Inside Jahangir Mahal
Jahangir Mahal courtyard
The Jahangiri Mahal is a beautiful building which consists of halls, courtyards, galleries, dungeons and Zenana (the part of the Mahal where the women of the house lived). Originally there was a large marble pool in front of the building - Jahangir Mahal dates back to Akbar's time and may have been constructed by Akbar's father for his son.
Jahangir Mahal carvings
The Khas Mahal is typical of the Shan Jahan style of architecture with it's marble hall, very colourful painted ceilings and two gold pavilions which have curved roofs. The Anguri Bagh (or grape garden) contains lily pools and candle niches and faces the Khas Mahal - to the northeast are the royal baths - the Sheesh Mahal.
The double storied octagonal tower of the Musamman Burj is
where Shan Jahan was imprisoned and spent the last years of his life - he had been imprisoned on the orders of his son Aurangzeb. Across the river there are views of the Taj Mahal which is where Shan Jahan's wife Arjumand Bann Begum was buried. (Shan Jahan was subsequently buried beside her). Near to the Burj is the small Mina Masjid which was a private mosque solely for use by the Emperor.
The Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) was erected in 1865 and is one of the most finely decorated buildings within Agra Fort. It has paired marble pillars and peacock arches which are inlaid with lapis and lazuli (these are intense deep blue semi-precious stones) and also with jasper.
The Nagina Masjid (Jewel Mosque) is a marble mosque which has three domes and a marbled paved courtyard - it was built for the ladies of the Zenana.
The Macchi Bhavan (Fish Palace) is a two storey building which overlooks a courtyard - it once had fountains, flower beds, tanks and water channel containing fish.
The Diwan-i-am (The Hall of Public Audience) is an arcaded hall with a courtyard - it contained a Peacock Throne.
The Moti Masjid (The Pearl Mosque) is actually in a restricted are closed to the public but you can get a glimpse of it over the wall.
There is much more about touring in India via our India Travel and Touring Guide Home Page.
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