Overshadowed, often, by the iconic Taj Mahal, Agra Fort is one of the finest structures ever built in the Mughal era and is placed on the banks of Yamuna river in the city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Agra Fort features an impressive Mughal design and architecture built by the 3rd Mughal emperor named Akbar over the ancient ruins of Badalgarh in 1565.
Often named as the Qila-i-Akbari, Fort Rouge or Lal-Qila, Agra Fort is one of the leading highlights of Agra. Brave men and women built this magnificent structure while they saw powerful empires invading and capturing this beautiful city; this great structure is dedicated to grit and hard work. Take a walk through the red sandstone courtyards and marble fortress and we assure that you will be in awe at the very sight of it.
History Of Agra Fort
PC: Sajag Jain
The Lodi dynasty, head by Emperor Sikandar Lodi, built magnificent structures in the fort. Once they were defeated and killed in the Battle of Panipat, in 1526, Babur's son, Humayun, captured and conquered the fort; he also seized a vast treasure including the famous Kohinoor diamond. Sher Shah further conquered the fort after defeating Humayun in 1540.
Akbar renovated the Agra Fort with beautiful red sandstones; sheer grit and determination of the daily workers helped, who took eight years to complete the new fort, in 1573. Akbar further beautified it by adding exquisite collections. Akbar used the fort as a military structure, but Shah Jahan was instrumental in transforming it into a palace. Agra Fort was used as a prison for eight years once Shah Jahan's son, Aurangzeb, took over the reigns in 1658.
Architecture Of Agra Fort
PC: Dan Lundberg
A 21.4 m high and 2.5 km long fortification wall encompasses the semicircular fort that covers over 94 acres of land. Double ramparts support the broad gigantic circular bastions. The fort has four gates with one of the gates opening to the riverfront, where the emperors bathed in these ghats.
There were close to 5000 structures built during Akbar's regime, most of them destroyed during the British colonial rule. Agra Fort lost its sheen and charm post the death of the great Shah Jahan. Of the remaining ruins, only the Delhi Gate, Akbari Gate and the Bengali Mahal stand tall today.
Other Places To Visit In Agra
Agra has a rich cultural heritage and there were several magnificent structures built during the period of invasion. Some of the popular ones featuring on the list are Fatehpur Sikri, Taj Mahal, Akbar's tomb and Moti Masjid.
Agra Fort welcomes tourists and visitors from sunrise to sunset. There are daily light and sound shows held at the Agra Fort post sunset. The English and Hindi shows run at 8 pm and 7 pm daily, respectively.
How To Reach Agra Fort
PC: Dan Lundberg
By Air: The Agra Airport is well connected to all major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. You can get cab services to cover the remaining distance to the Agra Fort.
By Rail: There is a good frequency of express trains running from various cities in India to Agra. There are frequent auto and cab services available from the Agra railway station till Agra Fort.
By Road: Agra is connected to major cities via national highways, i.e., Delhi and Varanasi (NH 2), Jaipur (NH 11) and Gwalior (NH 3).
Best Time To Visit Agra Fort
PC: Man Bartlett
The months between November to March are the best times to visit Agra. It is also the peak tourist season in Agra. The weather during winters is overall pleasant and a great relief from the scorching heat and humidity during the summer and monsoon seasons respectively.