Agra fort Overview
Agra is not only famous for Taj Mahal but also for this historical monument, a fort in the city. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was well known for being the place of residence of the Mughal Dynasty emperors until 1638 when the capital was shifted to Delhi. It shows the imprint of ownership of various rulers and dynasties that includes; Lodhi dynasty, Mughal Empire, Suri dynasty, Maratha Empire and British Empire.
How and when was it built?
The Agra Fort was re-built in 1573 during the era that is marked by invasions and fortifications where power was symbolised by grand palaces and forts. The work took the labour force of 4000 workers and eight years of hardship to reach to its completion and was served as the main residence of Mughal emperors until 1638. The fort includes many of the impressive structures like Diwan-i-Khass, Khas Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, Diwan-i-Am, Moti Masjid and Machchhi Bhawan.
But its real history remains behind the curtain when the first battle of Panipat was fought between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi in 1526 and the
palace was captured by Babur as his home further bringing in some changes which include the addition of step well inside. Before Babur’s capture it was a brick fort and Chauhan Rajputs held it. It is mentioned that for the first time in 1080 AD when a Ghaznavide force captured it then Sikandar lodhi was the first sultan who lived in the fort and then was took over by Babur from Ibrahim lodi. Even the coronation of Humayun took place in the fort in year 1530. Later Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun at Bilgram and took over the ownership of fort. Akbar managed to get back the fort and after realizing its significance rebuild it with red sandstone. Then it came under Shah Jahan who added up his architectural style and in this way it final was released and handed over to government of India in 1947 when Britishers were to leave India.
How it looks in style and layout?
It is in a semicircular shape having the base facing the bank of the river Yamuna. It is whole enclosed with the double battlemented massive wall of red sandstone covering 2 km in perimeter showing graceful curves and lofty bastions. It has four gates out of which the Delhi and the Lahore gates are most prominent. The fort further includes one more gate that is inside the fort and is named as Elephant gate. It also includes royal baths made of marbles, places of worship and a private market for ladies in the fort. The architecture of the fort is known as Indo-Islamic and is considered as one of the Akbar’s masterpiece with an interesting legend associated.