The mighty towers and overwhelming facades instilling fear and awe in the bravest of the brave…….yet there were the few who overcame the daunting adversities and made their mark in history, a signature ……. that still exists. Structures built as a sign of prowess remind us all of the grit and valour of the brave men and women who captured, destroyed and built such overwhelming edifices.
The Agra Fort, also known as the “Lal –Qila”, “Fort Rouge” or “Qila-i-Akbari”, is the highlight of the city of Agra, then capital of the Mughal Sultanate .
A symbol of power, strength and resilience, as it stands today in full glory.
The Agra Fort was begun by Akbar between 1565 and 1573. It is situated on the west bank of the Jumna River, about 2km upstream from the Taj Mahal (map). Akbar built the fort of sandstone; his grandson Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal, constructed palaces of white marble within the fort itself. Shah Jahan was imprisoned in Agra Fort following the coup of his son, Aurangzeb, and died here in 1657.
Agra Fort is entered today at the south end, through a low outer wall and gate (shown here) built by Aurangzeb. Visitors then pass in succession through two of Akbar’s gates, the Amar Singh and the Akbari, before finally gaining admittance to the fort proper. The original entrance to the fort was through the grander Delhi Gate in the west wall.
Amar Singh Gate
The gate was originally tiled. Although the colorful tile has been lost, The inlay patterns remain in the stone into which they were set. For defensive reasons, this gate is placed perpendicular to the walls. After passing through here, the visitor has to enter yet another gate, the Akbari Darwaza, before reaching the inside of the fort.
Akbari Darwaza (“Akbar’s Gate”) is the third and final gate which guards the south entrance to the fort. The gate pierces the fort’s massive inner wall between these two protective towers, which still retain some traces of their original tiling.
This palace takes its name from Jahangir, but was built by Akbar sometime between 1560 and 1580. Lacking ground-story windows, it might have been used as a zenana. The large bowl in front was carved in 1611 from a single block of porphyry; it is variously said to have been used as a cistern, or as Jahangir’s bathtub.
On the east side of the fort, this octagonal pavilion looks out across the Jumna River and countryside, and downstream to the Taj Mahal. It is said to be the tower where Shah Jahan was imprisoned. Next to the Burj in the photo left foreground is the rear of the Khass Mahal and its adjoining pavilions. Below are fortifications and the riverbank. The river was originally higher, reaching up to the base of the walls.