Agra as a city is very captivating and that is only because of the rich historical past it bears. Even today Agra looks magnificent with the tombs and palaces and forts that stand tall as evidence of its cultural heritage. A tour in Agra can never be complete if you don’t visit the Agra Fort. The red coloured fort is also called the Red Fort of Agra and this fort is not the same as the Red Fort Delhi. Rich history attached to this fort would leave you mesmerized. You will be stunned by the beauty of the great architecture and artistic mastery. Moreover you will feel like you have been transported to the age old glorious days of the Mughal Empire. In this article I will include everything that you need to know if you are planning a visit to Agra Fort. So keep on Reading.
Agra Fort location: Rakabganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Timings: The Agra Fort is open on all days from sunrise to sunset that is from 6 am to 6 pm.
Agra Fort entry fee: Entry fee for Indians is Rs. 50, and for foreigners it is Rs. 650 per person. Children below 15 years old are free.
Best time to visit Agra Fort:
The best time to visit the Agra Fort is during the winter season as the weather will be most suitable for exploring the place. You can visit here from November to February. If you want to explore the whole fort then have at least 2-3 hours time in hand. Try to visit during the late afternoon or early morning for a better experience.
How to reach Agra Fort:
Agra Fort to Taj Mahal distance is about 2.5 km. The fort is built at the centre of Agra, on the banks of the Yamuna River.
How to reach Agra Fort by train:
While travelling from other cities you can take trains to the Agra Cantt Railway Station which is 5 km away or the Agra Fort Railway Station which is a few hundred metres away.
How to reach Agra Fort by road:
Agra is well connected by roadways. The Idgah Bus Stand is 4 km away. The closest bus stand is Bijli Ghar Bus Stand which is only a few metres away.
How to reach Agra Fort by flight:
Closest International Airport is the Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport that is 230 km away. The Agra Airport is 7km away from the Agra Fort.
From the airports, railway stations and bus stands you will have to take buses or autos or e-rickshaws or cabs to reach the fort.
Light and Sound Show in Agra Fort:
Timings of Light and Sound Show in Agra Fort: The Hindi show starts 30 minutes after sunset. And just after that finishes the English show starts.
Ticket price of Light and Sound Show in Agra Fort: For Indians the price is Rs. 70. For students it is Rs.40. The ticket price for foreigners is Rs. 200. Entry is free for children below 15 years of age.
Information about Red Fort:
This elegant Red Fort of Agra located near the Yamuna River is an example of sheer artistic and architectural brilliance. One of the most popular tourist spots in Agra in recent times, the Agra Fort is also historically very important. This site is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Whenever you visit Agra you must visit this fort to get an insight of the Mughal period.
Furthermore, the importance of this Fort lies in the fact that, this fort was previously the residential complex for the Mughal emperors before the capital was shifted to Delhi. This vast fort has different sections and chambers for everyone to explore. The higher walls, the red colour of the massive structure, ornate details, and intricate craftsmanship will take you back to the days long gone. Another captivating part of this Fort is the architectural marvel Taj Mahal is visible from the Agra Fort. Taj Mahal to Agra Fort distance is only 2.5 km. That is surely a sight to enjoy.
History of Agra Fort:
The History of Red fort in Agra is worth mentioning. Originally this fort belonged to the Rajput rulers. In 1526 after the Battle of Panipat, Ibrahim Lodi took over this Fort. Later, this fort was captured by the first Mughal emperor Babur. Afterwards when the Fort came under the control of Emperor Akbar, it was already in ruins. He began the construction of the fort in 1565 and that continued till 1573.
After the completion of the construction this fort served as the primary residential complex for Akbar. The fort was subsequently modified again during the times of Jahangir and Shah Jahan. This fort was one of the important places for the Mughal Empire until the capital was shifted to Delhi in 1638.
Later when Aurangzeb was the emperor, he locked his father Shah Jahan in this Fort and he breathed his last here after being confined to the fort for years. The Agra Fort was also under the control of the British later in the years. After Indian Independence the Fort was finally handed over to the Indian Government.
Architecture of Agra Fort:
The huge complex of Agra Fort is sprawled across in a circular shape for about 2.5 kms. The premise has beautiful gardens, palaces and structures inside that are magnificent. Primarily the fort was constructed with red sandstones. There is a beautiful blend of Classical Islamic, Persian and Hindu styles of architecture. The two gigantic gates of the forts are Delhi Gate and Lahore Gate or the Amar Singh Gate. The Lahore Gate is only open for the visitors here.
Places to visit in Agra Fort:
The Diwan-e-Aam Hall inside the Agra Fort was the hall where the emperor listened to the grievances and complaints of the general public. Diwan-e-Aam meant Hall of Public Audience. This was made by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Initially this was made of red sandstone but later to give it a white look it was plastered with marble. During those days the peacock throne was kept here.
This was another hall built by Emperor Shah Jahan. Diwan-e-Khaas is also known as the Hall of Private Audience. However the purpose of building this hall was to hold private meetings. Along with that important guests were also entertained here. The entire hall is designed with marble pillars and intricately carved walls with semi precious stones studded in them. Another special thing here is the Pachisi courtyard where the emperor used to play chess like board games.
Sheesh Mahal or the Mirror Palace was the private chamber for the Queens. The queens used this for changing their dresses. As the name suggests this mirror palace is one of the most attractive and ornate constructions here. The mirror work is exquisite and looks even beautiful when it reflects light from all directions. Both the walls and the ceilings of the Sheesh Mahal are intricately designed with tiny myriad mirrors that look splendid.
Khaas Mahal is another beautiful palace built by Emperor Shah Jahan. This is like a private chamber for the emperor overlooking the Angoori Bagh. You will notice a distinct Islamic along with ancient Persian Style of architecture here. The spectacular arches and intricate marble work looks elegant. Another beautiful thing is the windows with latticework in it which is much appreciated.
Shahjahani Mahal as the name suggests is Emperor Shah Jahan’s Palace. The palace is located just beside the Diwan-e-Khaas. This palace is believed to be Shah Jahan’s first attempt to turn a red sandstone structure into a white marbled palace. You can see beautiful floral carvings here. What he did was, he made a red sandstone and brick structure and then plastered it white to get it redone.
The Jahangir Mahal was a residential palace for Emperor Akbar’s wives. While entering the Agra Fort this is the first structure that you will encounter. The halls are royal and are heavily decorated with beautiful arches and stone carvings.
Bengali Mahal in Agra Fort is designed in a distinct Bengali style of architecture mixed with the Mughal elements. This palace was built by Emperor Akbar and was later modified by Emperor Shah Jahan. It is said that this palace has some hidden underground chambers beneath the whole structure.
This palace was the chief residential complex for the royal women. The red structure was built by Emperor Akbar. It is also said that Emperor Akbar breathed his last here. At present a major portion of this palace is in ruins.
Hauz-e-Jahagiri is a monolithic tank of water. This is located just beside the Jahangiri Mahal. The tank was built by Emperor Jahangir and the water was used for bathing at that time. This Hauz-e-Jahangiri is a part of Akbar’s Bengali Mahal.
Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque is located near the Diwan-e-Aam Hall. The white marble of this mosque along with the pristine triple dome just makes it one of the finest structures. The spacious courtyard in front also makes the ambience very serene.
This was the private place of worship for Emperor Shah Jahan. This is a small mosque that is very simple in its look and doesn’t have any ornamentation. All the sides of the mosques are enclosed by walls. The mosque is located near the Moti Masjid.
This is another mosque built by Emperor Shah Jahan. Located near the Moti Masjid, this small mosque looks elegant in its structure. This was a private mosque for the ladies of the royal family. Minimal decoration and simple architecture makes the white marbled mosque look beautiful.
This is an octagonal tower that was Shah Jahan’s personal retreat. This tower is directly connected to Diwan-e-Khaas, Khaas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, and other places. Primarily, this was a red sandstone formation. Later, it was rebuilt by Shah Jahan using white marbles. This is one of the most ornamented structures in the Fort. You can enjoy a mesmerizing view of Taj Mahal from here. When Auragzeb held Shah Jahan captive here for years, he spent his last few years here watching his most elegant creation from this place.
Meena Bazar was once a market place on the way to Nagina Masjid. The women from the families of the Mughal Courtesans used to set up this market for the royal members. The market is now nonexistent but the place is still famous. At present a huge area of the Meena Bazar is under the control of the army and entry is prohibited for tourists.
Other things to do in Agra Fort:
Take a leisurely walk
Simply walking through the grand structures, strolling through the beautiful garden and admiring the beauty of the intricate work of the artists will leave you awestruck. It will be a serene experience to enjoy the ambience and relax.
This fort can be the ideal spot for the photographers and photograph lovers. You can click beautiful pictures of the wall carvings or just stand and pose yourself in different locations. One tip from my side, don’t forget to capture the beauty of Taj Mahal visible from here. That picture can be your best picture from the whole visit to the Agra Fort.
Do indulge in shopping from the nearby markets as Agra has some really beautiful markets. The markets here offer a wide variety of items ranging from marble artefacts, leather goods, embroidered fabrics, home décor items, accessories, jewelleries and much more.
Things to remember before visiting Agra Fort:
Always wear comfortable footwear while you are exploring a place like this, because there would be a lot of walking. So remember that.
- Don’t forget to carry your identity cards.
- Your luggage should be stored in the cloakroom.
- Carry a bottle of water handy, in case you feel thirsty after a lot of walking.
- Take a tour guide along so that you get all the information regarding the various rooms and chambers inside. Also it would be easy for you to explore the whole area systematically.
- Keep in mind that smoking and drinking is not at all allowed inside the premises.
- You must keep your mobile phones and other gadgets in silent mode so that it doesn’t disturb others.
The Agra Fort is an epitome of architectural brilliance that will make you look at it without blinking your eyelids. In no way you can miss out on this location if you are visiting Agra. The historical reminisces, the glorious past and the importance attached to this fort is huge. For someone who likes to indulge into the world of history, this place would serve as an ideal destination. Take some timeout and visit this Red Fort of Agra and dive into the world of age old traditions, culture and history. This would leave your mind and soul refreshed and consumed with information from history. I am sure this would be one of a kind of experience for anyone visiting this fort for the first time. Do let me know when you are planning a trip to the Agra Fort.