Agra Fort is also known as Red Fort. It is located in the State of Uttar Pradesh located in North India. Agra fort is one of the most ancient historical monuments built of sandstone on the riverbank of Yamuna in Agra by Emperor Akbar.
Agra fort was developed as a representation of the strongest uphold of the Mughals in India. Until 1638, agra was the capital of Mughal empire and Agra fort served as the main dwelling place for the Mughal emperors.
Site: Developed and decorated in the Mughal art and architectural design it was constructed by 3rd emperor of Mughal dynasty- Akbar, on the ancient site remains of Badalgarh.
Who developed it? The original construction of Red Fort in Agra was done by Akbar but every descendant thereafter constructed some new building or palace etc. within it. Therefore, at one single place we observe monuments having been erected by Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and even Aurangzeb.
Some historians believe that the site where present Red Fort constructed by Akbar is situated was the place where the Chauhan Rajputs had their Badalgarh fort. That was the centre of Rajputs might in those days. Jahangir writes in his Memoirs that his father, Akbar, demolished an existing fort, situated on the bank of Jamuna and constructed the Red Fort here. Some historians believe that the Badalgarh Fort was probably destroyed by an earthquake in 1505, which was later cleared by Akbar and the foundation of the new Red Fort lay at the same place.
When was it developed? Agra fort was developed under hard work of 4000 workers, who worked for 8 years from 1565-1573 to complete its construction.
Cost: In those days it entailed a total cost of 35 lacs of rupees. Complete details about this fort are available in the royal accounts of Akbar’s days.
Architecture: The main responsibility of its construction was given to Mohammad Kasim Khan, Akbar’s commander-in-chief and the Governor of Kabul. Architecture: The Red fort at Agra is spread over a triangular area of one and a half miles. Its walls are 70 feet high and are made of strong red-stone. In those days Jamuna used to flow past touching its wall. There are trenches along three sides of these walls wherein the water of Jamuna used to flow. Several holes have been constructed in it so that the enemy can be easily fired and there are arrangements to bombard the enemy positions from the wall.
There are four high entrances to the fort. The gate in the South direction is known as Amar Singh Gate. The main buildings in the fort are situated just behind this very gate. The gate in the front is known as Delhi Gate. These are the two main gates. The remaining two gates are closed.
The fort can be termed a vast museum of buildings wherein each of the Mughal emperors contributed something.
- Agra fort has a historical significance of being developed as the spot to safeguard the huge treasure, including “The Kohinoor”, as baoli (step-wall). Later it was further gradually developed with the upcoming of every Mughal emperor into “Badalgarh”.
- The Agra fort has significance due to its proximity to Taj Mahal with the most attracting significance of attracting max tourists to watch the beauty of a walled city.
- It is also known as the ‘Red Sandstone Fortress’.
- It signifies one of the strongest evidence of Mughal strength and strategy.
Mughal Emperor Akbar had built every necessary building inside the fort in the same way as he had done at Fatehpur Sikri. Since he had already established Fatehpur Sikri he followed the same pattern of buildings at Agra. Worth mention among these buildings are Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, Jodhabai Palace and Emperor’s own palaces.
Tourism and Tourist Attracting Factors
- It is the nearest historical monument to the Taj Mahal.
- It is an epitome of picturesque beauty.
- Its historical background attracts tourists.
- This fort is in the form of a walled city.
Conclusion: Being a representation of the great historical origin and honour, this is one of must visit monuments when in Agra.
Note: Edited with the help of input article on ‘Agra Fort’, contributed by ‘Sehba’.