Man proposes something but God disposes of something else, the Agra Fort was primarily constructed solely as a military establishment for the Mughal army by third Mughal ruler Akbar, who declared Agra as the capital of the Mughal empire, but later some of its parts was improvised into a Royal residence. Agra Fort is 2.5 km approximately from the Taj Mahal and was designated a world heritage site in 1983 when a team of UNESCO visited it and inducted it into a list of global heritage sites. There are four gates for accessing inside Agra Fort but now there is only one active gate for entry of tourists. The four main gates are Amar Singh Gate (formerly known as Akbar Darwaza or Lahore Gate, facing south and renamed by Shah Jahan), Delhi Gate (original entrance and facing west), Water Gate (also called Khizri Gate, facing river Yamuna), and Ghazni Gate. Your local tour guide for Agra Fort sightseeing will use Amar Singh Gate for getting you inside. He will brief you about the dimensions of Agra Fort and the building inside its premises. The Agra Fort is gigantic, confined in an area of 94 acres, surrounded by double walls of red sandstone, 21 metres in height and have a circumference of 2.5 km. Both walls are separated by a water moat which was guarded by crocodiles to check the trespassing of enemies.
How much is the entrance fee for Agra Fort?
How much it cost for hiring services of tour guide for Agra Fort?
For half-day Agra local sightseeing with English speaking tour guide : INR 1800 OR USD 25
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COMPREHENSIVE BRIEFING OF AGRA FORT HISTORY BY TOUR GUIDE
Acquainting visitors with the history of Agra Fort and about multiple dynasties ruled from this majestic Fort. Initially, this Fort was constructed by Raja Badal Singh of the Chandel dynasty. The famous scholar Abdul Fazal wrote that the Fort was made of bricks and in ruined conditions, and was called Badalgarh Fort. Your tour guide for Agra Fort will explain you history of this Fort in detail. Agra was founded by SikandarLodhi, the second last king of the Lodhi dynasty, who declared Agra the capital of the Lodhiempire. The rulers from the Lodhi dynasty ruled from this Fort from 1504 to 1526. The first Mughal king Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi, the last emperor of the Lodhi dynasty, infamous battle of Panipat and established the foundation of the Mughal Empire over northern India. The Agra Fort was inhabited by the Mughals since the time of Babur (1526 to 1540) as a military base. The second Mughal king Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah Suri who founded the Suri dynasty and ruled from this Fort from 1540 to 1555. Later Humayun defeated Sher Shah Suri and restarted ruling from the same Agra Fort. The third Mughal king Akbar started the reconstruction of this Fort using red sandstone as a building material, brought from the Barauli area of Dhaulpur district in Rajasthan. It took 8 years to reconstruct this Fort from 1565 to 1573, and the chief architect Mohammed Kasim from Iran designed the Agra Fort with a team of forty thousand artisans. After the downfall of the Mughal empire, the Maratha empire came into power, ruled from the same Agra Fort (1785 to 1803). The British defeated the mighty Marathas and captured Agra Fort. During British rule, this Fort was used as a military base (1803 to 1947). Akbar started the construction of Agra Fort, after Akbar his son Jahangir, grandson Shah Jahan and great-grandson Aurangzeb ruled from the same Fort and did some successive renovation work inside the Fort. Some of the old buildings were dismantled and new palaces of white marble were constructed over it by the new generation rulers of the Mughal Empire. Finally, it took 95 years for the construction of Agra Fort by four Mughal rulers. British solely use this Fort for military purpose and demolished some beautiful palaces inside Agra Fort for constructing barracks for their army. After Independence, Agra Fort came under the control of Indian Government. ASI, Archaeological Survey of India, responsible for renovation and restoration work inside Agra Fort.
VISITING BUILDINGS AND PALACES INSIDE AGRA FORT WITH TOUR GUIDE
AMAR SINGH GATE
Tourists use the Amar Singh gate for entering Agra Fort. The gate bears the name of Amar Sing Rathore from Jodhpur. There is an anecdote when Shah Jahan was ruling from Agra Fort, the Rajput commander Amar Singh visited his court for official work, while discussion in court with Salabat Khan, the chief treasurer of the Mughal court, the latter used insubordinate language which prompted Amar Singh to kill him in Mughal court. This turned the Mughal army against him, so ridding on his horseback he jumped from the high wall of Agra Fort. The horse died in a fatal jump but Amar Singh managed to survive. After running some distance from the gate, Amar Singh was caught and killed by Mughal Army. Shah Jahan was inspired by his act of bravado that he renamed the gate Amar Singh gate.
This building is the first building in Agra Fort. It was constructed by Akbar for his Hindu wife Jodha Bai, later his son Jahangir did some renovation with marble and the same building was used by NurJahan as her residence. The three lotus flowers at the entrance of this palace depict purity and the symbol of Goddess Laxmi. You, tourists, are mistaken to assume them as a star of David but the star of David has five spots and no dot at the centre while in these flowers there are six dots and a central dot in the centre. Inside the building, you can see two courtyards, a temple for JodhaBai, a bedroom, the library for Jahangir and a vegetarian kitchen for Jodha Bai.
HAUZ E JAHANGIR
It is a bathing tub, gifted to Jahangir by his uncle Raja Man Singh from Jaipur. It was filled with rose water and had stairs to get inside the bottom of the bathtub.
It is a white marble residential palace of Shah Jahan facing Yamuna river on one side and Anguri Bagh on another side. Outside Khas Mahal, there is a beautiful water tank having five big fountains for rose water and thirty-two fountains for water. The ceiling of the palace bears a beautiful Mughal design painted with gold melted colour. You can see iron rings at the centre. of the ceiling meant for the chandelier. Adjacent to Khas Mahal there are two palki shaped palaces for his daughters, Roshanara and Jahanara, known as Roshanara and Jahanara palaces respectively. Both are identical so that the two daughters should not quarrel with each other. The Anguri Bagh is divided into four quadrants and the soil for this garden was brought by Jahangir from Kashmir. Here raisins were used for making wine of Jehangir. The garden is surrounded by a lot of rooms meant for concubines.
This white marble balcony is next to the palace of Jahanara. It is also known as Saman Burj or Shah Burj. Here Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his youngest son Aurangzeb. He spent eight years in captivity. He took the last hiccup of his life looking at the Taj Mahal and died in 1666. There is a beautiful fountain of rose water and its marble pillars are inlaid with semi-precious and gemstones.
DIWAN E KHAS
It was a Parliament of Mughal time, also known as Hall of Private audience, here prominent minister of Mughal court used to discuss matter relevant to administration with the help of revenue minister, defence minister, finance minister etc. Also sometimes the king and ministers take conference in open are outside Diwan E Khas, there are two marble seats, one made of black stone Kasauti for king and other made of white marble for prime minister.
DIWAN E AAM
It was a court of Justice during the Mughal time, also known as the Hall of Public Audience. Here problems, agonies and suffering of poor people were redressed by king Akbar. Here all 64 pillars and arches are in the same line. A lot of symmetry was encapsulated while designing it so that judgment also comes out accurate. Emperor Akbar used to sit at the top seat, and once he awards the verdict, it had to be implemented finally.
The mosque is made of ivory-white marble and was constructed by Shah Jahan for its personal use. It is located at the northwest corner of Machchi Mahal and has three domes.
It is located in front of MacchiBhawan and was solely meant for ladies. In the meena market ladies from various parts of Asia used to come and here barter system was prevailing. It is said the king used to go to Meena market in the guise of ladies for entertainment. It is said that here Shah Jahan met with his beloved Mumtaz Mahal and both fell in love with each other.