India: Agra Fort - Citadel of the Mughal Empire | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Nov 25, 2014

India: Agra Fort - Citadel of the Mughal Empire


On our third day in India, we embarked on a road trip to our third destination; Agra, home of the majestic Taj Mahal. We left Jaipur a few minutes past 7 am and reached the third corner of the Golden Triangle circuit at 12 noon.

Agra, a city in Uttar Pradesh, was ruled by Mughal Emperors centuries ago. It became the center of the empire, thus scattered around the city are astounding monuments showcasing majestic Mughal architecture. Three of the monuments are UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Having only a day in Agra, Fatehpur Sikri was not included in our schedule as it is located in the outskirts. 

Our first stop was at the Agra Fort. The colossal fortress made of red sandstone has witnessed the Mughal Empire's prosperity and hardship. It was built as a military structure during the 11th century, then was turned into a palace complex during the Mughal empire's heyday, then unfortunately became a prison for the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan


Agra Fort in India
Agra Fort also known as the Red Fort of Agra


My jaw dropped as we walked closer to Agra Fort's Amar Singh Gate! How can a structure look so powerful and so beautiful at the same time? Unbelievable! We were all mesmerized by its colossal beauty that we spent so much time at the entrance alone.

At the entrance gate, we purchased the composite ticket at 1000 rupees which is valid for a single day visit to five Archaeological Sites in Agra; Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar's Tomb and Etimad-Ud-Daula. 

Ed and Lady at the Agra Fort in India
happy and very much overwhelmed at the Amar Singh Gate of Agra Fort
marvelous fortress made of red sandstone
Say a big hello to the colossal beauty!
birds at Agra Fort
breathtaking harmony of nature and Mughal architecture
the inner gate of Agra Fort
One grand entrance gate leads to another! Agra Fort's inner gate is amazing as well.

Agra Fort is the citadel of the Mughal Rulers in India. Built within the fortification are palaces, mosques and audience halls. A short walk from the entrance is the Jahangiri Mahal; an imposing structure made of red sandstone which blended exquisitely with the sturdy wall of the fortress. The palace was built for Emperor Akbar's son Jahangir, but was mainly used as a private residence of the royal ladies.

Jahangiri Mahal at Agra Fort
Jahangiri Mahal:the largest palace in Agra Fort
at the inner courtyard of Jahangiri Mahal
at the inner courtyard of Jahangiri Mahal

We didn't ask for a guide, hence we just followed a path along the courtyard and reached the massive Diwan-I-Am or the Hall of Public Audiences. From there, we followed a huge group strolling from courtyard to courtyard, from one mosque to another until we arrived at the eastern edge of the fort. 

Diwan-I-am or Hall of Public Audiences
the massive Diwan-I-am or Hall of Public Audiences
Agra Fort marble inlay
fine marble inlay at one of the ancient buildings
Ladies Bazaar in Agra Fort
Ladies Bazaar within the fortress

I had to stop following the crowd when I felt the cool breeze on my face. My gut instinct told me to slow down and walk to the terrace. Then, I felt my knees weaken when I saw the view that was waiting for me; green pastures, the Yamuna River and a marble structure glistening from afar. 

The Taj Mahal was right before my very eyes! And I was standing next to gilded prison cell of the Mughal Emperor who built it! 

Musamman Burj at Agra Fort
The Musamman Burj and The Taj Mahal

Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, who took over his throne, at the Musamman Burj. The octagonal tower has a marble balcony facing the monument that symbolizes the great Emperor's undying love. 

We spent the last few minutes of our Agra Fort tour at the terrace watching the Taj Mahal. I uttered countless words of appreciation until we decided to stop gawking at it from afar... because the time has come for us to see the Wonder of World up close.   

view of Taj Mahal from Agra Fort
the beautiful Wonder of the World from afar

Entrance Fee: 250 rupees

Location:
Agra Fort
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
India

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