Agra is a city on the Yamuna river in Uttar Pradesh. From early time onwards, it was a center of commerce, education, handicrafts, and transport. The city was founded by Rajputs in the medieval period. Agra was rebuilt as the capital of the Delhi Sultanate by Sikander Lodi in 1505. After the Mughal invasion, Agra became one of the most important cities in India. It was the administrative capital and residence of different Emperors. This city is famous for the two monuments - Agra Fort and Taj Mahal.
Agra fort is a great monument of India. It is constructed with red sandstone. It is situated on the banks of river Yamuna. The Agra Fort is approximately 2km northwest of Taj Mahal. It was constructed by the Mughals. The period between which it was constructed is under questions. However, Historians believe that it was built during 1565 - 1571. The idea of the fort originated in the mind of Emperor Akbar. It was he who laid the foundation of it in 1565. The fort was ready by 1571. At that time, Shahajahan was the emperor. Shahajahan was Akbar’s grandson,
It is a crescent shaped fort. It is flattened on the east with a straight wall facing the river. Fort’s walls rise 69 ft in height and measure 2.5 km in circumference. The fort contains splendid mosques and palaces. Red sandstone and white marble are used for the construction of the mosques and palaces. They are built by two generations of creative builders. The wall has two gates. The First one called the Delhi Gate and the other one, Amar Singh Gate. The original entrance wa through the Delhi Gate. This gate leads to Hathi Pol or Elephant Gate.
Jehangiri Mahal is an important building in the fort. The Jehangiri palace was built by Akbar. It was a residence for his for Jehangir. It is the largest private residence in the fort. It is really a beautiful artistic piece of work. The Palace can be rightly termed as a meeting point of the HIndu and Central Asian architectural styles.
There are a few beautiful halls, carvings on stone, and attractive decorations. This is the most important building remaining from Akbar’s period. Though he had built a great number of structures, many of them was destroyed by his successors. They had replaced the red sand structures with marble one’s Near the Jehangiri Mahal is the palace of Akbar’s queen Jodha Bai. IT is comparatively a simple structure.
Another important structure in the fort is Khas Mahal. It was built entirely of marble by Shah Jahan. The year of construction is estimated to be 1637. The term Khas Mahal means Private Palace. It is an example of Islamic - Persian architecture. It has three pavilions. There is a beautiful fountain opposite the central pavilion .The palace also is an example of painting on a white marble surface.
Musamman Burji is an octagonal tower with an open pavilion. Shahajahan built it for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. A beautiful view of the Taj Mahal can be perceived from the tower. This is where Shah Jahan spent his last few years as a captive of his son, Aurangazeb. It was in here he lay on his deathbed, gazing at the Taj. ‘Diwan - I - Khas’ is a hall of private audience. It was built by Shah Jahan. IT was used to welcome importnat guests. ‘Sheesh Mahal’ or the Glass Palace, was the royal dressing room. There are numerous tiny mirrors on the walls.