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Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
is a historical fort in the city of Agra
Agra
in India. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty
Mughal Dynasty
till 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra
Agra
to Delhi. The Agra
Agra
fort is a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage site.[1] It is about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city.[citation needed]

Contents

1 History 2 Layout 3 In popular culture 4 Gallery 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

History[edit]

Diwan-i-Aam

After the First Battle of Panipat
First Battle of Panipat
in 1526, the Babur
Babur
stayed in the fort, in the palace of Ibrahim Lodi. He later built a baoli (step well) in it. His successor, Humayun, was crowned in the fort in 1530. He was defeated at Bilgram
Bilgram
in 1540 by Sher Shah Suri. The fort remained with the Suris till 1555, when Humayun
Humayun
recaptured it. Adil Shah Suri's general, Hemu, recaptured Agra
Agra
in 1556 and pursued its fleeing governor to Delhi
Delhi
where he met the Mughals in the Battle of Tughlaqabad.[2]

Sheesh Mahal, Agra
Agra
Fort:The effect produced by lighting candles in Sheesh Mahal, Agra
Agra
Fort.

Realising the importance of its central situation, Akbar
Akbar
made it his capital and arrived in Agra
Agra
in 1558. His historian, Abul Fazl, recorded that this was a brick fort known as 'Badalgarh'. It was in a ruined condition and Akbar
Akbar
had it rebuilt with red sandstone from Barauli area Dhaulpur district, in Rajasthan.[citation needed] Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 4,000 builders worked on it daily for eight years, completing it in 1573.[3] It was only during the reign of Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan, that the site took on its current state. Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
built the beautiful Taj Mahal in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Unlike his grandfather, Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
tended to have buildings made from white marble. He destroyed some of the earlier buildings inside the fort to make his own.[citation needed] At the end of his life, Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
was deposed and restrained by his son, Aurangzeb, in the fort. It is rumoured that Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with a view of the Taj Mahal.[citation needed] The fort was invaded and captured by the Maratha Empire in the early 18th century. Thereafter, it changed hands between the Marathas
Marathas
and their foes many times. After their catastrophic defeat at Third Battle of Panipat by Ahmad Shah Abdali
Ahmad Shah Abdali
in 1761, Marathas
Marathas
remained out of the region for the next decade. Finally Mahadji Shinde
Mahadji Shinde
took the fort in 1785. It was lost by the Marathas
Marathas
to the British during the Second Anglo-Maratha War, in 1803.[citation needed] The fort was the site of a battle during the Indian rebellion of 1857, which caused the end of the British East India
East India
Company's rule in India, and led to a century of direct rule of India by Britain.[citation needed] Layout[edit]

Plan of the Red Fort, Agra
Agra
from Murray's Handbooks for Travellers
Murray's Handbooks for Travellers
1911

The 380,000-square-metre (94-acre) fort has a semicircular plan, its chord lies parallel to the river and its walls are seventy feet high. Double ramparts have massive circular bastions at intervals, with battlements, embrasures, machicolations and string courses. Four gates were provided on its four sides, one Khizri gate opening on to the river.[citation needed] Two of the fort's gates are notable: the " Delhi
Delhi
Gate" and the "Lahore Gate." The Lahore Gate is also popularly also known as the "Amar Singh Gate," for Amar Singh Rathore.[citation needed] The monumental Delhi
Delhi
Gate, which faces the city on the western side of the fort, is considered the grandest of the four gates and a masterpiece of Akbar's time. It was built circa 1568 both to enhance security and as the king's formal gate, and includes features related to both. It is embellished with inlay work in white marble. A wooden drawbridge was used to cross the moat and reach the gate from the mainland; inside, an inner gateway called Hathi Pol ("Elephant Gate") – guarded by two life-sized stone elephants with their riders – added another layer of security. The drawbridge, slight ascent, and 90-degree turn between the outer and inner gates make the entrance impregnable. During a siege, attackers would employ elephants to crush a fort's gates. Without a level, straight run-up to gather speed, however, something prevented by this layout, elephants are ineffective.[citation needed] Because the Indian military
Indian military
(the Parachute Brigade in particular) is still using the northern portion of the Agra
Agra
Fort, the Delhi
Delhi
Gate cannot be used by the public. Tourists enter via the Amar Singh Gate.[citation needed] The site is very important in terms of architectural history. Abul Fazal recorded that five hundred buildings in the beautiful designs of Bengal
Bengal
and Gujarat
Gujarat
were built in the fort. Some of them were demolished by Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
to make way for his white marble palaces. Most of the others were destroyed by the British between 1803 and 1862 for raising barracks. Hardly thirty Mughal buildings have survived on the south-eastern side, facing the river. Of these, the Delhi
Delhi
Gate and Akbar
Akbar
Gate and one palace – "Bengali Mahal" – are representative Akbari buildings.[citation needed] Akbar
Akbar
Darwazza ( Akbar
Akbar
Gate) was renamed Amar Singh Gate by the British. The gate is similar in design to the Delhi
Delhi
Gate. Both are built of red sandstone.[citation needed] The Bengali Mahal is built of red sandstone and is now split into Akbari Mahal and Jahangiri mahal.[citation needed] In popular culture[edit]

The Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Award for Architecture
in 2004. India Post issued a stamp to commemorate this event. The Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
plays a key role in the Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
mystery The Sign of the Four, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
was featured in the music video for Habibi Da, a hit song of Egyptian pop star Hisham Abbas. Shivaji
Shivaji
came to Agra
Agra
in 1666 as per the "Treaty of Purandar (1665)" entered into with Mirza Raje Jaisingh to meet Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
in the Diwan-i-Khas. In the audience, he was deliberately placed behind men of lower rank. Insulted, he stormed out of the imperial audience and was confined to Jai Sing's quarters on 12 May 1666.

Gallery[edit]

Plan of Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
on display at the fort, 2008

Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
inscription

Exterior of Diwan-i-Am or Hall of Public Audience

Interior of Diwan I Am (Hall of Public Audience)

Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
Diwan I Am (Hall of Public Audience)

Jahangir Palace

Diwan-e-Khas

Delhi
Delhi
gate, by Seeta Ram, 1814–15

Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
insides

Decorated column

Decorations on the ceiling

Weeks Edwin Gate of the Fortress at Agra
Agra
India

Inside the Fort's extensive compound

See also[edit]

Jama Masjid Fatehpur Sikri Lahore Fort Red Fort

References[edit]

^ " Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
- World HeritageCentre". UNESCO.ORG.  ^ Sarkar, Jadunath (1960). Military History of India. Orient Longmans. pp. 66–67.  ^ " Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
(1983), Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
– Archaeological Survey of India". Retrieved 19 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Agra
Agra
Fort.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Agra
Agra
Fort.

Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
(1983), Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
– Archaeological Survey of India Agra
Agra
Fort
Fort
map (from Murray's travel guide, 1909)

v t e

World Heritage Sites in India

North

Agra
Agra
Fort The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier Fatehpur Sikri Great Himalayan National Park Humayun's Tomb Keoladeo National Park Khajuraho Group of Monuments Kalka-Shimla Railway Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks Qutub Minar and its Monuments Red Fort
Fort
Complex Taj Mahal

East

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Kaziranga National Park Mahabodhi Temple
Mahabodhi Temple
Complex Nalanda Manas Wildlife Sanctuary Sun Temple at Konark Sundarbans National Park Khangchendzonga National Park

South

Great Living Chola Temples Group of Monuments at Hampi Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram Group of Monuments at Pattadakal Nilgiri Mountain Railway Western Ghats

West

Historic City of Ahmadabad Ajanta Caves Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park Chhatrapati Shivaji
Shivaji
Terminus Churches and convents of Goa Elephanta Caves Ellora Caves Hill Forts of Rajasthan Jantar Mantar of Jaipur Rani ki vav Buddhist Monuments at Sa

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