Fort is a historical fort in the city of
Agra in India. It was
the main residence of the emperors of the
Mughal Dynasty till 1638,
when the capital was shifted from
Agra to Delhi. The
Agra fort is a
UNESCO World Heritage site. 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.
3 In popular culture
5 See also
7 External links
First Battle of Panipat
First Battle of Panipat in 1526, the
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 in 1540 by Sher Shah Suri. The fort
remained with the Suris till 1555, when
Humayun recaptured it. Adil
Shah Suri's general, Hemu, recaptured
Agra in 1556 and pursued its
fleeing governor to
Delhi where he met the Mughals in the Battle of
Agra Fort:The effect produced by lighting candles in
Realising the importance of its central situation,
Akbar made it his
capital and arrived in
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 had it rebuilt with red sandstone from
Barauli area Dhaulpur district, in Rajasthan.
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.
It was only during the reign of Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan, that the
site took on its current state.
Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj
Mahal in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Unlike his grandfather,
Shah Jahan tended to have buildings made from white marble. He
destroyed some of the earlier buildings inside the fort to make his
At the end of his life,
Shah Jahan was deposed and restrained by his
son, Aurangzeb, in the fort. It is rumoured that
Shah Jahan died in
Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with a view of the Taj
The fort was invaded and captured by the Maratha Empire in the early
18th century. Thereafter, it changed hands between the
their foes many times. After their catastrophic defeat at Third Battle
of Panipat by
Ahmad Shah Abdali
Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761,
Marathas remained out of the
region for the next decade. Finally
Mahadji Shinde took the fort in
1785. It was lost by the
Marathas to the British during the Second
Anglo-Maratha War, in 1803.
The fort was the site of a battle during the Indian rebellion of 1857,
which caused the end of the British
East India Company's rule in
India, and led to a century of direct rule of India by
Plan of the Red Fort,
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
Two of the fort's gates are notable: the "
Delhi Gate" and the "Lahore
Gate." The Lahore Gate is also popularly also known as the "Amar Singh
Gate," for Amar Singh Rathore.
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
Indian military (the Parachute Brigade in particular) is
still using the northern portion of the
Agra Fort, the
cannot be used by the public. Tourists enter via the Amar Singh
The site is very important in terms of architectural history. Abul
Fazal recorded that five hundred buildings in the beautiful designs of
Gujarat were built in the fort. Some of them were
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 Gate and
Akbar Gate and one palace – "Bengali Mahal" – are representative
Akbari buildings.
Akbar Darwazza (
Akbar Gate) was renamed Amar Singh Gate by the
British. The gate is similar in design to the
Delhi Gate. Both are
built of red sandstone.
The Bengali Mahal is built of red sandstone and is now split into
Akbari Mahal and Jahangiri mahal.
In popular culture
Fort won the
Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004. India
Post issued a stamp to commemorate this event.
Fort plays a key role in the
Sherlock Holmes mystery The Sign
of the Four, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Fort was featured in the music video for Habibi Da, a hit
song of Egyptian pop star Hisham Abbas.
Shivaji came to
Agra in 1666 as per the "Treaty of Purandar (1665)"
entered into with Mirza Raje Jaisingh to meet
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.
Fort on display at the fort, 2008
Exterior of Diwan-i-Am or Hall of Public Audience
Interior of Diwan I Am (Hall of Public Audience)
Fort Diwan I Am (Hall of Public Audience)
Delhi gate, by Seeta Ram, 1814–15
Decorations on the ceiling
Weeks Edwin Gate of the Fortress at
Inside the Fort's extensive compound
Fort - World HeritageCentre". UNESCO.ORG.
^ Sarkar, Jadunath (1960). Military History of India. Orient Longmans.
Uttar Pradesh – Archaeological Survey of
India". Retrieved 19 May 2013.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for
Uttar Pradesh – Archaeological Survey of India
Fort map (from Murray's travel guide, 1909)
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