World Heritage Sites - Agra Fort, Agra Uttar Pradesh (1983)
Fort is located on the right bank of the river Yamuna in the city of Agra
in Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the most important and robustly built strongholds
of the Mughals, embellished with number of richly decorated buildings
encompassing the imposing Mughal style of art and architecture. It was
constructed by the third Mughal emperor Akbar on the remains of an ancient
site known as Badalgarh. Sikandar Lodi (1487-1517) was the first Sultan
of Delhi to shift his capital from Delhi to Agra. After Sikandar Lodi
who died in 1517, his son Ibrahim Lodi held the fort for 9 years until
he was defeated and killed in the battle of Panipat in 1526. Several palaces,
wells and a mosque were built in the fort during the Lodi period.
When Babur sent his
son Humayun to Agra, he captured the fort and seized a vast treasure,
which included the world famous 'Koh-i-noor' diamond as well. Babur built
a baoli (step-wall) here. Humayun was coronated here in 1530. Nazam, a
water-carrier (saqqa), who had saved Humayun from drowning, was crowned
here as an emperor for half-a-day. After Humayun's defeat at Bilgram in
1540, Sher Shah of the Sur dynasty occupied Agra fort and garrisoned it.
Akbar arrived in
Agra in 1558. He ordered to renovate the fort with red sandstone. Some
4000 builders daily worked on it and it was completed in 8 years (1565-1573).
fort, semicircular on plan, is surrounded by a 21.4 m high fortification
wall. Double ramparts have been provided here with broad massive circular
bastions at regular intervals. There are four gates on its four sides,
one of the gates was called "khizri-gate" (the water gate) which
opens to the river front, where ghats (quays) were provided .The fort
has survived through the onslaught of time, nature and men. The fort spreads
over an area of about 94 acres of land. At present, there exist more than
two dozens of monuments in the Fort.
Abul Fazl, a court
historian of Akbar, records that 5000 buildings were built here beautifully
in Bengali and Gujarati style. Most of these buildings have now disappeared.
Shah Jahan himself demolished some of these in order to make room for
his white marble palaces. Later, the British destroyed most of the buildings
for raising barracks. Hardly 30 Mughal buildings have survived on the
southeastern side. Of these, the Delhi-Gate, Akbari-Gate and 'Bengali-Mahal',
are representative of buildings raised during the reign of Akbar.
Jahangir mostly resided
at Lahore and in Kashmir, though he visited Agra regularly and lived in
the fort. Shah Jahan, a great builder, raised white marble palaces here.
He also built three white marble mosques in it: Moti-Masjid, Nagina-Masjid
imprisoned Shah Jahan, his own father, in the fort for 8 years until he
died in 1666 and was buried in the Taj Mahal. The barbicans around the
two gates and on the riverside were built by Aurangzeb to strengthen its
Though Shah Jahan
had formally transferred his capital to Delhi, in 1638, he continued to
live here. But after his death, Agra lost its grandeur. Aurangzeb remained
busy in the regional conflicts and wars. Yet, time and again, he lived
here and held the durbar. Shivaji came to Agra in 1666 and met Aurangzeb
in the Diwan-i-Khas. Aurangzeb died in 1707 and 18th century history of
Agra Fort is a saga of sieges and plunder during which it was held by
the Jats and the Marathas and finally the British captured it from the
latter in 1803.
Open from sunrise
UNESCO Heritage Monuments in India