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1509-Agra Fort – India

Agra Fort is a historical fort in the city of Agra. 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.

After the First Battle of Panipat in 1526, the victorious 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 Tughlaqabad.

Realizing 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.[3]

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 own. 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 Mahal (stolen from the web).

We arrived at the Agra Fort early in the morning when it was unfortunately very foggy.

Section of the ceiling that was restored to it’s original luster.

Precision inlay on everything.

This is the tower that Shah Jahan lived in after he was imprisoned by his son.
From this lookout, Shah Jahan could look out across the river and see the
Taj Mahal he had built in memory of his wife and would now never set foot in it again.

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