Visit Agra Fort: One of India’s Seven Wonders

October 14, 2013 by

Agra Fort

Agra Fort

While many visitors to India flock to see the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort is a lesser known monument that offers much more history.

Agra Fort is also known as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge or the Red Fort of Agra. This immense red structure withstood an era marked by invasions and a time when power was symbolized by grand palaces and forts such as this one.

Agra Fort

Fortress of Ancient History

The Agra Fort was once the seat of power of the great Mughal Emperors. This red sandstone Fort was rebuilt by an impressive workforce and was completed in 1573.

Today the Fort stands as a testament to the kind of beauty, precision, of workmanship of that time with a chance to witness architectural touches that work as a snapshot of a different era.

These architectural nuances bring to light an interesting mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture which includes Islamic decorations of forbidden images of dragons, elephants, and birds rather than traditional Islamic surface decoration.

The Agra Fort’s rich history also includes visits from foreign ambassadors, dignitaries, and once housed the largest state treasury and mint.

Agra Fort

The Structure

The Agra Fort is built on the Yamuna River and was constructed using what is known as the ‘Karmuka-Khadaga’ plan which means ‘bow.’ The building follows a semicircular flow like a bow with a straight-line fortification along the river.

This fortification includes strong 70 m. high walls with two lookout towers at the entrance and was encircled by a 12 m. deep moat. It still stands today as a symbol of power and strength.

The Fort features four gates within the walls constructed of hewn stone. Visitors marvel at how the red polished stones fit together so perfectly that not even a hair can be placed between them.

This Fort also differs from many ancient forts because Agra Fort is not set on a hill. Instead of depending on location to help defend, it was constructed as an impregnable fortress by the use of architectural stratagems.

With the help of a guide, guests can witness these stratagems firsthand. For example the angle of the lower ramparts, the battlement parapet, slope forward to make it impossible to scale the wall.

When to Visit

This Fort offers much to see and learn. Guests can visit any time between sunrise to sunset, but the best time to visit weather-wise is between the months of November and March.

During this time of the year, there are a number of interesting festivals celebrated in the city that are worth checking out, too.

Photo credits: Carol Mitchell, Christian Haugen, Maliboy

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