Agra: The Red Fort

If one talks about the most famous cities of India then Agra will certainly take the top spot, at least from the perspective of tourism. Individually, we both had been to Agra earlier in our lives but this was the first time we visited the city together and what better occasion to visit it than to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.

We made the drive from Kanpur (our hometown) to Agra a day before our anniversary and reached our destination in about four hours. Our stay of two nights was pre-booked at ITC Mughal. The grand hotel was a tourist spot in itself which is evident from some of the photos below. On both nights of our stay, we spent considerable time walking around the vast grounds of the hotel and marvelling at the upkeep.

ITC Mughal
The pool area at ITC Mughal


After resting for a bit, we started our exploration of the city with the symbol of Mughal Power – the Agra Fort. The massive fort was initially built by Emperor Akbar with significant modifications made by his grandson Shah Jahan later on. To escape the clutches of guides we had already installed an app on our phones which guided us through the entire complex.

As we made our way through the fort we first came across beautiful red sandstone palaces and other structures from Akbar’s era which then gave way to intricate and stunning white marble buildings constructed by Shah Jahan. Many of these marble buildings were decorated with the Pietra Dura stone inlay work. One of these buildings was the famous Muasamman Burj where Shah Jahan is said to have spent his last days looking at Taj Mahal and remembering his wife after being imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb.

Instead of writing anything more, we will let pictures describe the impressive fort and its gorgeous buildings.

The Agra Fort with its red sandstone walls and lofty bastions
One of the four gates of the fort – the Amar Singh Gate
The Jehangiri Mahal built by Akbar for his son Jehangir
The front facade of Jehangiri Mahal 
Carvings on the exterior walls of Jehangiri Mahal 
Intricately carved pillars inside the Jehangiri Mahal
Interiors of the Jehangiri Mahal
Shah Jahani Mahal – Shah Jahan’s first attempt at modification of the red sandstone palace
Shah Jahani Mahal
One of the rooms inside the Jehangiri Mahal 
One of the two Golden Pavilions. These pavilions are inspired from the roofs of Bengal huts.
Khas Mahal – known for its ornamented interiors
Musamman Burj – an octagonal tower which is open at five sides
Interiors of Musamman Burj
Pietra Dura work in Musamman Burj
Musamman Burj is where Shah Jahan spent the last eight years of his life under house arrest
Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) was used for receiving kings and dignitaries
Intricate jaalis of the Diwan-i-Khas
Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience) – place where the emperor would meet the public and hear their grievances
The assembly place for ministers inside Diwan-i-Am 
The area which housed the Peacock Throne inside Diwan-i-Am 

After exploring the fort for around four hours (it was almost closing time) we decided to have an early dinner. A quick search on Zomato brought us to Pinch of Spice which was just across the street from our hotel. Highly recommended for its Mughlai food, we were so pleased with the food that we visited it again the next evening.


11 thoughts on “Agra: The Red Fort

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