Maharajas' Express Blog

The Red Fort Beckons From Afar!

Before we start off, let’s break the legendary myth- sightseeing is Agra is just not limited to the Taj Mahal! No doubt, Taj is one of the most popular and enchanting places to explore in Agra. But, when we say ‘one of the’, we really mean it!

The sights and sounds of this historical city have a story to tell- a story with multiple subplots and epic climaxes. For one, the Red Fort stands tall as the silent onlooker of ancient India. Not only has it survived the ravages of time, but has also borne witness to the rise and fall of the Mughal kingdoms. Spread across a range of 94 acres, the northern part of the fort is currently used by the Indian army, while only a small portion of it is open for the visitors.

The construction started back in 1080 AD and what you see now is the final structure that was recreated in red sandstone in 1573 AD by Mughal Emperor Akbar. Later, Shah Jahan added structures of marble inside the fort to match the celestial beauty of the Taj Mahal. And this is exactly what the fort looks like today- a shielded edifice made of red sandstone, with white marble palaces within the complex.

The fort has 4 entrances- the Amar Singh Gate is open for public entry. The entrance fee is 40 INR for Indian tourists and 550 INR for foreigners. You can also hire a guide to take you through the pages of a glorious history. The first thing that you notice upon entering the fort is that it is in surprisingly good condition, despite being some hundred years old. Here are a few notable structures to watch out for:

Jahangir Mahal

The palace was built by Emperor Akbar for his son, Jahangir. It was later turned into the ‘zenana’, or the queens’ palace.

Khas Mahal

The Khas Mahal was built for the 2 favourite daughters of Shah Jahan. It features beautiful gardens, spacious rooms and long courtyards, giving you a glimpse of the royal household.

Musamman Burj

It is one of the most striking palaces within the fort premises and was constructed by Shah Jahan for Mumtaz, his favourite wife. The palace is made of rare marble and set with precious gems, and also features an exquisite dome ceiling and a remarkable fountain at the centre of the room. The view of the picturesque Taj from this pristine palace will surely leave you mesmerised.

Halls and Courtyards

Red fort is known for its open-air halls and fenced courtyards. The ones worth mentioning are the Diwan-i-Am (‘Hall of Public Audience’) and Diwan-i-Khas (‘Hall of Private Audience’- specifically the royalty). The people of the state would gather here for significant announcements made by the royal family and would make entreaties.

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