India: Agra Fort
May 11, 2011
May 11, 2011
Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, India. 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 Panipat, Mughals captured the fort and a vast treasure – which included a diamond that was later named as the Koh-i-Noor diamond – was seized. Babur stayed in the fort in the palace of Ibrahim. He built a baoli (step well) in it. Humayun was crowned here in 1530. Humayun was defeated in Bilgram in 1540. Sher Shah held the fort for five years. The Mughals defeated the Afghans finally at Panipat in 1556.
Realizing the importance of its central situation, Akbar made it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558. His historian, Abdul Fazal, 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 in Rajasthan. Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Builders worked on it for eight years, completing it in 1573.
It was only during the reign of Akbar’s grandson, Shah Jahan, that the site took on its current state. The legend is that Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj Mahal for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Unlike his grandfather, Shah Jahan tended to have buildings made from white marble, often inlaid with gold or semi-precious gems. He destroyed some of the earlier buildings inside the fort in order to make his own.
At the end of his life, Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb, in the fort. It is rumored that Shah Jahan died in Musamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with a view of the Taj Mahal.
The picture above is the queen spa in Agra Fort. One of the most beautiful things i have ever seen in my life and will never forget. How indulging !! The spa is around 8 m high and its walls are fully covered with small pieces of mirrors as you see in the Picture above. Visits to this area of the fort was not allowed because visitors were picking off the small mirrors of the wall. The guide offered to get us in for 200 Rupees (4USD) and we definately said yes. Sipmly it was WoooW.
This how the wall look like with no mirrors. You can only imagine how this Bath look like with tens of candle light glowing with the mirrors. This spa has 3 baths each one for special purpose. Check the VIDEO to have a better idea.
Agra Fort Pics.