Agra Fort is a World Heritage Site that captivates the onlooker at first sight with its colossal dimensions and stately aura. The majestic fort is located in the beautiful Indian city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh. Its premises contain a number of exquisite buildings like Moti Masjid, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas and Musamman Burj, where Shah Jahan died in imprisonment. Some of the other important monuments inside the Fort are Jahangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.
Known to many as Red Fort of Agra or Fort Rouge owing to the lavish use of red sandstone, the enclosure houses several sites and structures that display royal Mughal architectural heritage and splendor. Some of the exquisite structures that deserve a mention are:
Sheesh Mahal - Literally meaning 'Glass Palace', it was the royal dressing room adorned by tiny mirror-like glass-mosaic decorations on the walls.
Diwan-i-Aam - This was used as a communications ground between the public and the aristocracy and once housed the Peacock Throne.
Diwan-i-Khas - A hall of private audience, it was used to welcome kings and dignitaries.
Anguri Bagh – Built in Shah Jahan in 1637, Anguri Bagh, flanked by Khas Mahal on the east and red sandstones on the remaining three sides, this garden served as a private area of relaxation for the royal ladies. The garden is divided into various subdivisions with elaborate geometric patterns.
Khas Mahal - Khas Mahal, also known as Aramgah-i-Muqaddar, was a private palace built by Shah Jahan for his daughters Roshanara and Jahanara. It consists of heavily adorned ceilings and alcoves in the surrounding walls. The interiors of the palace captivate the onlookers with gold work, mural paintings, ornamental and floral designs.
Mina Masjid - Literally meaning 'Heavenly Mosque', it is a tiny mosque closed to the public. Built between 1631-40, this mosque was meant to be used by the emperor and the royal ladies. Enclosed on all sides by three walls, its architecture is quite plain yet elegant.
Nagina Masjid - Literally meaning 'Gem Mosque', it was designed exclusively for the ladies of the court.
Musamman Burj – Musamman Burg, or the Octagonal Tower, is believed to have been built by Shah Jahan as the palace of his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal. It was here that he spent his last days as his son Aurangzeb imprisoned him till his death along with his favorite daughter, Jahanara Begum. It offers exotic views of the Taj.