Agra Fort – A contrast to Love


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Contrasting the love that surrounded the building of the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort ended up being a prison for Emperor Shah Jahan.  Shah Jahan had become ill, and though he eventually fully recovered, his eldest son declared him incompetent and put him under house arrest.

Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in Agra Fort, from which he had a view of the building erected for his deceased wife. Shah Jahan is said to have died in the Musamman Burj, a tower with a beautiful marble balcony. ~Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC

Can you imagine? The ONLY view you have of a monument you built out of love is from a prison created by your child.  Wow!!! It blows me away.  Of course we all know there are always two sides to every story.  I like to use my imagination as to what might have actually happened.  If you are interested in finding out you’ll have to research it yourself.  I do know that his oldest daughter chose to live with him in confinement for his 8 final years of life.  What a story.

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Agra Fort (Hindiआगरा का किलाUrduآگرہ قلعہ‎) is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It should be noted that the fort was not built as a prison and it had been around since at least the 11th century.  Many other rulers used it and lived in it.  Incredibly huge and impressive.  When I say huge, you cannot imagine how huge unless you actually go there.  I spent about an hour walking around and came no where near to seeing even half of it.  It truly was a walled city.

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Just a few more pictures to give you a bit of an idea of how huge this place actually was.

Long Description —
The Red Fort and the Taj Mahal bear an exceptional and complementary testimony to a civilization which has disappeared, that of the Mogul Emperors. Agra’s history goes back more than 2,500 years, but it was not until the reign of the Mughals that Agra became more than a provincial city. Humayun, son of the founder of the Mogul Empire, was offered jewellery and precious stones by the family of the Raja of Gwalior, one of them the famous Koh-i-Noor. The heyday of Agra came with the reign of Humayun’s son, Akbar the Great. During his reign, the main part of the Agra Fort was built.

The Red Fort of Agra is a powerful fortress founded in 1565 by the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) on the right bank of the Yamuna; it is placed today on the north-west extremity of the Shah Jahan Gardens which surround the Taj Mahal and clearly form, with them, a monumental unity.

This bastioned fortress, with walls of red sandstone rising above a moat and interrupted by graceful curves and lofty bastions, encompasses within its enclosure walls of 2.5 km, the imperial city of the Mogul rulers. Like the Delhi Fort, that of Agra is one of the most obvious symbols of the Mogul grandeur which asserted itself under Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan.

The wall has two gates, the Delhi Gate and the Amar Singh Gate. The original and grandest entrance was through the Delhi Gate, which leads to the inner portal called the Hathi Pol or Elephant Gate. But now the entrance to the fort is only through the Amar Singh Gate.

The citadel comprises a large number of fairy-like palaces: the Khas Mahal, the Shish Mahal, the octagonal tower of Muhammam Burj, as well as reception rooms: Diwan-i-Khas, built in 1637 and the many pillared Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience), constructed in 1628, under the reign of the luxury-loving Shah Jahan (1630-55). Within the palatial complex, there are two very beautiful mosques of white marble, the Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque, constructed in 1646-53 by Shah Jahan and the Nagina Masjid built under the reign of Aurangzeb (1658-1707).

Several of the buildings are made from pure marble with beautiful carvings; all of these monuments mark the apogee of an Indo-Muslim art strongly marked by influences from Persia which already manifested itself in Timurid art.

Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in Agra Fort, from which he had a view of the building erected for his deceased wife. Shah Jahan is said to have died in the Musamman Burj, a tower with a beautiful marble balcony. ~~ Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC

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