Agra Fort is the only fort in India, where all early Mughal Emperors lived. The fort stands on an ancient site and was traditionally known as Badalgarh. It was captured by Ghaznavi for some time but in 15th century A.D. the Chahman Rajput occupied it. Soon after, Agra assumed the status of capital when Sikander Lodhi shifted his capital from Delhi to Agra. After the battle of Panipat, Mughals recaptured the fort and ruled from here. In A.D. 1530, Humayun's coronation was in this fort. The fort got its present look during the reign of Akbar.
The fort is built on an irregular semi-circular plan with its chord lying along the course of river Yamuna. Its double ramparts are about 21 meter high and have been provided with massive circular bastions at regular interval. A broad deep moat surrounds the semi-circle of the fort. Four gates were provided in the four sides in which the southern gate is called the Amar Singh gate. The other gates are Delhi gate, Elephant gate and Khizra gate. The fort can be seen as a city inside a city. With numerous complex built by different rulers it is a sight in itself.
The Shahjahani Mahal is situated between the white marble Khas Mahal and red stone Jahangiri Mahal and is set transitionally in between these two major residential complexes of two different ages. It is one of the earliest palace in Agra Fort. It has a large hall, side rooms and an octagonal tower on the river side. Jahangir’s Hauz was a monolithic tank used for bathing which is 5 feet high and 8 feet in diameter. On the external surface there is an inscription in Persian which describes it as “Hauz-e-Jahangir”.
The Muhtamman Burj is a beautiful palace whish surmounts the largest bastion of Agra Fort on the river side facing east. It was originally built by Akbar for Jharoka darshan as well as sun worship. Jahangir instituted his chain of justice on its south side. It was rebuilt by ShahJahan in white marble around 1632A.D. It is an octagonal building, five external sides each with a pillar and bracket opening. This burj offers full and majestic view of the Taj Mahal and Shah Jahan spent eight years of his imprisonments in this complex and died here.
The Meena Masjid was entirely built in white marbles by Mughal King Shah Jahan for his personal use. It has a small open court in the front of the three arched prayer chamber. The Nagina Masjid is a private mosque built entirely in white marble, by Mughal king Shah Jahan in 1635 A.D. for the use of the ladies of the harem with court on its three sides. It is two aisles deep with a three arched façade. Three bulbous domes crowned by lotus petals and kalash finials constitute the superstructure. A miniature water tank with cascade is provided in the eastern wall for ablution.
The Diwan-i-Khas is a white marble palace built by Mughal king Shah Jahan in 1635. It consists of two large halls, an outer pillared hall and an inner closed hall, both connected by an archways. Silver and gold works were done on the ceilings by goldsmiths Augustine of Bordeaux. The Takht-i-Tauz (the peacock throne) which was made in 1634, was placed here and was transferred to Red Fort Delhi in 1648. The takht –i-Jahangiri was made of touchstone and is black and shining, is 10’7” long and 6’ thick. Its feet are octagonal. It is monolithic, at the top it gently slopes from the center to its sides like a tortoise back.
The Shahi-Hammam also called ghusi-khanah, was originally built by Akbar, later renovated by Shah Jahan. It is closed complex of octagonal halls and rooms, interconnected by corridors with only a few jaali openings on the river side. construction is in brick masonry but pavements are finished in white marble. Walls were in stucco and painted. A ventilator is provided at the apex of each cupola shaped domed ceiling. There are three deep tanks on the roofs.