This is one of the most impressive forts in India and is a site worth seeing. This fort, built on the banks of the Yamuna River, was begun in 1565 by Emperor Akbar.
Later it was expanded by Aurangzeb and he made the fort’s huge red sandstone walls 2.5km long. Aurangzeb overthrew his father, Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, and imprisoned him here in the Red Fort. He did give his father a room with a view of the Taj Mahal.
The massive walls are over 20m high and they are surrounded by a moat. You enter through Amar Singh Gate in the south. The gate is said to be named after a Rajput Maharaja who killed the royal treasurer in front of Emperor Shah Jahan and then jumped over the wall here, while attempting to escape in 1644.
After entering the gateways you walk straight for about 300m and you come to the sandstone Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience), which is a three-sided structure where the Emperor would meet the public. It was built by Shah Jahan in 1628. It used to be decorated with opulent carpets and huge hanging curtains. The Emperor would sit on his throne on the platform on the east side of the hall. The Chief Minister would sit on the low marble platform in front of the throne.
South of here, near the eastern wall of the fort, is the impressive Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), which was completed in 1637 by Shah Jahan. The Emperor would conduct his private business here and meet important people. The famous Peacock Throne used to be here, before Aurangzeb had it taken to Delhi. From the terrace you can get a good view of the Taj Mahal and Yamuna. Southwest of the Diwan-i-Khas is the Mina Masjid, which is where the emperor would worship.
South of the terrace is the two-storey Musamman Burj (Octagonal Tower), which has detailed inlaid work. It is said to have been where Shah Jahan lived his last days. South of the tower is the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors), which is a bath that the women would use. Its walls are inlaid with thousands of small beautiful mirrors. Southwest of the Sheesh Mahal is the 80 square metre Anguri Bagh (Grape Vine Garden), which is a small formal Mughal garden. South of the garden is the Khas Mahal (Private Palace), which is said to be where the Emperor slept.
Next to it are the Golden Pavilions, which is believed to have been the women’s bedrooms. The large sandstone palace, Jahangir Mahal, is said to have been built by Akbar for his son. In front of this palace is the Hauz-i-Jehangri, a huge bowl made of a single rock. A guide could be helpful, because there is much to see in the fort. The Agra Fort is 1.5km northwest of the Taj Mahal, on the bank of the Yamuna River.
The Fort is open daily 6 am to 5 pm; admission Rs 20 for Indians and Rs 300 for foreigners.