Silhouetted against the modern skies of Agra with air that still whispers the skirmishes of the past and every swish of the wind rings in a welter of bellicose noises from the many battles fought for its possession - Agra Fort is a grand legend in the Mughal narrative. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Agra Fort is also known as Red Fort or Lal Qila of Agra because of the red sandstone. Built in 1565 by Akbar- the venerated Mughal emperor, the fort also goes by the name of Qila-e-Akbari for it was refurbished under his aegis with the signature markings evident - the Indo-Islamic Akbari architecture. It was his grandson Shah Jahan who pulled down the earlier structures and erected new ones made of white marble - the one he was fond of. The fort served as a residence for the Mughal royalty until 1638 after which the royal house moved to the Red Fort in the new Mughal pleasure capital, Shahjahanabad now known as Old Delhi famous for its grotty, nostalgia-stoking lanes.
Situated just 3 km from the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort was built on the banks of Yamuna as a defence to keep the enemy forces at bay. The rampart is 20 metres high and its walls are 2.5 km wide. The fort is a walled city comprising several structures which were demolished by various rulers only to be replaced by new preferences. The fort consists of four gates and the two main gates are: the Delhi gate and the Lahore gate. The Delhi gate was exclusively meant for Akbar and his security. It is now under the control of the Indian Army. The Lahore gate is now known as the Amar Singh gate and is the only gate for entrance to the Agra Fort.
Agra Fort has had many invaders and seen the rule of many dynasties resulting in its constant transformations. Babur took the control of the fort after defeating Ibrahim Lodi in 1526. The fort was now home to the Mughal supremacy and an object of envy for the rest. Sher Shah Suri in 1540 defeated Humayun and the new owner of the fort made changes to it to suit his tastes. Fifteen years later in 1555, Humayun usurped the Sur rulers and reclaimed the fort only to lose it again a year later. But soon Akbar waged a war against the Surs and was able to take control of the fort once again. By this time the fort started to lose its sheen and in 1556 Akbar rebuilt the entire fort with red sandstone. After the death of Shah Jahan the fort was captured by the Maratha rulers who lost it to the British, and was later handed over to the Indian government post Independence.
Things to do in Agra
There are many activities in Agra that you can choose from while booking your trip to the city. Other than visiting the historical monuments, hunting for souvenirs and sampling the delicacies you can explore the city further by booking interesting activities like Balloon Safari, or going for a Mughal Heritage Walk, or simply biking around the city.
Best Time to Visit Agra Fort
The best time to visit Agra Fort is during October to March as this is the time when you can sightsee all the touristy gems that Agra is known for.
How to Reach Agra Fort
Agra Fort is well-connected by road from nearby cities like Delhi, Jaipur and Lucknow. Agra Fort distance from Delhi is approximately 230 km from the Yamuna Expressway – a six-laned highway you can use to reach Agra from Delhi in around 3 hours.
Nearest Airport : Agra Airport is an airbase for the Indian Air Force and also serves the public. Known as Agra Civil or Kheria, the airport is located 5 km from the city.
Nearest Railway Station : Agra Fort Railway Station situated in Mantola is the nearest railway station. It is around 2 km from the Agra Fort. Alternatively, you can take a train to the Agra Cantonment which is the main railway station in Agra and is about 5 km from the Agra Fort.
Nearest Bus Stand : Idgah Bus Stand is only 4 km from the Agra Fort. It is the largest bus stand in Agra city. You can choose from deluxe, semi-deluxe and standard buses to various cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, Kanpur, and Lucknow among others.
Agra Fort Opening Days
There are no Agra Fort closed days as the fort remains open to the public throughout the week. Unlike the Taj, Agra Fort is open even on Fridays.
Opening Time : 06:00:00 am
Closing Time : 06:00:00 pm
Entry Fee (Indian) : INR 35
Entry Fee (SAARC and BIMSTEC) : INR 35
Entry Fee (Foreigner ) : INR 550
Entry Below (Children Below Age 15) : Free
Agra Fort entry ticket price for Indians is Rs 35 and the foreign tourists need to shell out Rs 550. Agra Fort ticket price for SAARC and BIMSTEC visitors is Rs 35 each. There is no Agra Fort entry fee for children below 15 years. A thing to note is that the entry to Agra Fort is only permissible through the Amar Singh gate. Remember to carry your photo ID proof when visiting the monument.