The Northern part of India is full of Mogul historical monuments. Agra is one such city that is full of such vital historical monuments. We were able to visit Agra recently during January 2009 to meet our relatives staying at Agra and hence, got the opportunity to see the famous red fort of Agra. The red fort of Agra has lot of historical importance as the famous Mogul king Shahjehan stayed here at the palace of this fort during the last few years of his life.
The city of Agra is well connected by all three means of transportation like air, train, and the bus from all the major cities of India. We had reached Agra by train from the city of Vadodara in Gujarat State. The mode of train is extremely convenient to reach Agra as Agra is not an airport and the visitors have to come via Delhi by bus or hired cars. Agra is situated at around 120 miles away from Delhi. However, the journey from Delhi to Agra can easily take around three to four hours due to heavy traffic. The famous red fort of Agra was built in the year 1565 by the famous Mogul emperor Akbar from the red stones brought specially from the quarries of Rajasthan. The walls all around the fort are 21 feet tall and there is forty feet deep water reservoir all around the fort that is full of water. This valley is kept to protect the fort from the enemy attack. The fort is constructed in circular shape having the total circumference of around 100 miles. There are Diwane E Khas and Dewane E Aam in the fort where the Mogul Kings were having the meetings with the special persons and the ordinary people of the kingdom respectively. This historical red fort is situated on the bank of River Yamuna and just opposite to the famous building of Tajmahal. The Mogul emperor Jehangir was staying at the palace situated inside this fort. The palace has a large swimming pool having provision of fresh water entering and decayed water discharging back in the River Yamuna. The famous Shish Mahal is also here at this fort. The entire Shish Mahal is made of green Belgium glass and presents the most beautiful sight to the visitors. There is a small museum here at the fort that has many rare ancient and historical items like the weapons used by Mogul kings, pictures, and the rare jewels. The Mogul King Aurangzeb had put his father Shahjehan in prison in this fort after grabbing the Mogul Kingdom from him. Shahjehan was kept in one small room that is called Mussaman Buraj. He was able to view the entire building of Taj Mahal by lying down at the bed in this small room. He had passed last few miserable days here at this historical fort.
The visit to this famous Red fort can easily take around two to three hours as there are many places inside the fort that are worth visiting. It is also suggested to avail the guide services that are available here at the fort. However, please make sure to avail only government approved guide services. The charges for such guide services are around Rs.250 ($5) per trip of the fort. The fort opens at 10 am in the morning and closes at 6 pm in the evening. The Indian Government is planning to start the sound and light show here at the fort very soon. There are few small restaurants outside the fort that serves standard Mughalai/ North Indian food items. However, it is suggested not to purchase mineral drinking water from such restaurants. You must carry such water supply from your hotel only. There are many luxurious hotels available at Agra for the tourists. Hotel Taj View is one of the leading five star hotels that is loved by almost all the tourists. This hotel charges around Rs.12000 ($240) per day for double occupancy. It may be necessary to book your hotel room in advance as this hotel runs full most of the times. It would be better to visit Agra during the winter months from November to March as the summer months are very hot here.