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Agra Fort, also known as Red Fort, is a large 16th-century fortress of red sandstone located on the Yamuna River in the historic city of Agra, west-central Uttar Pradesh, north-central of India.  It was first established by the Mughal emperor Akbar and, being its capacity as both a military base and a royal residence, serving the seat of government when the Mughal capital was in Agra.  The infrastructure, a contemporary of Humāyūn’s Tomb in Delhi, reflects the architectural influence of the Mughal reign in India. The fort complex was enlisted a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.  (Copyright – AJP / Shutterstock)

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AGRA, INDIA – MAR 25: Unidentified travellers visit the heritage location Agra Fort on March 25, 2013 in Agra, India. Agra fort is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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The Mosque adjacent to the Taj Mahal, India

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The Mosque adjacent to the Taj Mahal, India

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AGRA, INDIA – MAR 24: Unidentified travellers visit the sandstone mosque inside the Taj Mahal complex on March 24, 2013 in Agra, India. Taj Mahal is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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AGRA, INDIA – MAR 25: Unidentified travellers visit the mosque adjacent to the Taj Mahal on March 25, 2013 in Agra, India. Taj Mahal is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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AGRA, INDIA – MAR 25: Unidentified labourers work on the land behind the white marble mausoleum Taj Mahal on March 25, 2013 in Agra, India. Taj Mahal is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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AGRA, INDIA – MAR 25: A bullock cart goes in front of the Taj Mahal on March 25, 2013 in Agra, India. Taj Mahal is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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AGRA, INDIA – MAR 25:An unidentified couple enjoys the architectural wonder of the white marble mausoleum Taj Mahal on March 25, 2013 in Agra, India.

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AGRA, INDIA – MAR 24: Unidentified travellers visit the white marble mausoleum Taj Mahal on March 24, 2013 in Agra, India. Taj Mahal is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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View of the major part of the Taj Mahal

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Silhouettes of travellers visiting of the Taj Mahal as viewed through the arch of the Mosque

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View of the Taj Mahal from a distance

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AGRA, INDIA – MAR 25: Unidentified travellers enjoy the beauty of the Taj Mahal from the opposite bank of the river on March 25, 2013 in Agra, India. Taj Mahal is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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Silhouette of the Taj Mahal during the evening

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Silhouette of the Taj Mahal during the evening

Useful Reference

Agra Fort and Buland Darwaza – Two Architectural Marvels
By Manish Kr Sinha

Agra has significant importance in Indian History. This is the place where you can still visit several architectural marvels which will take you back in the time of Mughals. There are many architectural marvels in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri (Near by Agra) that still retain the glory of ancient time.

Let us learn about them.

Agra Fort

This red sandstone marvel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Agra. It is also popularly known as Red Fort. The fort was built in 1565 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. During the rule of Shah Jahan, it was transformed as a palace. Spread over an area of 2.5 km, the fort includes two gates named as Delhi gate and Amar Singh gate.

There are several wonderful apartments inside the fort such as:

The Jahangiri Mahal

It was built by Akbar as the quarters for royal women. This is the only building that survives among the original buildings of the palace. The architectural design of this double storied palace reflects a strong Hindu influence with protruding chhatris and balconies.

Khaas Mahal

It is built of marble. This palace demonstrates unique Islamic-Persian features. The palace was Shah Jahan’s sleeping quarter. It is an airy edifice that overlooks especially built Angoori Bagh (grape garden).

The palace provides a successful example of paintings on a white marble surface.

The Sheesh Mahal

Sheesh Mahal is a creation of myriad glass pieces with central fountain. It was used as the harem dressing room. The walls of the palace are inlaid with small mirrors which are the finest examples of the glass-mosaic decoration in the country. The galore of myriad glass pieces work enthralls visitors during their visit to this wonderful palace.

The Musamman Burj

It is a marvelous octagonal tower with an open pavilion renowned for its exquisite design, especially above the pillars. Shah Jahan laid on his deathbed at this place, watching at the Tajmahal.

Diwan-E-Khaas

Diwan-E-Khaas is a Persian word, which means the ‘Hall of Private Audience’. It is known for its facades and intricate design. The marble pillars of the building are beautifully inlaid with semi-precious stones in astonishing floral patterns.

Diwan-E-Aam

This was the ‘Hall of Public Audience’ built by Shah Jahan. The building was used by Emperor for meeting the officials and common people. This is the palace where Emperor used to hear the petitions.

The hall was beautifully pierced with Jalis to ease royal female members to see the court proceedings. The structures have arches, covering with white lime polish, triple arched royal canopy with lavish dura ornamentation.

Buland Darwaza

Buland Darwaza is a magnificent fort at Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. It is popularly referred as the ‘Gate of Magnificence’. It was built to celebrate the victory of Mughal Emperor Akbar over the ruler of Khandesh or Gurjarat in 1573. This marvelous gate is made up of red sandstone and ornamental with Quranic verses, calligraphic and cenotaph. The majestic Darwaza rises to a height of 40 metres. It is beautifully topped by pillars and Chhatris. It is renowned as an amazing Islamic structure in Fatehpur Sikri. The fort echoes early Mughal design with simple decoration. On the outside, you can see a long flight of steps sweeps down the hill, providing extra height to the gateway.

Agra Fort is a popular tourist attraction of Agra that allows you to catch the best glimpses of Mughal architectural style. Buland Darwaza is another wonderful gateway, providing the finest specimen of architecture of ancient time.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Manish_Kr_Sinha/23911
http://EzineArticles.com/?Agra-Fort-and-Buland-Darwaza—Two-Architectural-Marvels&id=6575132

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