So I arrived off a train into the city of Agra. This was no ordinary journey. A quick check at my cities, towns and villages list informed me that this was my 800th town on my journey. To celebrate, I had a night on the beer with some friends and set up two cool tours with Delhi Magic. I wanted to tour the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Agra – the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. You can read about my tour of Taj Mahal here and also about my stay in the closest hostel to the Taj Mahal – Big Brother Hostel.
However, in Agra there is another huge UNESCO World Heritage Site to tour – Agra Fort. So I made sure I got this place on my list too.
Getting to Agra Fort
A tuk tuk can easily take you to the entrance. Typical tuk tuk prices in Agra range from 30 – 150 Rupees – bargain it down as much as you can. I was here on a tour so the transport was included – I headed here by taxi from Taj Mahal.
Entrance for Agra Fort
There is only one main entrance and the price is set at 250 Rupees for foreigners ($4 US). It’s only 50 Rupees for locals (80 cents).
Touring Agra Fort
All in all, I spent over an hour inside Agra Fort. It’s mostly a red and white fort and it’s huge. You can spend longer in here of course, but this was enough time for me. My guide Akshay went through all the details and history with me.
The fort dates back to the 11th century and is in essence an ancient walled city. Within its compounds, an entire population once lived, surrounded by the walls and two moats. Most of the fort was built by the Mughals, a group of people with an Empire from 1526 – 1857. Rather than bore you with the stories and history, which is best discovered on your own trip there, here are some of the cool parts of the fort I liked.
1.Massive Bathing Tub (Jahangir’s Hauz)
After walking across a bridge entrance, there is a massive bathing tub known as Jahangir’s Hauz.
These courtyards were once used for performances of art and dance, for chilling out in, for reading etc.
3.Viewpoint to Taj Mahal
A lot of people (myself included) love the idea of glimpsing the Taj Mahal from a distance. Agra Fort offers tremendous views down to the Taj across the river.
4.The Nagina Mosque
A small Nagina Mosque inside the complex remains the only accessible religious part of the Fort. A further Mosque, larger in size was evacuated due to disease and has remained closed ever since. The Mosque that you can access, is small and really, nothing to write home about but I’m including it as it’s the only religious part I saw.
5.Shah Jahan’s Living Quarters
Shah Jahan loved white marble and his living quarters are significantly more exquisite than the other parts of the Fort. It is rumoured that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with a view of the Taj Mahal as pictured below.
Shah Jahan also organised the building of the Taj Mahal for his favourite wife.
The central courtyard includes grass from England in it and is set in a fine rectangular pattern with a garden in the middle.
7.Diwan I Am (Hall of Public Audience)
When you leave the central courtyard you come to a slightly raised balcony. This was the place for public speaking. For the Emperors to address the masses.
The Public listened to the speeches in the public gardens.
Those were my main highlights but here are a few more photos from the excellent tour of Agra Fort.
Here are the details for booking your tour with Delhi Magic, Agra Magic and Magic Tours of India. I did the Agra Fort Tour. For all enquiries and bookings, please contact:
Ms. Deepa Krishnan
Magic Tours of India
E-mail : [email protected]
Mobile : +91 98677 07414 (please call between 8 am and 9 pm India time)
Delhi – 116 A, 3rd Floor, Shahpur Jat, Near UCO Bank, New Delhi – 110049, INDIA
Mumbai – 5, Bhaskar Mansion, Sitladevi Temple Road, Mahim (West), Mumbai 400 016, INDIA
Magic Tours work 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday and until 2 pm on Saturdays.
Here are my videos from touring Agra Fort with Delhi Magic: