Agra is well-reknowned for being the home of the Taj Mahal. However, it is also home to another wonder of the world that is well worth a visit. I had the pleasure of visiting the Red Fort in Agra before the Taj Mahal, and I highly recommend to others that they do the same. The reason – the first glimpse of the Taj Mahal you will see will be from the Red Fort – it will put into context the sheer scale and majesty of the Taj Mahal.
On the day i visited the Agra Fort, a smoggy haze prevented a clear view of the Taj Mahal, but this somewhat added to the mystique and heightened my anticipation of my visit to the Taj later on. Anyhoo, I digress, and will talk more about the Taj Mahal in a forthcoming post.
The Red Fort of Agra is not to be confused with the Red Fort of Delhi. The Agra Fort has been around since 1080 AD, whereas the Red Fort of Delhi has been around since 1638, however both are quite similar in terms of architecture and appearance, having predominantly been based on the Mughal Empire period of the 17th century. The main entrance visitors enter is through the majestic Delhi Gate, pictured below.
The sheer scale of the Agra Fort, coupled with the intricate detail of every window, every pillar and every cornice was astonishing.
As I would come to realise with most of the historic sites in Rajasthan I would come to visit, the Agra Fort also contained some beautiful gardens and green spaces.
Also, a lot of the historic sites merge intricate patterns that encompass symbolic representations of several religions into the decoration. The picture below displays several such symbolic representations – including (in no particular order) the Star of David (representing Judaism), a green hexagon (six-sided shape, representing Islam), and a swastika (I am unsure whether it is representative of Christianity or Hinduism).
The Agra Fort is definitely well worth a visit, and I highly recommend getting shown around by one of the official guides (identifiable by wearing a name badge), who can properly explain the history and significance of each of the areas contained within the complex.