Agra Fort, known as the Red Fort
, stands near the gardens of the Taj Mahal
. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5 km long enclosure walls, many monuments, which are epitomes of architectural excellence.
Built on the banks of the Yamuna River, the construction of this massive structure began in 1565, under Akbar, and continued till the time of his grandson, Shah Jahan.
It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangiri Mahal, the Shah Jahani Mahal and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am; and two very beautiful mosques - the Pearl Mosque and the Nagina Masjid. The Garden of Grapes and the Fish Pavilion are the other monuments in the fort complex.
The red sandstone Jehangiri Mahal, built by Akbar for his Hindu queen, Jodhabai, is one of the earliest constructions illustrating the fort's change from a military structure to a palace.