The family was complete for the “final India tour” in Agra. The driver picked us up from the hotel around 9AM then we headed out for a 3-hour ride to Agra.
We witnessed motorcycle riders who ‘cheat’ the tollgates at the expressway. 😆
Our driver did a quick stop at a rest area. The silence in the car made him a little sleepy, I guess, or he needed a toilet break. I stayed in the car and took photos of birds and doggos. Doggos photos will be in a separate post.
We arrived around noon time in Agra. Our tour guide welcomed us at the hotel. He discussed the itinerary with my folks while I attended to our hotel reservation. After a good rest, the driver and tour guide returned at 1:30 to drive us to lunch. Like in Bangladesh, their eating times are later than normal.
They brought us to Indiana Restaurant that is a “famous” food destination for tourists. Apparently, drivers and tour guides have a tie up with this restaurant. The place was still packed with both local and foreign tourists even though it was almost mid-afternoon.
Indiana Restaurant offers Indian and Chinese food. It has a fancy ambiance, but a very busy restaurant. Waiters were like in Diner Dash that sort of ruined the ambiance. The food was alright though. I enjoyed the spicy dishes and naan (of course).
Then, after lunch, was Agra Fort.
Agra Fort, located in Agra and northwest of Taj Mahal, was the residence of Mughal emperors in the 16th century. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Jahangiri Mahal was built by the emperor Akbar and thought to be the zenana or place for imperial women–mainly the wives of the Akbar. Akbar is the third Mughal emperor from 1556 until his death in 1605. He was a significant influence in India’s history.
The palace’s architecture is a mix of Hindu and Central Asia. It is one of the structures that survived and is still intact from Akbar’s time.
Hauz-i-Jahangiri is a large tub, which is situated in front of the palace, was used as container for fragrant rose water. The palace got its name from it.
The Machchhi Bhawan (Fish Square) is believed for the emperor’s sacred fish in tanks and fountains made of marble .
Overlooking Taj Mahal
View from a terrace in Jahangiri Mahal.
Our tour guide showed us this “illusion.”
This “illusion” is a duct is for water to pass through to cool down the room. It’s like air-con, but of the 16th century. 😛
The Khas Mahal is the main imperial residence built by Shah Jahan. It overlooks the Yamuna River. It has an indoor garden, fountains, courtyards, dalan (arcaded room with one side open and overlooks a courtyard), open terraces, and it is surrounded by the imperial ladies’ living quarters and adjoins rooms known to be built for Shah Jahan’s daughters.
Actually, I’m uncertain if this was actually built in marble. Some state it is redstone with white shell plaster. The walls had floral mural and inlaid with gold and precious stones.
During the British raj, the residence was looted and burned for the gold to melt off the walls.
East of Khas Mahal is the Anguri Bagh; an indoor garden also known as Garden of Grapes. The garden was also built by Shah Jahan in 1637 and takes the Persian chahar bagh layout that is a walled garden–like a courtyard–divided into four sections and has a central structure. In the case of Anguri Bagh, the royal ladies’ living quarters surround the garden and the central structure is a large fountain.
Northeast of Anguri Bagh is the Shish Mahal. It is the imperial bath house also called the Glass Palace. Pieces of glass on walls are for illumination because the bath house uses only natural light. Persian flower motifs are carved on walls and ceilings.
The Diwan-i-am is where the emperor convenes the public to hear their complaints, hold trials, and execute if needed. One execution the tour guide shared to us was by elephant. 😐
I don’t have a front view shot because I was already exhausted from the walk. 😛
At the far back, might be the Nagina Masjid. I’m unsure because I didn’t listen when the tour guide mentioned it. 😆
Also called Gem Mosque or Jewel Mosque, Shah Jahan built the Nagina Masjid as the imperial ladies’ mosque.
So that’s the whole Agra Fort tour. About 30 to 40% of the fort is publicly accessible while the remaining are under military occupation.
Entrance fee of foreign tourists is RS500/head plus RS50 tax, so that’s RS550. Citizens of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) is . The fort is open from sunrise to sunset.
Previous posts of my India 2016 vacation, in case you missed it:
Delhi Sightseeing Tour [Part 2 of 2]
Delhi Sightseeing Tour [Part 1 of 2]
The flight to and first day in India
Sightseeing Delhi Temples
Some information are from online research and the tour guide. This is one of my resources. Should there be corrections, please let me know. You can leave a comment below or send me an email. 🙂