Agra Tour Part 1 of 2: Agra Fort

This (last) India tour post will be in two parts because I have so much photos. (As usual.)

Breakfast at Shangri-La Eros
Breakfast at Shangri-La Eros


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.

Yamuna Expressway
Yamuna Expressway


We witnessed motorcycle riders who ‘cheat’ the tollgates at the expressway. 😆

Birds-spotting at the rest stop
Birds-spotting at the rest stop


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.

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"Pain Oil" :|
This is pain reliever, right? 😐


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.

Indiana Restaurant


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.

Ooh, now I want nan. =_=
Ooh, now I want naan. =_=


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).

Cardamom after meal to prevent bad breath.
Cardamom after meal to prevent bad breath.


Then, after lunch, was Agra Fort.

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 Red Fort from outside
The Red Fort from outside


Agra Fort gate
Amar Singh Gate


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Towards the Delhi Gate Agra
Toward Delhi Gate Agra, the fort’s main entry


Jahangiri Mahal


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.

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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
Hauz-i-Jahangiri


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.

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Door spikes to keep doors from being easily toppled by intruders or even elephants.
Door spikes to keep doors from being easily toppled by intruders or even elephants.


Ceiling mural
Ceiling mural


Machchhi Bhawan
Machchhi Bhawan


The Machchhi Bhawan (Fish Square) is believed for the emperor’s sacred fish in tanks and fountains made of marble .

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The palace was ransacked and almost burned down, iirc
If I remember our tour guide correctly, the palace was ransacked and almost burned down.


Carving on wooden pillar
Carving on wooden pillar


I think this was a water fountain on one of the terraces.
I think this was a water fountain on one of the terraces.


Another courtyard
Another courtyard


Overlooking Taj Mahal


View from a terrace in Jahangiri Mahal.

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Our tour guide showed us this “illusion.”

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The other side
The other side


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. 😛

Khas Mahal


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.

Khas Mahal
Khas Mahal with the Anguri Bagh in front and surrounded by zenana


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The structure was built in marble with blue and gold--the royal colors--floral mural in in the interior.
The structure was built in marble with blue and gold–the royal colors–floral mural in in the interior.


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.

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During the British raj, the residence was looted and burned for the gold to melt off the walls.

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Anguri Bagh


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.

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Jigsaw puzzle-like flower beds
Jigsaw puzzle-like flower beds


Shish Mahal


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.

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Even the bath house doors have spikes
Even the bath house doors have spikes


Diwan-i-am


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. 😐

Side view of the former public hall
Side view of the former public hall


I don’t have a front view shot because I was already exhausted from the walk. 😛

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Squirrels
Squirrels


And birds!
And birds!


At the far back, might be the Nagina Masjid. I’m unsure because I didn’t listen when the tour guide mentioned it. 😆

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Also called Gem Mosque or Jewel Mosque, Shah Jahan built the Nagina Masjid as the imperial ladies’ mosque.

Agra Fort
Agra Fort


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 RS30 only. 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. 🙂

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