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Travelling To Red Fort (Lal Quila), Agra

Updated on February 29, 2016
Beautiful Inlay Work, Red Fort, Agra
Beautiful Inlay Work, Red Fort, Agra | Source
The Imposing Red Fort, Agra From The Road
The Imposing Red Fort, Agra From The Road | Source
The Red Fort, Agra
The Red Fort, Agra | Source
Entering The Red Fort, Agra
Entering The Red Fort, Agra | Source

From Taj Mahal to the Red Fort (Lal Quila)

At 2:44 pm we left for Agra Fort near the Taj Mahal after a mediocre lunch at the rather expensive Priya Hotel. Begun by Emperor Akbar, the fort was completed during the time of Jehangir, father of Shah Jahan. In my opinion, the beauty and elegance of the Red Fort is often underestimated due to the proximity of the Taj Mahal. The imposing structure has a 70 ft. tall enclosing wall and only 20% of the monument is open to visitors now, the rest taken up by the army. Clap your hands just after you enter and the sound echoes, no doubt a useful security feature at the time. It's called the Red Fort because of the red sandstone with which it is built.

Jehangir’s Bathtub

Inside you’ll find the palaces of Akbar and Jehangir and a great granite tub said to have been Jehangir’s bathtub. It was gifted by Raja Man Singh and had been inlaid with precious stones which were later looted by the Rajputs.

Jehangir's Bathtub At Red Fort, Agra
Jehangir's Bathtub At Red Fort, Agra | Source

Royal Quarters for the Daughters of Shah Jahan

Shah Jahan built gorgeous abodes for his daughters – Roshanara and his favourite Jahanara. The walls and ceilings and even the floors are ornamented with inlay work with vast balconies that offer views of the Taj Mahal in the near distance. There is a beautiful martble fountain in Jahanara’s bedroom where it is said, Shah Jahan drowned one of Jahanara’s lovers.

One can see Shah Jahan’s bedroom where there is no doorway. According to our guide, only curtains afforded privacy and one can still see the curtain runs slung across iron cables running along the perimeter of the roof. There is a central courtyard where the ladies of the harem shopped, danced and celebrated.

Princess Jahanara's Quarters, Red Fort, Agra
Princess Jahanara's Quarters, Red Fort, Agra | Source
Royal Quarters, Red Fort, Agra
Royal Quarters, Red Fort, Agra | Source

Shah Jahan's Prison, Red Fort, Agra

Here is also the room where Shah Jahan was imprisoned and from where he was said to gaze at the tomb of his beloved Mumtaz Mahal. It’s walls, ceiling and floor are also highly ornamental. One almost feels weighed down by the bloody and tragic history of the place, yet the Red Fort is a magnificent monument with its domes and turrets and filigreed windows and balconies.

Emperor Shah Jahan's Lookout, Red Fort, Agra
Emperor Shah Jahan's Lookout, Red Fort, Agra | Source
The Beauty of The Red Fort, Agra Is Underestimated
The Beauty of The Red Fort, Agra Is Underestimated | Source
Tomb Of John Russel Colvin, Red Fort, Agra
Tomb Of John Russel Colvin, Red Fort, Agra | Source

Where Emperor Akbar Gave Audience

The Diwani-i-am or Hall of Private Audience is interesting with its many pillared hall and the seat where the emperor would sit, with his advisor seated a level below him. Our guide mentioned Akbar and his advisor Birbal seated in this very hall.

In the courtyard lies the tomb of the British Civil Servant, John Russel Colvin who died by food poisoning in 1857.

Diwan-i-am Or Hall Of Audience, Red Fort, Agra
Diwan-i-am Or Hall Of Audience, Red Fort, Agra | Source
Shopping For Cheap, Decent Quality Trendy Clothes In Janpath, Delhi
Shopping For Cheap, Decent Quality Trendy Clothes In Janpath, Delhi | Source

Shopping in Delhi

My favourite place for buying cheap and pretty good quality clothes is the famous Janpath where you will also find a bunch of Tibetan handicraft stores. The clothes are a delight. I got myself a wardrobe for a little over Rs. 1000.

Shopping in Agra

Pashmina Shawls

The U.P. Handicrafts Development Centre has some great traditional stuff at wholesale prices and it’s tax-free. My pashmina double weave shawl in midnight blue and silver-grey cost Rs. 2000. It’s reversible, with a darker hue on the other side. I was grateful for my shawl on the way back to Delhi.

Banarasi Silk Sarees and Marble Handicraft

The famous Banarasi silk sarees in vibrant colours, some double-hued cost Rs. 2000. Marble handicrafts such as jewellery boxes, plates, vases, ashtrays, miniature replicas of the Taj Mahal, etc. abound. The charming salesman took us into the handicraft section where we were shown how the marble objects are made using traditional methods. Sand is used to shape tiny semi-precious stones to embed in the marble. A single tiny leaf in the inlay can have four to five stones. I was grateful for my shawl on the way back to Delhi.

© 2015 Anita Saran

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    • Dawn Denmar1 profile image

      Dawn Denmar 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      yep

      Looks like you have been travelling!

      Hope your garden is looking good and writing going well.

      Think it is luck of draw on getting read but some people on here seem to have done a Lara! Couple have pulled $5k in a few days from pieces going viral unsure how it is done though......... must be a bit like pulling a lottery ticket or some such. one last year was a cheesecake mix! :) :)

      Take good care and trust all well over in your neck of the woods

      Dawn

    • Anita Saran profile image
      Author

      Anita Saran 2 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Hi Dawn! You mean the erstwhile Suite101? Is it back to what it used to be? Not doing good here really. It was pretty good at Suite towards the end. Here most of my hubs keep getting unfeatured so once again I must move! Giving up on the money. Just want my articles to be read. It's a great portfolio. Thanks for the good wishes!

    • Dawn Denmar1 profile image

      Dawn Denmar 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Anita, How's it going on HP? I've never done any good here and am sticking with the old dump! for the present time but know you moved all over here. Has it been worthwhile?

      Oh enjoyed the article, like the pic in the bazaar. Happy Diwali

      All the best

      Dawn

    • Anita Saran profile image
      Author

      Anita Saran 2 years ago from Bangalore, India

      uh oh MisterWriter! This should be Agra Fort! Thank you for reading.

    • TheMisterWriter profile image

      TheMisterWriter 2 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      Excellent Hub! But may i corrrect you that the word Lal Qila or Red Fort is exclusively for the Fort at Delhi. The Agra Fort is the right name for this place though people sometimes call it Red Fort too. :)