About Agra Fort
First To Review: Jarek D.
Oct 30, 2008
The next stop after that was the Agra Fort. A huge
fort with lots of amazing palaces, mosques, halls, and
all sorts of amazing things. It was a *huge* place.
There are actually two floors of rooms underground
which are sealed off but this is supposedly where most
of the people and the Mughal empire's huge treasures
where stored. Most of the fort is made of Red
sandstone but the same emperor that commissioned the
Taj Mahal also had two white marble palaces built into
the fort (these would later become his prison when his
son overthrew him). There was also a very large garden
and harem area (to give you an idea of the size there
are historical accounts that the harem had over 5000
women and each of them had their own living quarters.
The placed now is just the building, no furniture or
curtains, etc...but as I wandered around soaking it in
I imagined myself as a small child running around
playing hide and seek in the nooks and crannies to be
found around every corner. Truly it must have been a
splendid place in it's heyday....it too also holds an
energy that seems to shoot you back in time.
After this I went and took a short class by the
tourism department about how to recognize marble vs.
sandstone (a switcheroo that many merchants do to get
the financial upper-hand on tourists)Then my driver
brought me to watch some locals making marble inlay
work just like the kind that I saw at the Taj. It was
great fun and since I had taken the class I spent
another little while in search of a real marble
souvenir...it was fun to see all the variety and the
Then I stopped to get a bite to eat and after that my
time with the rickshaw was over, so I took a bus for
about an hour to the ruined city of Fatehpur Sikri.
This was a city that the emperor built and was the
capital for a short time but it was built too far away
from a reliable water source so it was abandoned
shortly after his death. The ruins were absolutely
amazing and althought the old city is abandoned, there
is still a small village there so I decided to wander
down the market area. It seemed like most tourists
didn't usually go down this road so there were lots of
little kids saying hi and following me, vvery
intrigued but happily not begging like most of the
children in cities....just seemingly content to walk
with me. About half way down the market, I started to
hear music and I asked what it was but the children
spoke very poor English so they just told me to come.
When I reached the source it was a group setting up
for a wedding. They invited me into the garden where I
had a mob of about 40 or 50 young children just
surrounding me and staring at me. One or two would run
up and touch me and then run back to the crowd. It was
very sweet. Then some men kept trying to get me to
dance to the music, but there weren't any other women
around so I didn't really feel like being a dancing
spectacle for them. Instead I thanked them and headed
back to the bus stand. Well apparently that night was
the big wedding day in Agra and because each wedding
does a parade through the streets, three buses in a
row didn't show up. So I finally shared a horse-cart
and then a taxi back to Agra with a German couple who
were in a rush to get back to catch a train.
The next day I checked out of my hotel, bought my
train ticket up to Dehli and since the train didn't
leave until evening I scored another rickshaw driver
(who was even nicer then the one the day before) and
he took me to the Baby Taj (a tomb built about 10
years before the Taj but pioneering the same styles)
then we went to see the back of the Taj Mahal from the
river. There is a park on the other side of the river
and usually you have to pay 100R to get in and see the
back view of the Taj but my driver took me around a
side road so I didn't have to pay at all. Then since
we were on a pretty empty road, my driver let me try
driving the rickshaw.....which was super fun!!! He
called it his Indian helicopter....a very funny guy.
After that I went and used the internet for a while
and then went to the train station.
I was taking a train up to Dehli en route to the state
Himachal Pradesh, again since everyone is headed North
to escape the heat I had to stay overnight in Dehli
two nights. My train was super nice and relaxing and I
had a little bit of hassle with the touts when I got
off but I've learned how to avoid getting cheated so I
got through it pretty smoothly. It was pretty late and
the hotel I made a booking at was totally trying to
rip me off so I had to go look at three other nearby
guest houses before I found a decent room at a
The next day I woke up but stayed in my hotel room
until the early afternoon. I wanted to do a lot of
meditating and relaxing and writing in my journal. I
had a lot to process from recent experiences so it was
good to have some time to myself in the quite of the
hotel room. Not too mention all these Indian
metroplises have really bad air quality and I was just
feeling really sick of the exhaust. Then I went out to
wander around Dehli for a few hours wqhich was really
nice. I had no direct goal of going anywere but it was
lovely to just wander and take in the people and the
The next morning I ended up taking a 6am train up to
Kalka (about 5 hours north of Dehli). This is the last
stop on the regular train. Because the rest of the
journey enters the foothills, you have to switch to
the narrow-rail train which many people have dubbed
the "toy-train" I decided to save money and take the
second class train to Shimla since the first class was
a big price jump but not really a big difference in
amenities. And I'm glad I did. I got to spend time
with just some simple Indian folks and the sites were
amazing. The train took a long time because there's
only one track for both the onward and returning
trains (except at stations) so when we stopped at a
station, we had to stop for a while to wait for the
train in the other direction to arrive and pass us.
But over all it was a good time.
When I arrived in Shimla (the capital of Himachal
Pradesh) 2205 meters above sea level, I got a porter
to carry my bag up the steep hill (just a little too
tired to do it myself-not too mention it was really
late and I didn't feel like trying to find my way
around in the middle of the night). My hotel is
great!! What a gorgeous view (hard not to have in a
town that's perched on a steep hillside) and I woke up
this morning to monkeys playing on my balcony.
Even though this place is still pretty touristy I am
sooooo very grateful to have some fresh mountain air,
my throat was getting a little too irratated, and the
weather is soooo great. No humidity like most of the
rest of India. Today I spent the morning in my room
again just writing in my journal, meditating, and
sewing up some travel tattered items. Then I wandered
around the city, hiked around a bit, got some supplies
and settled here at the internet cafe. I have another
day here tomnorrow before I head to Dharamsala. Some
folks have told me that place is too touristy too but
I find no matter where I go I get to experience
another amazing layer of this country. And I really
want to check out where the Dalai Lama lives and the
tibetan community there. I probably won't stay there
too long either as I want to make my way to Chamba and
trak to the village I've heard about before I head
east to the state of Uttaranchal. My bus to Dharamsala
doesn't leave until tomorrow evening so I have another
day to spend here, I might try to do the short but
steep 45 minute hike to the Hanuman (monkey-god)
temple to the east of the city. Either that or
wherever my feet guide me to.
So that about wraps up where I'm at. I hope you are
all doing well and really enjoying the springtime. For
you Portlanders I hope the rain has finally let up and
to everyone on the east coast I hope the humidity has
not set in yet. Until next time be happy and well.
Love each other and know that I am sending you love
from across the globe. A million thoughts of happiness
and abundance to you!
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May 30, 2010
Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, India. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The great Mugals lived here, and the country was governed from here. It contained the largest state treasury and mint. It was visited by foreign ambassadors, travelers and the highest dignitaries who participated in the making of history in India.
It is best to explore this place with a tourist guide. He can explain the story behind each and every nook and corner of the palace, how the emperors lived here, how and where the queens lived, the purpose of each room and similar stuff. I found Agra Fort much more enchanting than the more famous Taj Mahal.You can actually see the Taj Mahal from the Fort if the climate is good. (I was not able to get a clear view as the atmosphere was foggy then). It is a must go place if you happen to visit Agra.
Feb 5, 2010
Its a Historical and beautiful place with its one culture. From Agra Fort we can see the Taj Mahal and which is one of the Masterpiece work done by the human-being in the world. One must visit this place in his life time.. My wish is that please keep the city and environment clean so that not much impact on this beautiful architecture.
Oct 22, 2008
Within the fort are the quarters of Shah Jahan who was imprisoned here by his son. The many rooms and terraces of white marble, inlaid with beautiful stones like in the Taj Mahal, are exquisite. Plus there is a view of the Taj Mahal that must have daily tormented Shah Jahan.
Apr 28, 2009
After you are done at the Taj the Agra Fort is a good place to go. It's tough to appreciate it after you were at the Taj. It is a little run down, but definitely worth the stop while you are in Agra. It's impressive and has good vies of the river and Taj but needs some up keep.