Agra Fort History


Agra Fort was originally a brick fort, held by the Hindu Sikarwar Rajputs. Agra Fort was mentioned for the first time in 1080 AD when a Ghaznavide force captured it. Sikandar Lodi (1488–1517) was the first Sultan of Delhi who shifted to Agra and lived in the fort. He governed the country from here and Agra assumed the importance of the second capital. He died in the fort in 1517 and his son, Ibrahim Lodi, held it for nine years until he was defeated and killed at Panipat in 1526. Several palaces, wells and a mosque were built by him in the fort during his period.



After First Battle of Panipat, Mughals captured the fort and a vast treasure - which included a diamond that was later named as the Koh-i-Noor - was seized. Babur stayed in the fort in the palace of Ibrahim. He built a baoli (step well) in it. Humanyun was crowned here in 1530. Humayun was defeated in Bilgram in 1540 by Sher Shah Suri and fort remained with Suris till 1555, when Humanyun recaptured it. Hindu king "Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, also called 'Hemu' defeated Humanyun's army lead by Iskandar Khan Uzbek and won Agra. Hemu got a huge booty from this fort and went on to win Delhi from Mughals. "Mughals under Akbar, defeated the Hindu King Hemu finally at the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556.

Realizing the importance of its central situation, Akbar made it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558. His historian, Abdul Fazal, recorded that this was a brick fort known as 'Badalgarh' . It was in a ruined condition and Akbar had it rebuilt with red sandstone from Barauli area in Rajasthan. Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 1,444,000 builders worked on it for eight years, completing it in 1573.

It was only during the reign of Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan, that the site took on its current state. The legend is that Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj Mahal for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Unlike his grandfather, Shah Jahan tended to have buildings made from white marble, often inlaid with gold or semi-precious gems. He destroyed some of the earlier buildings inside the fort in order to make his own.

At the end of his life, Shah Jahan was deposed and restrained by his son, Aurangzeb, in the fort. It is rumored that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with a view of the Taj Mahal.

The fort was the site of a battle during the Indian rebellion of 1857, which caused the end of the British East India Company's rule in India, and led to a century of direct rule of India by Britain.

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