For 200 years, a single dynasty ruled the land of Hindustan and amazed the entire globe. Such was the magnificence and splendor of this dynasty that it left the shah of Persia far behind in the battle of riches and power. It was the dynasty of the warriors from the steppes beyond the Oxus River and the Hindukush mountain range. This was the dynasty of the great Moguls (aka the Mughals). The lineage or legacy of the Mughals might have faded in the history books and stories but the splendid wealth and rich lifestyle this great dynasty had had can still be seen with the colossal buildings they erected in the form of palaces, forts and even tombs. I experienced it myself when I visited the fort of Agra. Spread around some 94 acres of land, it is one of the most beautiful structures built by the moguls.
The moment we enter the main gate of the fort, we get the regal feeling with beautiful windows carved with red sandstones.
The broad pathway leading the visitors to the main courtyard which has the hall of public audience, diwan-e-aam, round the corner is the first major point which attracts all the eyeballs.
Made with exquisite engraving on white marble, it was the place where the emperor would hear all the proceedings and problems of his administration and subjects and deliver the justice. There is also a marble dais beneath the place where the emperor would sit.
On one of the floors above the ground of this stupendous heritage site is the chamber which was the private quarter of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. When he was incarcerated in his quarters by his son Aurangzeb who was the sixth Mughal emperor, he would see the Taj Mahal made by him for his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal from here. This private chamber comprised of many doors and parts in it is very finely and delicately carved with the semi precious stones filling the vibrant colors in the walls and the ceiling.
Taj still can be seen beyond Yamuna from the windows and the balcony and terrace.
Ascending spiral pathways, I found myself on the rooftop where the hall of private audience, diwan-e-khaas, still tells the story of the architectural brilliance and Mughal magnificence. This was the place where many decisions of political significance were taken centuries ago. The windows with delicate latticework or jharokhas with jali screens just above the place where Mughal emperor used to sit in front of audience was the place where women of royal family would sit and see the proceedings of the court. The thought that this is the place where Noor Jahan had been sitting in the reign of his husband the fourth Mughal emperor, Jahangir, really fascinated me. But no emperor or empress can be seen here now but the pigeons fluttering peacefully, sitting on the stone platform.
Next part of the fort I visited was the harem-private chambers of imperial women. This was the most beautiful part of the fort I had seen by then. The walls of the rooms have endured many ups and downs and it can be clearly seen as the walls are scratched from many places with plasters done while renovation at many places.
The ceilings in rooms are in quite same condition. But, even these drawbacks could not alter the beauty of these chambers and the brilliant Persian, Arabic, and Rajasthani style of architecture is majestically grand.
Walls inlaid with semi precious stones which were extruded by the Britishers can be seen with the paint done with gold. With time, renovation has changed the face of the walls a bit as the golden color here is not the original gold done by the architectures back then but done later by the efforts of different governments ruling the nation.
But the natural beauty is still intact and can be felt regally here even today.
The bathtub of Jahangir which he had used since his youth or probably childhood, made with a single piece of stone can be seen here in the courtyard outside the main one near the entrance.
There are many parts in the fort which were quite deserted and it can be seen with their condition that they are not frequently visited by the people.
The fort of Agra is sumptuous in its look telling the glorious past of Hindustan and the exalted lifestyle of the dynasty which has affected the Indian culture to such an extent that we still feel proud of it. The tradition and culture of this dynasty from cuisine to apparels, from drinks to jewellery has been commingled with our lives in the way that it seems it was never absent from it.
My experience while beholding this mighty & deluxe structure left me awestruck and took me back in an era in which the mighty Mughals had ruled this country and had astonished the world. This monument is a must visit for all the travel loving people who wish to have an experience different not only in look but also in the feeling which takes us back into the glorious past and rich history.
Pictures courtesy- All the pictures were clicked by me and some are originally posted on my Facebook page Shekhar’s photography-www.facebook.com/Shekharsphotography001/