Agra, Uttar Pradesh
The Agra Fort was begun by Akbar between 1565 and 1573. It is situated on the west bank of the Jumna River, about 2km upstream from the Taj Mahal (map). Akbar built the fort of sandstone; his grandson Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal, constructed palaces of white marble within the fort itself. Shah Jahan was imprisoned in Agra Fort following the coup of his son, Aurangzeb, and died here in 16571.
Agra Fort is entered today at the south end, through a low outer wall and gate (shown here) built by Aurangzeb. Visitors then pass in succession through two of Akbar's gates, the Amar Singh and the Akbari, before finally gaining admittance to the fort proper.
The original entrance to the fort was through the grander Delhi Gate in the west wall.
1The behavior of Mogul rulers, towards members of their own family, was appalling by any
humane standard. Besides overthrowing and imprisoning his father, Aurangzeb murdered two
brothers and a nephew on his way to the throne; his father, Shah Jahan, had similarly killed one
brother and two nephews during his own climb to power.
It wasn't because they were "bad" people (at least, not by their own standards, however much
we moderns may deplore their evil deeds); in that time there were no fixed laws of succession,
and the harem system provided all too many candidates for the throne; it was, literally, kill or
be killed for eligible males of the royal family. History shows an astonishing number of such
deplorable examples, from ancient China all the way across to the Roman and Byzantine Empires,
ancient Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and, at times, even Medieval and Renaissance Europe.