Agra Fort and Buland Darwaza – Two Architectural Marvels

Otto I. Eovaldi

Agra has significant importance in Indian History. This is the place where you can still visit several architectural marvels which will take you back in the time of Mughals. There are many architectural marvels in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri (Near by Agra) that still retain the glory of ancient time.

Let us learn about them.

Agra Fort

This red sandstone marvel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Agra. It is also popularly known as Red Fort. The fort was built in 1565 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. During the rule of Shah Jahan, it was transformed as a palace. Spread over an area of 2.5 km, the fort includes two gates named as Delhi gate and Amar Singh gate.

There are several wonderful apartments inside the fort such as:

The Jahangiri Mahal

It was built by Akbar as the quarters for royal women. This is the only building that survives among the original buildings of the palace. The architectural design of this double storied palace reflects a strong Hindu influence with protruding chhatris and balconies.

Khaas Mahal

It is built of marble. This palace demonstrates unique Islamic-Persian features. The palace was Shah Jahan’s sleeping quarter. It is an airy edifice that overlooks especially built Angoori Bagh (grape garden).

The palace provides a successful example of paintings on a white marble surface.

The Sheesh Mahal

Sheesh Mahal is a creation of myriad glass pieces with central fountain. It was used as the harem dressing room. The walls of the palace are inlaid with small mirrors which are the finest examples of the glass-mosaic decoration in the country. The galore of myriad glass pieces work enthralls visitors during their visit to this wonderful palace.

The Musamman Burj

It is a marvelous octagonal tower with an open pavilion renowned for its exquisite design, especially above the pillars. Shah Jahan laid on his deathbed at this place, watching at the Tajmahal.


Diwan-E-Khaas is a Persian word, which means the ‘Hall of Private Audience’. It is known for its facades and intricate design. The marble pillars of the building are beautifully inlaid with semi-precious stones in astonishing floral patterns.


This was the ‘Hall of Public Audience’ built by Shah Jahan. The building was used by Emperor for meeting the officials and common people. This is the palace where Emperor used to hear the petitions.

The hall was beautifully pierced with Jalis to ease royal female members to see the court proceedings. The structures have arches, covering with white lime polish, triple arched royal canopy with lavish dura ornamentation.

Buland Darwaza

Buland Darwaza is a magnificent fort at Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. It is popularly referred as the ‘Gate of Magnificence’. It was built to celebrate the victory of Mughal Emperor Akbar over the ruler of Khandesh or Gurjarat in 1573. This marvelous gate is made up of red sandstone and ornamental with Quranic verses, calligraphic and cenotaph. The majestic Darwaza rises to a height of 40 metres. It is beautifully topped by pillars and Chhatris. It is renowned as an amazing Islamic structure in Fatehpur Sikri. The fort echoes early Mughal design with simple decoration. On the outside, you can see a long flight of steps sweeps down the hill, providing extra height to the gateway.

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