The impressive Agra Fort is one of the most popular attractions when visiting Agra, India. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, this fort deserves a spot on every traveler’s itinerary. Understanding the ticket information and planning your visit will ensure an enjoyable experience at this historic complex.
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History and Architecture
Construction began in 1565 AD under Emperor Akbar and continued through later Mughal rulers. It is constructed of red sandstone. The fort has many beautiful palaces, audience halls, mosques, and gardens inside its walls, including the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), and more.
It contains a mix of architectural styles, including Hindu and Islamic elements. The palaces blend Persian, Timurid, and Indian architectural styles.
Agra Fort was the Mughal emperors’ primary residence from Emperor Akbar in 1565 until 1638.
The site transitioned from a military base under Akbar to a palace residence under Shah Jahan with more marble buildings.
Sections were rebuilt or added over centuries of different Mughal rulers. They were combining Rajput and Mughal architecture.
Shah Jahan built the elegant Mussamman Burj and Khas Mahal palace within the fortress during his reign in the early 1600s.
Later, Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh resided in the fort in the 19th century and made some alterations.
The fort was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for its significance and architecture.
- Key sites include Jehangir’s Palace with carved Hindu motifs, the grand Muthamman Burj tower, and Diwan-i-Kha’s ornate hall, once filled with precious stones.
- Stop by Jahangir Mahal Palace, one of Akbar’s first construction projects known for its Bengal-style domes.
- Don’t miss Shah Jahan’s ornate Musamman Burj palace with its marble walls carved with floral artwork.
Getting Your Admission Ticket
Purchasing a ticket is required to explore the sprawling grounds of Agra Fort. Tickets can be bought at the entrance gate just before entering. Prices are very reasonable:
- Three types of tickets are available: 1) Standard Ticket, 2) Night Viewing Ticket, and 3) Combination Ticket with Taj Mahal. The night and combination tickets cost slightly more but provide added features.
- Indian Citizens: ₹50 per person
- Foreign Tourists: ₹550 per person
- Children under 15 years old enter for free when accompanied by an adult
Tickets are valid for same-day admission only. You can exit and re-enter a few times, but the last entry is at 5:30 pm when the fort closes.
Agra Fort is open daily except Fridays from sunrise to sunset. The ideal times to visit are early morning or late afternoon when there is less crowd, and the summer heat is more bearable. Fridays are closed to the public.
In winter, it stays open slightly later, from sunrise to 5:30 pm. Summer timings are sunrise to 6:30 pm. Be sure to exit the premises by closing or risk getting locked inside!
Getting to the Fort
Agra Fort is 2.5 km northwest of the famous Taj Mahal in the city’s heart. Public buses, taxis, autorickshaws, and private hired cars can easily transport you to the fort’s entrance.
If walking from the Taj Mahal, take 30-45 minutes to cover the distance leisurely. Bicycles are also available to rent and peddle your way there.
Exploring the Grounds
The fort has a rich history spanning many centuries under Mughal rule. Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb were imprisoned here by their sons. Signage and audio guides provide historical facts during your visit.
The layout divided into four main parts, each with essential structures: Macchi Bhawan, Khas Mahal, Loha Burj, and Shish Mahal. Having a guide or map ensures you don’t miss sections.
Agra Fort covers a vast area spanning over 90 acres. Give yourself 2-3 hours to tour the palace buildings, mosques, and gardens properly and learn about the history. Guided tours are also recommended for more profound insight.
Must-see highlights inside the fort include the Amar Singh Gate, Diwan-i-Am courtyard, Nagina Masjid, Diwan-i-Khas, Jahangir’s Palace, and more. The white marble architecture is breathtaking.
Tips for visiting:
- Arrive early in the day to avoid crowds and beat the heat. Temperatures frequently exceed 40C in summer.
- Wear comfortable shoes for walking on stone paths. Carry water, hats, and sunscreen to prevent dehydration.
- Hire a professional guide for a more informative tour. Officially approved guides wait at the entrance gates.
- Be prepared for security screening at the entrance gates. Bags are checked, and pass-through metal detectors installed.
- Many parts may be under restoration. Some areas temporarily closed or obscured by scaffolding.
- Tickets can purchased at the ASI booth near the Amar Singh Gate entrance. Tickets not sold online.
- Foreign tourists must show proof of passport to buy tickets. SAARC and BIMSTEC country citizens get a discounted rate.
- Night viewing tickets allow access after sunset to see the fort illuminated—combined tickets with the Taj Mahal offer same-day entry to both sites.
- Climb to the top turrets of Jahangir Mahal for panoramic views over the Yamuna River.
- Find picture-perfect views of the Taj Mahal from Shah Jahan’s ornate Khas Mahal terrace.
- The Dyar-Bastion terrace offers another scenic spot overlooking the Taj Mahal.
- Watch the sunset behind the Taj from Shah Burj, originally an octagonal tower used by Shah Jahan.
- Ambient lighting is best earlier or later in the day for photographs. Midday sun can create harsh shadows.
- Zoom lenses help capture architectural details not visible to the naked eye on higher ceilings.
- A wide-angle lens is ideal for sweeping landscape shots from overlook points like the river view from Khas Mahal.
Visiting the magnificent Agra Fort should be on every travel bucket list when coming to Agra. Following the ticket information and planning guidelines will allow you ample time to explore this incredible piece of India’s architectural heritage fully.
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