The grand citadel of Agra stands on an ancient site. After the first battle of Panipat (1526) the Mughals captured the fort and ruled from here. In 1530 the second Mughal emperor, Humayun was crowned here.
Agra Fort got its present look during the reign of Akbar. When Akbar arrived in 1558, the original brick fort was in ruinous condition. Akbar rebuilt it with red sand stone by 1573.
The fort’s 21m high double ramparts have massive circular bastions at regular intervals, and a broad deep moat around it. Four gates were provided on four sides in which the southern, Amar Singh Gate, is the main tourist entrance. Delhi gate is located on the northern side. Both the gates have draw bridges over moat. The other two gates are the Elephant and Khizra Gates, of which last one opens on the river side.
Abul Fazal recorded that about 500 beautiful buildings were constructed inside the fort by Akbar. Some of them were demolished by Shahjahan to make room for his new white marble palaces. But most of the Akbar’s buildings were destroyed by the British between 1803-1862 for raising barracks.
Now, about 30 Mughal buildings survive primarily on river side: palaces such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; the grand audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful yet elegantly simple mosques, are all reminders of the rich architectural legacy of the Mughals.