Situated alongside right bank of river Yamuna and about 1km from the west gate of the Taj Mahal is the iconic structure of the Agra fort.
The 2.5kms enclosure walls are built of red sandstone outside and bricks in the inner core. The Agra fort has two gates : the Delhi gate which cannot be used by public as the Indian army is still using northern portion of the Agra fort, and the Amar Singh gate which is used as the main entrance.
Agra fort : Diwan-i-aam
It is a complex of buildings and palaces, which were built by mughal emperors Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangjeb.
So in a way it is a vast museum of mughal architecture. The various buildings and palaces are testimonials to different tastes, likes and dislikes, and splendor of the ruling mughal emperors of that era.
The various structures in the Agra fort are : Diwan-i-khas, Diwan-i-aam, Jahangiri mahal, Khas mahal with angoori bagh, musammman burj, sheesh mahal, rang mahal and two mosques(mina masjid and moti masjid).
Agra fort : Khas mahal
The angoori baag, built by Akbar the great, is a splendid garden which is situated in front of the magnificent white marble structure - Khas mahal.
The khas mahal was built by Shah Jahan in place of the old sandstone structure.
The khas mahal and the angoori baag were used as a 'Harem complex' by the ladies of the royal family.
During the last years of his life, Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal was imprisoned by his son Aurangjeb in the agra fort.
It is said that Shah Jahan spent the last eight years of his life(1658-1666) in house arrest.
He spent most of his time in musamman burj, a tower with a marble balcony, from here he used to view his greatest creation - the Taj Mahal.
This area has a small mosque(mina masjid), which was used by Shah Jahan for his personnel use.
View of the Taj :
One can have a not so distant view of the Taj Mahal, from the area of the mussamman burj or the diwan-i-khas.
Ironically, this is the only view the creator of the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan had during the last eight years of his life.