Agra's history goes back more than 2500 years, but it wasn't until the reign of the Mughals that Agra became more than a provincial city.
Humayun, son of the founder of the Mogul empire, was offered jewelry and precious stones by the family of the Raja of Gwalior, one of them the famous Koh-i-Noor. The heyday of Agra came with the reign of Humayun's son, Akbar The Great. During his reign, the main part of the Agra fort was built. Construction of the fort started in 1156 and was finished in 1605. Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, erected most of the buildings inside the fortress.
Inside Agra Fort
After going through the gate you walk over a ramp and enter the Great Courtyard. On the right hand sight, there's the many pillared Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience). Hall of Public Audience It was built by Shah Janan in 1628. Further you find the Royal Pavilions. It contains beautiful mosques (Nagina Masjid & Mina Masjid), palaces (Macchi Bhavan, Khas Mahal, Shish Mahal, Shah Jahani Mahal) and the Zenana Mina Bazaar.Several of the buildings are made of pure marble with beautiful carvings. To cool off the rooms in the marble pavilions, the walls were hollow and filled with running water.From the balconies in the pavilions, you have a nice view on the Yamuna river and the Taj Mahal.
It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques.
The monumental Delhi Gate, which faces the city on the western side of the fort, is considered the grandest of the four gates and a masterpiece of Akbar's time.[who?] It was built circa 1568 both to enhance security and as the king's formal gate, and includes features related to both. It is embellished with inlay work in white marble, proof to the richness and power of the Great Mughals. A wooden drawbridge was used to cross the moat and reach the gate from the mainland; inside, an inner gateway called Hathi Pol ("Elephant Gate") - guarded by two life sized stone elephants with their riders - added another layer of security. The drawbridge, slight ascent, and 90 degree turn between the outer and inner gates, make the entrance impregnable. During a siege, attackers would employ elephants to crush a fort's gates. Without a level, straight run-up to gather speed, however, something prevented by this layout, elephants are ineffective.
Because the Indian military (the Parachute Brigade in particular) is still using the northern portion of the Agra Fort, the Delhi Gate cannot be used by the public. Tourists enter via the Lahore Gate, so named because it faces Lahore, now in Pakistan.