Shah Jahan Under House Arrest in Agra Fort, India

Agra Fort, across the Yamuna River originally was a military structure.   Construction began in 1565 by Emperor Akbar.   Emperor Akbar was the grandfather of Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal.   From early construction, additions occurred, and by the time of Shah Jahan, it was a palace.   This is Amar Singh Gate, to the south of Agra Fort, and now the only entrance.

Ready to enter Amar Singh Gate to Agra Fort

This was really a city behind walls.   We tried a panorama photo of the main building.

Panorama of main building and lawn

Ornate buildings and manicured lawns.   Like most temples and old buildings, there are many monkeys.

Monkey on roof

This one on the roof was joined by some monkey friends and we were fascinated watching them run and jump across the roofs.   Our moms were happy to see a chipmunk.


We have chipmunks in our Colorado mountains.   While we were watching the chipmunk, a man picked him up so we could get a photo.   Wasn’t that nice?  We walked around the complex and saw many buildings.

Wandering between buildings

Everything is so old, and much of it is still in good repair.   From Agra Fort, the view across the river shows Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal from Agra Fort

Such a beautiful building.   Shah Jahan, adored his daughters, and they each had a room like this.

Room for daughter

These are beautiful rooms with a great view of the Yamuna River.   And another non human resident.

A bat lives here at Agra Fort

This bat seems to be at home in Agra Fort.   This guide is shining a light on the marble.

White marble with inlaid gems

The light accentuates the gems inlaid in the marble.   Great craftsmanship everywhere.   You may remember that the Taj Mahal, was built as a tomb for Shah Jahan’s favorite wife, Mumtaz. The Taj Mahal was completed in 1653.   In 1659, Shah Jahan was deposed by his son, Aurangzeb.   Aurangzeb kept his father, the former Shah, under house arrest at Agra Fort.   This is the room, in Musamman Burj, the Octagonal Tower, in Agra Fort where Shah Jahan died.

Room where Shah Jahan died

He was imprisoned here for seven years, before his death.   From his tower, he could see the Taj Mahal, built for his beloved wife, Mumtaz.

View of Taj Mahal from his prison

So close, but out of reach for him.   This lawn was the Ladies’ Bazaar.

Ladies’ Bazaar

Female merchants were allowed to come here, on market day, to sell goods to the ladies of the Mughal court.   Men were not allowed.   We really like visiting Agra Fort, and loved the views of the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal from Agra Fort

The Taj Mahal with a mosque on each side.   But, it was time for us to leave.   More people were passing through Amar Singh Gate, coming to visit Agra Fort.

Leaving Agra Fort. That cute little girl is watching us.

That cute little girl is watching us.   Sometimes little children try to take us home with them.   We like children, but we want to stay with our moms.  We like this little girl.   Isn’t her dress pretty?  If you go to Agra, India, please visit the Taj Mahal and also Agra Fort.   We think you will enjoy them both.


The Taj Mahal Without Zeb and Soapy

We are now in Agra, India.   Agra is famous for the Taj Mahal.   This is as far as our bus can go.

Buses cannot go closer to Taj Mahal

From here, it is either walk or ride in one of those carts.   But wait a minute.   Humans cannot take much near the Taj Mahal.   Ducks are not allowed in the Taj Mahal area.   Oh no!!   But it is OK.  Our moms said we will be able to see the Taj Mahal from other areas, including the restaurant of our hotel, Clarks Shiraz Hotel.  Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck stayed on the bus.   The humans rode in a cart.   Here is the ticket purchasing area.

Purchase tickets here

Jesse, our guide, purchased the tickets.

Prices for Taj Mahal. Foreigners and Indians pay different prices

Tickets are different prices for foreigners than they are for Indians.   That is fine.   The people that live here should be able to enjoy this beautiful building.

Enter through this building

Humans walked through this building, and this is what they saw.

Wow! Here is the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is symmetrical.   A mosque was constructed on one side of the Taj Mahal, so another mosque was built on the other side.   Must be symmetrical.  Jesse, our guide, had humans sit on a platform and explained a little about the Taj Mahal.   This building was commissioned by Shah Jahan to enshrine the mortal remains of his Queen Mumtaz Mahal.   This was built from love.   Isn’t that romantic.   We love that love was so strong.   She died during childbirth.   They were married 17 years.   There were other wives, but Mumtaz was the favorite.   We like this photo.

Taj Mahal through arch

This was taken from the platform the humans sat on while Jesse explained things.   Walking closer, we can see the craftsmanship of inlaid jasper in the white marble.

Marble inlaid with Jasper

This marble is from India.   In 1631 Mumtaz died and the construction of the Taj Mahal began.   The beautiful building built of love, was completed in 1653.   There is a bench in front of the Taj Mahal called the Princess Di (Diana) bench.

Soapy’s mom at Princess Diana Bench

Soapy’s mom is by the bench.   Our photographer told her how to pose.   She was not swimming in the reflecting pools.   Inside, visitors are only allowed in the center area of the main floor.   The tombs here are empty.   The real tombs are in the lower level.   Pictures of the tombs are not allowed and this structure surrounds the tombs.

Inside Taj Mahal. Empty Tombs behind this structure

Looking through, we could see two tombs.   Shah Jahan built this for his Queen Mumtaz.   Her tomb is in the center.   He wanted another smaller building across the river for his memorial.   His was to be of black marble and a bridge was to be built connecting the two memorials.   However, that did not happen.   He was disposed by his son in 1659 and upon his death, his body was placed next to Mumtaz.   While viewing the Taj Mahal, there are many photographers eager to take your photos.   Our moms hired a photographer and had fun with him.

Soapy’s mom with our photographer

Here he is with Soapy’s mom.  We won’t tell you how many photos were purchased, but our moms had a great time.   This a beautiful building and a wonderful memorial to love.   We hope you visit Agra, India to see the Taj Mahal.