Near the gardens of the Taj Mahal stands the important 16th-century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. 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.
Situated in Agra, Agra Fort is one of the significant forts in India. Agra Fort is also referred to as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge and Red Fort of Agra. It is located about 2.5 km northwest of the iconic Taj Mahal; actually the fort can be better described as a walled palatial city. The origin of the monument is unknown, but then it is believed that during the reign of the celebrated Mughal ruler Akbar, the fort was taken over from the Lodis by the Mughals in the late 16th century. Akbar actually shifted the government of his empire from Delhi to Agra and the fort was used to serve this purpose. As a result of this shift, Agra blossomed and Agra fort metamorphosed into more of a royal estate.
However, the fort took its present look during the reign of Akbar's grandson Shah Jahan. According to the legends, Shah Jahan was fascinated by white marble, inlaid with gold or semi-precious gems and he destroyed some of the earlier buildings inside the fort in order to make his own. Towards the end of his life, Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb, in the fort. If the rumors are to be believed then, Shah Jahan took his last breath in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony in the fort, from where one enjoy an excellent view of the Taj Mahal. Agra Fort was also one of the sites of the battles during the Indian rebellion of 1857, which resulted in the end of the British East India Company's rule in India.