In 1526, Babur – the first Mughal in India – defeated the Lodhis, a Pashtun dynasty that was the last dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate in the famous battle of Panipat. Babur came to Agra – the Lodhis’ capital, and found great wealth in the treasury here. Among other things, it included the diamond that was later known as the “Koh-i-noor”. The 105 carat diamond, the root cause of many wars, originally Indian treasure but now a part of the British Crown Jewels, a jewel bestowed to the then proclaimed Empress of India, Queen Victoria. Such has been our luck safeguarding a sparkling part of our heritage! Anyhow, his son Humayun, who had been sent ahead to secure the fort, presented the diamond to Babur upon his arrival. Did you know that this is the first time ever the stunning Kohinoor was mentioned in history?
The Mughals hailed from the Pir Panjal ranges of the Himalayas, where lush meadows and fresh streams were everywhere making the heat and dust of Agra difficult on them. However, on the other hand Babur was tired from a life of fighting for a throne over and over and over again… He saw military significance in Agra, and a country he could rule without warring with his own extended family.
He made Agra his home, and lived at the palace the Lodhis had built for themselves. He wasn’t much for building grandiose structures, but he did build several gardens in the city. He died of an illness in 1530, and was succeeded by his son Humayun. It had only been about ten years and Humayun was defeated at a battle in 1540, and for some time, even retreated to faraway Kabul. Agra’s rulers once again changed hands. It was now ruled by an Afghan clan – the Suris, until they were defeated at Panipat in 1556. It was none other than Humayun’s son Akbar who had come back with a vengeance.
Emperor Akbar or Akbar Baadshah, brought the Agra fort to life. Winning back the empire, Akbar Badshah arrived in Agra in 1558. Unfortunately he found the fort here in a run-down condition, with the brick ramparts crumbling, and some of them even fallen.
This was when Badshah Akbar ordered for the Fort of Agra to be constructed again.
By, Tanul Dilwali & Abbas Muzaffar