September 6, 2014

0349, 1217 INDIA (Uttar Pradesh) - Agra Fort (UNESCO WHS)

Posted on 01.10.2012 and 06.09.2014
Located about 2.5 km northwest of Taj Mahal, near its gardens, the Agra Fort, also known as the Lal Qila, Fort Rouge or Qila-i-Akbari, was built by Akbar the Great (1542-1605), the grandson of Babur, the first Mughal Emperor, direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother. Akbar found there a brick fort, became a ruin after it changed several times the owner during the previous half century. He didn’t like half-measures, so named Agra the capital of its empire and completely rebuilt the fort with red sandstone from Barauli area in Rajasthan. To the construction worked 1,444,000 builders, for eight years, completing it in 1573. Abul Fazl, the court historian of Akbar, records that 5000 buildings were built inside the Agra Fort, in Bengali and Gujarati style, but only 30 have survived till today, on the southeastern side. Shah Jahan, Akbar's grandson, who built Taj Mahal, was the one who given to the fort the today's shape. At the end of his life, he was restrained here by his son, and he died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with a view of the Taj Mahal.

The fort is actually a walled city, with a semicircular shape, like a bow, its chord being parallel to the river Yamuna. Double ramparts have massive circular bastions at intervals, with battlements, embrasures, machicolations and string courses. It is  surrounded by a 12m deep moat and has four gates, of which two are notable: the Delhi Gate and the Lahore Gate (also known as the Amar Singh Gate), the only one through which is entering today. A wooden drawbridge linking the Delhi Gate and the mainland, over the moat, and inside is placed an inner gateway called Hathi Pol (Elephant Gate), guarded by two life-sized stone elephants. The drawbridge, slight ascent, and 90-degree turn between the outer and inner gates, make the entrance impregnable.

About the stamps
On the first postcard 

The first two stamps are part of a series of four, issued on February 12, 2011, the occasion of celebrating the centenary of the World’s first official airmail flight. On 18th February 1911, a French pilot, Henri Pequet flew a small Sommer biplane carrying 6,500 letters from the right river bank of Yamuna, at Allahabad, to left bank, at Naini Railway Station.

The third stamp is also a commemorative one, issued on August 29, 2011, and depicting Dr Madhav Shrihari Aney (29 August, 1880 - 26 January, 1968), one of the founder of the Congress Nationalist Party and one of the eminent disciples of Lokmanya Tilak.

On the second postcard

The first two stamps are part of the series Wild Flowers, issued on September 3, 2013, and comprising 12 stamps, all with the same face values, 5 INR.
• Dibang Chirita - It's on the postcard 1217
• Kashmir Mallow - It's on the postcard 2358
• Himalayan Mini Sunflower - It's on the postcard 2184
• Himalayan Lantern
• Round leaf Asiabell
• Blue Poppy - It's on the postcard 2358
• Globe Thistle - It's on the postcard 2358
• Himalayan Iris
• Himalayan Bell flower - It's on the postcard 2184
• Cobra lily - It's on the postcard 3032
• Bladder Campion - It's on the postcard 1217
• Rhododendron - It's on the postcard 2184

The last stamp is part of the commemorative series of four stamps dedicated to Rashtrapati Bhavan (Hindi for Presidential House) about which I wrote here.

Agra Fort - Wikipedia
Agra Fort - Agra Fort's official site
Agra Fort - Archaeological Survey of India
India Post Celebrates a Hundred Years of Airmail - Washington Bangla Radio USA
India Post Released Stamp on Dr Madhav Shrihari Aney - Phila Mirror

Sender: Rupendra Pal Singh (direct swap)
Sent from New Delhi (National Capital Territory of Delhi / India), on 18.01.2012
Sender: ???
Sent from ??? (India), on 08.08.2014

1 comment:

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