Debris gone, archaeologists find passage in Agra Fort

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While undertaking conservation work at Meena Bazaar within the Agra Fort, archaeologists found structures that had earlier been buried under debris and lain long undiscovered. Among the new things discovered is a passage, portions of pillars and stairs, leading to cells within the Bazaar. Conservationists removing the debris said the passage would be restored once a proper scientific study is conducted.

Debris gone, archaeologists find passage in Agra Fort
The entrance to Agra Fort [Credit: Galleryhip]

“It would help us in putting a date to the discovered portions. These seem like Mughal-era structures but only a scientific study can confirm it.”Meena Bazar, which is adjacent to Moti Masjid, is out of bounds for tourists and falls under the jurisdiction of the Army. There are three gateways of the Bazaar. Military vehicles would earlier ply on the paths leading to these gateways.

Archaeological Survey of India, seeing that such activity was causing damage, first got the movement of military vehicles in the area banned. Instructions were issued for conservation work, and debris that had gathered on the floor was removed.

Once the debris was out of the way, officials found a stone floor. A probe revealed that a red sandstone passage covered the entire area. Terracotta pottery was also recovered from the site. In the Mughal era, Meena Bazaars were exclusively held for women. The emperor, a few princes and some privileged men were the only others allowed to shop there.

Credit: The Times of India [August 21, 2015]

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