The fort at Agra was originally built as a military stronghold, and dated back to the eleventh century. It became a royal court with the accession of Akbar in 1556. This photograph shows the river side of the fort, with its wide terrace and the defensive walls enclosing a moat. The sandbanks of the River Jumna, visible in the background, supplied Agra during the hottest months 'with the finest melons in the world'. This type of scenery would have appealed to a British audience fully aware of its imperial hold on the splendours of India.