Agra Travel Guide to Taj Mahal :One of the Seven Wonders.
Agra – Situated on the banks of Yamuna river is a city in the state of Uttarpradesh, located in northern India. From a very ancient period it has been home to many kingdoms. The Mughals had established their capital in the city of Agra and built many monuments, fort and Persian gardens which are adored and holds a sight of attraction from all over the world. Along with Delhi and Jaipur, Agra forms the Golden Triangle of tourism in India. The Agra travel guide includes three UNESCO World heritage sites : Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri.
Taj Mahal :
Taj Mahal the epitome of love was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The word Taj Mahal means “Crown Palace” is an ivory-white marble mausoleum whose construction started in the year 1632 AD and completed in 1648 AD with the mosque, guesthouse, and the main gateway in the south. It took more five years to complete the outer courtyard and the walkway. Ustad Ahmad Lahauri was the main architect of Taj Mahal and the artisans for the construction were appointed from whole of the empire, Central Asia and Iran. It is regarded as the “jewel of Muslim art in India” and a heritage to India’s history, which is acclaimed worldwide. A trip to India without visiting Taj Mahal is incomplete, so Taj Mahal is definitely added to the Agra travel guide for every traveller.
Agra Fort :
Built by the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great, Agra fort was the seat of Mughal empire. It’s construction started in the year 1565 and it took eight years to finish its construction in 1573. It is made of red sandstone and looks similar to the Red Fort in Delhi. But, during the time of Shah Jahan (Grandson of Akbar), the fort was converted to palace using his favorite building material – White marble and was later held as a prisoner, after his son Aurangzeb got to power in the year 1658. The fort has got some great buildings that add to the Agra travel guide and are listed below:
- Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque).
- Sheesh Mahal (Mirrored palace).
- Jahangir’s Palace.
- Khas Mahal.
- Mussaman Burj.
Fatehpur Sikri :
Fatehpur Sikri a town situated about 40km from Agra was the capital of Mughal Empire by emperor Akbar during a short period from 1571 to 1585. The capital was later shifted to Agra due to the shortage of water. Though abandoned the site has great architectural buildings, palaces and mosques that add to India’s rich history, some of them are listed below :
- Buland Darwaza – It was built in the year 1601 AD to celebrate Akbar’s victory in conquering Gujarat has a height of 54metres and is the largest gateway in the world. It is the main entrance to the palace of Fatehpur sikri and is a beautiful architectural blend of Persian and Mughal architecture.
- The Panch Mahal – It is a five storey building also known as “Badgir” which means wind catcher tower. It is a great monument in Fatehpur sikri and was used for entertainment and relaxation.
- Tomb of Salim Chisti – It is the tomb of the famous Sufi saint Salim Chisti.
- Diwan-i-Khas – Known as the Hall of private audience is the private chamber of emperor Akbar.
- Diwan-i-Aam – Known as the Hall of public audience is the place where Akbar meets its public.
- Birbal Bhawan – The house of Akbar’s favorite minister.
- Jama Masjid – It is the first building constructed in this place and was the place of worship.
Itimad-ud-Daulah Tomb :
It is a mausoleum in the city of Agra, built by Nur Jahan wife of emperor Jahangir for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg(also the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal) . It’s construction started in the year 1622 and was completed in 1628. Mirza Beg was the wazir(chief minister) to emperor Jahangir and was given the title of Itimad-ud-daulah meaning “Pillar of the State”. It is often considered as the “Baby Taj” or the “Jewel box” which laid the sketch of Taj Mahal. The tomb is build of white marbles and decorated with semi-precious stones that display different objects. Besides the main building, it also consists of other outbuildings and gardens. Many of the others Nur Jahan relatives tomb are also kept in here.
Akbar’s Tomb :
The final resting place of Akbar the Great is in sikandra located in the Delhi-Agra highway only 4Km from Agra. Akbar himself chose the site for construction of his tomb, which commissioned in the year 1604, and was later completed by his son Jahangir in the year 1613. The building is built with red sandstone surrounded by lush green gardens. The four red sandstone gates lead to the complex which beautifully portrays Akbar’s personality, one of the great ruler in India and in the Mughal dynasty. Just 1km away is Mariam’s Tomb wife of Akbar.
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The city of Agra has carved all the monuments, palaces,mausoleum of the Mughal empire highlighting the rich blend of Persian and Mughal architecture. The best ideal time to visit the place is during the month from November to March with a pleasant weather condition. Agra travel guide has highlighted some of the historically rich sites that have famed India’s rich history and have acclaimed appreciation from all over the globe.
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