Agra

Whenever we talk about Agra holidays, the only thing that strikes our mind is the magnificent beauty of the 'Taj Mahal'. Because of the presence of the Taj in the city, it sometimes is also called as the 'City of Love'. Though it is not the only famous monument available here; you can also visit other two UNESCO World Heritage sites namely Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri during your Agra jaunt. Whereas, the past of the city is concerned, it has an exciting and interesting by-gone era which was ruled by the Mughal rulers for more than three hundred years. Because of its majestic past, Agra today is a treasure trove of art, culture, traditions and architecture. Agra vacations are not said to be complete without witnessing the colorful street markets, which are famous for handiwork and hand finished leather. Last but not the least, 'the cuisine'- mouthwatering, aromatic and spicy delicacies of Mughal Kitchens is served on your plates in the city of Agra. Here you will get to savor the zestful flavors of Mughal kebabs, korma, beef, roasted lamb, biryani, chicken and more.

 

Highlights

Taj Mahal

Described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love, it was constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal, made out of white marble took 22 years to complete (1630-1652 AD). Ustad Ahmad Lahori, a Persian Architect, is said to be the main designer and planner for this magnificent memorial. On full moon nights, the glory of the Taj is at its best. Over the centuries, the Taj has attracted more visitors than perhaps any other Monuments in the country, and it is all too easy resort to conventional

other Monuments in the country, and it is all too easy resort to conventional superlatives when describing it. What makes the Taj Unique is its perfect proportions, distinct femininity, medium of construction and ornamentation. Its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while it is dazzling white during the day and glows pearl-like in the moonlight and during the monsoon.

 

Itmad-ud-daulah's tomb

This tomb belongs to the father of Nur Jahan, Ghiyas-ud-Din Beg. He was the Wajir or the Chief Minister of Emperor Jehangir. This white marble tomb was built by Nur Jahan between 1622 and 1628. The tomb may not be as mammoth as the Taj but the inlay designs and carvings are no less than Taj if not more. The delicate marble latticework in the passages allows the light to enter the interiors. A similar tomb was built by Nur Jahan for Jehangir in Lahore. This tomb was the first complete marble Mughal structure.

 

Agra fort

Construction of the massive red sandstone Agra Fort on the bank of the Yamuna River was begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565, though additions were made up until the rule of his grandson, Shah Jahan. In Akbar's time the fort was principally a military structure, but during Shah Jaha reign it had partially become Palace. It is an imposing structure with walls of red sandstone almost three kilometers long. Entered through the Amar Singh Gate, the eastern part of the fort contains palace, audience hall and mosques built by three emperors.

The fort presents a good sampling of their favoured architectural styles. Akbar drew on Islamic and Hindu traditions and the result is eclectic. By Shah Jahan's time the style had become so homogenized that it is impossible to separate the Hindu and Muslim strands. The Diwan-i-Am (public audience hall), the beautiful Diwan-i-Khas (private audience hall) and the magnificent Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) were also added by Shah Jahan.

 

Sikandra

Six miles north of Agra, is a glorious introduction to the city of Mughal wonders, Sikandra. The site of Akbar's mausoleum, Sikandra was begun by Akbar and completed by his son Jehangir in 1613 AD. It reflects the fusion of Hindu and Muslim art and architecture which characterised the era. The tomb is situated in the centre of a large garden and four identical red sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex. The building, with three-storey minarets at each corner, is built of red sandstone with white marble polygonal patterns inlaid. Sikandra

is named after Sikandra Lodi, the Delhi ruler who was in power from 1488 to 1517.

 

Fathepur Sikri

This magnificent fortified ghost city was the capital of the Mughal emperor Akbar between 1571 and 1585. The downfall of this once magnificent capital of the Mughals started with the rise of the Jats when Emperor Aurangzeb left this place never to return again. The credit for preserving the ancient monuments situated here goes to Lord Curzon. Since then, these protected monuments and the environs of the city have been well maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The city is rectangular in shape with nine huge gates - Delhi

Darwaza, Lal Darwaza, Agra Gate, Suraj and Chanda Darwaza, Tehra Gate and Ajmeri Darwaza.

 

The Buland Darwaja

The Buland Darwaja or the gate of victory was built by Akbar in 1601 in commemoration of his victory over Khandesh and Ahmednagar in Southern India. Marble and sandstone have been freely used in the construction of this structure. Various other buildings situated here are all worth a visit not only for their historical importance, but also for the fine architectural work of the Mughal period.

 

Hotel in Agra

 
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