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Agra

Agra

Agra India Tourism – Lovers die, but love shall not and death shall have no dominion… In the year 1607 when a prince of the royal Mughal household strolled down the Meena Bazaar, accompanied by a string of fawning courtiers, he caught a glimpse of a girl hawking silk and glass beads. Five years and a wife later (in those days princes did not marry for love alone) the regal 20-yr-old went to wed his 19-yr-old bride.

Excursions of Agra

Legend has it that any man or king who creates a new city in Delhi will not be able to last his rule. But legends have not stopped Delhi’s conquerors, who came, saw and named new cities through the centuries.

Seven principal cities were chiefly created by different rulers – some of them are no more than villages today with splendid ruins and tales of valour while others have assimilated with the modernistic skyline. The ruins are also a telling tale of the evolution of architectural styles of the times and the synthesis of various cultures and influences.

FATEHPUR SIKRI

And so Fatehpur Sikri was only occupied for 14 years. They were rich, productive years but the water supply would not support the demands of the court. Or the death of the Sufi saint who brought him there in the first place, made Akbar lose interest. Or there were political reasons. (Take your pick.) Akbar left his court so abruptly that even today the feeling that this is a palace asleep rather than a palace abandoned still hangs around the almost immaculate ruins.

fatehpur

RAM BAGH

The great Mughal emperor Babar laid out this earliest example of a Mughal garden. Laid out in 1528 by Babur the first of the Mughal emperors this is the earliest Mughal garden. It is said that Babur was temporarily buried here before being permanently interred at Kabul in Afaganisthan. The Ram Bagh is 2 to 3 km further north of the Chini Ka rauza on the riverside and is open from sunrise to sunset.

rambagh

JAMA MASJID

Opposite the fort and overlooking Agra Fort railway station, the Jama Masjid or “Friday Mosque” was built by Shah Jahan in 1648 and dedicated to his favourite daughter, Jahanara Begum. Standing on a high plinth approached by stairs, and with five arched entrances to the courtyard, the mosque is crowned by three large sandstone domes distinguished by their zigzag bands of marble. Along the wings of the main prayer wall, panels of beautifully inlaid sandstone similar to those decorating the main gateway of the Taj Mahal, add an appropriately feminine touch.

jama

ALIGARH

Aligarh’s name may not have the historical resonance of Agra or Lucknow but this city in central Uttar Pradesh has its own sense of history and purpose. A student town dominated by the red brick Moorish-style buildings of the Aligarh Muslim University, the hub of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s pioneering movement of spreading modern education among Indian Muslims. Aligarh is also an industrial centre known for its lock and hardware manufacturing industry. It is also famous for its patchwork embroidery (patti ka kaam) and gajak, a sweet made of jaggery and sesame seed, which are much sought after by locals and visitors.

aligarh

Places to see in Agra

TAJ MAHAL

Taj Mahal of India – “the epitome of love”, “a monument of immeasurable beauty”. The beauty of this magnificent monument is such that it is beyond the scope of words. The thoughts that come into the mind while watching the Taj Mahal of Agra is not just its phenomenal beauty, but the immense love which was the reason behind its construction. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got this monument constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, with whom he fell in love at the first sight. The very first sight of the Taj Mahal, the epitome of love and romance leaves one mesmerized.

taj-mahal

SIKANDRA FORT

The greatest of the Mughal emperors, Akbar was quite right in the head. His contributions to Agra city and the nation are par excellence. Akbar during his life time planned and carried out many important projects that covered broad institutions like arts, literature, religion, architecture and statesmanship. Sikandra Fort is one example that roughly gives an idea of the emperors foresight. The tomb of Sikandra Fort was built by Akbar himself during his life time. Emperor Jehangir, Akbar’s son, continued the project which ultimately led to the foundation of the Sikandra Fort complex.

sikandra

ITMAD-UD-DAULAH TOMB

Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb is a Mughal mausoleum in the city of Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh . Often described as ‘jewel box’, sometimes called the Baby Taj , the tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daulah is often regarded as a “draft” of the Taj Mahal. Along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. The tomb, built between 1622 and 1628 represents the transition between the first phase of monumental Mughal architecture – primarily built from red sandstone with marble decorations, as in Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi and Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra.

itmad-ud-tomb

DAYAL BAGH

Dayal Bagh area is located towards the north of Agra city. The place constitutes an extension of the city. The place lies at a distance of about 13 kms from the city center. Although it forms the peripheral regions of the city but the place has a good influence of the city. The place is one of the many tourist destinations in Agra. The place is sacred to the followers of Radha Swami faith. The prime attraction of the region is the memorial of Swamiji Maharaj. The structure is a blend of mosque, temple and gurudwara architecture. Built in white marble the construction of the lofty structure started on 1904 A.D. and is believed never to be ended.

dayal-bagh

JAHANGIR MAHAL

Undoubtedly, the most noteworthy building inside Agra Fort is the Jahangir Mahal (Jahangir’s Palace), which was the principal zenana palace (palace for women belonging to the royal household), used mainly by the Rajput wives of Akbar. A splendid gateway leads to an interior courtyard surrounded by grand halls covered with profuse carvings on stone, heavily fashioned brackets, piers, and crossbeams. One can still spot remnants of decoration in gold and blue done in the prevalent Persian style.

jahangir

SHEESH MAHAL & KHAS MAHAL

Both Jahangir (Akbar’s son) and Shahjahan (Akbar’s grandson) were enamored of the sensuous effect of white marble; they demolished many of Akbar’s red sandstone structures. In the Khas Mahal enclosure (built by Shahjahan), later Mughal architecture comes of age. The Khas Mahal is an airy edifice, overlooking the specially laid Angoori Bagh (grape garden; a simple formal Mughal garden). Windows closed with jali (intricately perforated decorative stone screens) present fabulous view of the riverfront. Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace) or the royal hammam (bath) is decorated with myriad glass pieces and a central fountain

sheesh-mahal