Home to one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, Agra is a sneak peek into the architectural history with other structures such as Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri and hence makes for a must visit for anyone living in or visiting India. Wish to realize a dream vacation? Welcome to the amazing tourism city of the Taj Mahal - Agra, India. The seat of the great Mughal rulers for ages Agra, India offers its treasure trove for all the tourists from India and abroad. Even though Agra, India is synonymous with the Taj, the city stands in testimony to the great amount of architectural activity of the Mughals. When you talk about Agra, one thing has to stand out - yes, the Taj Mahal. Agra is host to the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World in India, Taj Mahal, which makes the whole country proud. But that's not the only thing Agra has to boast of. Agra has three UNESCO World Heritage sites and Taj Mahal features in the 50 most popular tourist destinations in the world. History, architecture, romance all together create the magic of Agra which is almost the lifeline of Indian tourism. TajMahal is the epitome of love, poem in white marble, one of the Seven Wonders of the World besides being the pride of India. In fact all the monuments of Agra, India have contributed to Agra Tourism. Terrific Agra Packages from us will ensure you plan your Agra Travel soon. Delhi to Agra to Jaipur make the famous Golden Triangle tour of India.
History of Agra is amply evident from the numerous historical monuments in and around the city. Though the history of Agra city is linked with the Mughal dynasty, numerous other rulers also contributed to the rich history of Agra. Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodhi (Lodhi dynasty; Delhi Sultanate) in the 16th century. Babur (founder of the Mughal dynasty) also stayed for sometime in Agra and introduced the concept of square Persian-styled gardens here. Emperor Akbar built the Agra fort; Jahangir beautified it with palaces and gardens. Shahjahan marked the zenith of Mughal architecture, when he built the Taj. The post-Mughal era's history of Agra saw the rule of the Jats, Marathas and finally the British taking over the city.
Moti Masjid Agra
There are many notable holy places in Agra of which Moti Masjid in Agra occupies special position of distinction. It is held that one who has visited the St. Basils Cathedral in Moscow will feel that it contains close structural resemblance with that. Sitting in the compound of the Agra Fort where river Yamuna is also present in the backdrop, this mosque is very frequently visited by the travelers. Its shiny domes are built with light white marble which lends it a very velvety look and adds a sparkle to its beauty.
History of Moti Masjid, Agra
The Agra Moti Masjid was built by the very powerful emperor and a connoisseur of art famously called Shah Jahan. During the rule of Shah Jahan the Mughal emperor, numerous architectural wonders were built. Today most of these are the feast for the eyes. However coming back to the Moti Masjid it can be said that Moti Masjid earned the epithet Pearl Mosque for it shined like a pearl. It is held that this mosque was constructed by Shah Jahan for his members of royal court.
Description of Moti Masjid, Agra
Moti Masjid in Agra is a delightful sight for eyes. Its architectural features are quite similar to that of the St. Basils Cathedral in Moscow. It is located in the vicinity of River Yamuna and enjoys its position in the compound of the invincible Agra Fort. It contains three domes built of light white marble. The three marble domes stand on the red sandstone walls. Looking at its structure you will come across the splendid symmetrical design of the mosque. Sitting to the right of the hall Diwan-E-Aam of the Agra Fort, the mosque mesmerizes travelers with its velvety appearance.
The Agra Moti Masjid is very close to the city center. Hence reaching this place is never a problem. To reach here you can avail the apt bus services from the Power House Bus Stand. The railway station is also very near to it. This apart, the Agra Airport is situated to the south-west of Agra Fort. To come here directly from the airport you need to cover a distance of 8 km
Mehtab Bagh Agra
The Mehtab Bagh in Agra is laid out in just right symmetry and alignment with the Taj Mahal and it was intentionally built as an integral part of the original design of the Taj Mahal during the period from 1631 to 1635 A.D. It has been named as the 'Mehtab Bagh' or 'The Moon Garden' because it is an ideal point for viewing the Taj Mahal in romantic moonlight.
History of Mehtab Bagh,Agra
When the world famous Taj Mahal was being constructed 350 years ago a moonlight garden named Mehtab Bagh was laid just across the Yamuna River. It was laid alongside the northern waterfront. The place was once an oasis with sweet-smelling flowers, shaded pavilions, fountain jets and reflecting pools but it ceased to exist in the due course of history. Gradually the site became barren and lost its earlier charm. Once you visit the Mehtab Bagh in Agra you will get transformed into the glorious Mughal era. This is one of the most famous gardens in Agra.
Description of Mehtab Bagh,Agra
Agra Mehtab Bagh is a 25-acre plot has now transformed into an epicenter for the top court-ordered project to set up protective greenways around the Taj. As the land is reclaimed, historians and geographers from around the world are trying to learn about the wonderful garden that once existed near this oasis. An advance technology inspired from Iran has been applied to bloom the Mehtab Bagh once again. Mehtab Bagh in Agra will again flower with fragrant and colorful flowers which will surely produce the sweet smell of the glorious past.
The growing attention to Agra Mehtab Bagh can be credited to the escalating concern for the Taj and its grounds, which are in danger by urban sprawl, too many tourists, and air pollution that eats away into the shrine's marble exterior. The lush gardens that once lined the riverbanks on either side of the Taj may flourish again in a scheme to protect it from further damages. Conservationists uphold that a buffer zone of greenery would keep development at bay and help remedy local air, noise, and water pollution. Much of the land for the greenbelt had already been acquired through a previous proposal to establish a 340-acre national park around the Taj. While yours to Agra a visit to this opulent garden will mark you treat your eyes far away from the hustle bustle of the busy town
Jami Masjid, also known as Jama Masjid, is one of the largest and grandest building in Fatehpur Sikri.. The mosque is called Jama Masjid, which is a usual name throughout the Islamic world for the principal mosque of the town.
The word is derived from Arabic, when it literally means the Friday Mosque. The Arabic name for Friday is Day of Congregation and mosque means a place of prostration and hence the name. This mosque is a striking example of the blending of the Saracenic and Hindu styles of architecture. On account of its massive structure which is very impressive, it is regarded as one of the finest example of its kind in India. Though the shrine is richly ornamented and elaborately carved, yet it cannot compare with the delicacy of design of the Jama Masjid at Delhi.
In the centre is a paved open court for congregation. Cloisters surround it on three sides pierced by two gateways to east and south. The former was called King's gateway as Emperor Akbar used to pass through this gate on his way from the royal palaces to the Jami Masjid and the latter is the famous Buland Darwaza or the Gate of Victory.
The shrine occupies the western end of the quadrangle and is crowned by three massive domes. The large halls on either side of the central chamber with majestic pillars of Hindu style and the entire western wall marked by arcaded arches richly ornamented make the place most imposing. When one enters into the domed prayer chamber, one sees that the external form of the building does full justice to its splendid interior. The extraordinary painting on the vast dome is a graceful example of Persian style.
There are three arches, which mark the Qibla, the direction of the Kaaba in the holy city of Mecca, to which all devout Muslims turn in prayer. In the direction of the central mihrab is located the pulpit, which is a simple marble structure of three steps. This is the place from where Khutba (Friday oration) used to be read in the name of the Mughal emperors, with prayers for their welfare. On important festivals, as per Muslim calendar Khutba used to be read in the name of the Emperor.
These subsidiary mihrabs follow the general design of the central ones but are quite differently decorated; in those nearest the centre the red sandstone is inlaid with glazed tiles of green and royal blue, turquoise and white; in the middle chambers with white marble framed in black, in the furthest entirely in white marble.
Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb - Baby Taj
Located in the same city as the Taj Mahal itself, the Baby Taj is a beautiful example of both the history and the architecture of the country. On the off time (for tourists) when I was in India, this was an amazing time to visit some of the smaller attractions in Agra like the Baby Taj. There is always people at the Taj itself but when I visited the Baby Taj it was almost completely empty and it was an overwhelming and beautiful experience.
Itmad-ud-daula has a special place in the chronicles of both history as well as architecture. This is precisely because Itmad ud Daula is the very first tomb in India that is entirely made out of Marble. This is actually a mausoleum that overlooks the River Yamuna and is a tomb of Mir Ghiyas Beg, a minister in the court of Shah Jahan.
The story of Itmad-ud-daula is an inspirational rag to riches saga. The tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah is as interesting as the life of the person for whom it was built. Mirza Ghiyas-ud-din or Ghiyas Beg (later known as Itimad-ud-Daulah) was a poor merchant and lived in Persia (modern-day Iran). His wife gave birth to a daughter whom he wanted to abandon for he has no money to feed her but the persistent wails of the infant changed his heart. The baby girl brought a stroke of good luck to her parents, for Ghiyas Beg found a caravan that straightaway took him to the court of the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar. After Akbar's death in 1605, his son Jahangir became the Mughal emperor, who made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister or Wazir. Ghiyas Beg was also honored with the title of Itimad-ud-Daulah or the pillar of the state.
Jahangir fell in love with his widowed daughter who processes unspeakable beauty. She was later christened Noor Jahan and went down in the history as one of the most beautiful and artistically gifted women in the world. Jahangir conferred the title of Itmad-ud-daula or 'Pillar of the Empire' to his father-in-law. Noor Jahan ordered the tomb after the death of her father in 1622.
Itmad-ud-daula is a pure white and elaborately carved tomb that conforms to the Islamic style of architecture. The Indo-Islamic architecture becomes prominent because of the fusion that this tomb displays. While the use of arched entrances and octagonal shaped towers signify the Persian influence, the absence of a dome and the presence of a closed kiosk on top of this building and the use of canopies talks about the possible Indian influence. From outside, when you take a bird eye view, Itmad-ud-daula looks like a jewel box set in a garden. This tranquil, small, garden located on the banks of the Yamuna was to inspire the construction of the Taj Mahal in the later years.
The first tomb to be built in white marble instead of red sandstone. It marks the departure from the red sandstone buildings of Mughal architecture.
Location- in the old city area of Agra
Fatehpur Sikri is a fascinating ghost city built in the 16th century; 37 km from Agra Akbar the great, who at 26 years did not have an heir, founded this historic site. Fatehpur Sikri He went to a saint, Shaikh Salim Chishti who lived in a city called Sikri. His blessing gave Akbar 3 sons. As a gesture, Akbar built a whole new city in Sikri. Akbar named his new capital Fatehpur Sikri or the City of Victory
Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendor at its height. It was built between 1569 and 1585 and was intended to be the joint capital with Agra, but was soon deserted because the water system could not support any residents. It remained untouched for over 400 years now and its palaces are a remainder of the extravagance of the Mughals Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Fatehpur Sikri Mosque is said to be a copy of the mosque in Mecca and has designs, derived from the Persian & Hindu architecture. After this within 20 years, the capital of Mughals was shifted to Lahore.
Fatehpur Sikri is also well accessible as it is well connected with other parts of the country. The nearest airport is located in Agra. By roadways, Fatehpur Sikri is connected with Delhi, Jaipur and other places.
Fatehpur Sikri is considered as one of the architectural legacies of Emperor Akbar. It consists of beautiful palaces, halls, and mosques. Some of the major monuments in Fatehpur Sikri are:
Buland Darwaza: It ranks among the important monuments in the place. This enormous gateway has a height of 54 meters and is largest gateway in the world. It was made in the year 1575 to celebrate Emperor Akbar's success in conquering Gujarat and is a fine blend of Persian and Mughal architecture.
Diwan-i-Khas- Hall: Popularly known as the "Ekstambha Prasada", the Diwan-i-Khas served as the royal chamber of Emperor Akbar. It is designed according to the Persian style of architecture and is decorated with fine sculpture and precious stones. There are 4 kiosks which are located in the middle of the court.
Panch Mahal: The Panch Mahal ranks among the most fascinating buildings in Fatehpur Sikri. It is a five storey building which was meant to be the shelter of the royal ladies and mistresses. The top story of the building offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Tomb of Salim Chisti: The tomb of renowned Sufi saint Salim Chisti is located here. The tomb is well known for its delicate carvings and draws hundreds of pilgrims.
In addition to these, there are other important monuments in Fatehpur Sikri like the Palace of Jodha Bai, Birbal Bhawan, Diwan-i-Aam and Karawan Serai. These buildings are specimens of grand Mughal and Persian architecture.
Buland Darwaza, the triumphal Gateway, was erected by Akbar in 1601 in commemoration of his victory over Khandesh and Ahmednagar in Southern India. Buland Darwaza is the greatest monumental structure of Akbar's entire reign. Even now it has no parallel and is the largest, loftiest and most stately in the whole of India. In its own class, it is one of the greatest in the world. Here, marble and sandstone have been used in effective combination in its decoration, which only the masons of the Mughal period knew. The inlaid marble work in the arches and the Hindu style of architecture in the gallery above the entrance are worth a visit. The total height of the Gate above the pavement is 176 ft.
The great gate itself is quite plain. The three horizontal panels of buff stone noticeable in Badshahi Darwaza are also present here. The plain red sandstone spandrels are framed n white marble with a flower like ornament inlaid in white marble at the apex of the arch, and a flattish rosette, centered with the narrow panel above it, on either side. The cusped ornament, large and bold in fact, but small and delicate when seen from below, is carried down below the springing of the arch. Two pieces have been broken off from the left hand side and eight from the right.
Visitors to the Gate will find that up to several feet beyond human reach, the door is covered with horseshoes of other draft cattle. Popularly, they are believed to have been stuck on the Gate for luck by simple devoted peasants to seek the blessings, of Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti. The practice of a similar nature is still current, of tying threads or pieces of cloth to the screens in the Sheikh’s tomb for the fulfillment of vows particularly by barren women.
Passing through the central hall and admiring the fine proportion of the dome covering it, and the bold medallion painted in the centre, one emerges into the courtyard of the mosque, under the dome. Doorways open on either side onto the southern cloister.
This mausoleum is situated on the out skirts of the Agra City. It houses the mortal remains of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, who, during his lifetime itself had completed the tomb and laid out a beautiful garden. However, the topmost portion of mausoleum in marble was constructed by his son, Jahangir.
The shape of tomb is pyramidal and consists of five storey's. The cenotaph is at a level below the ground level, while the false cenotaph is at the top floor. The entire tomb is constructed of red sandstone but for the top storey which is constructed in white marble. The ground floor is surrounded by cloisters except at the centre on the southern side. These cloisters are divided by massive arches and piers divisible into many bays.
The square storey's have arcaded verandah, with arcades and cluster of kiosks on each side. Some of the kiosks in second storey have marble pyramidal roofs while the rest are crowned by cupolas. Each angle at the third storey has a small square room.
The top most storey is entirely made up of white marble. It has a square court, which is open to sky. The central courtyard is enclosed in all the sides by slender arches and piers and divided into bays, which has been roofed in the tribute pattern. At the centre of the courtyard lies a square platform, over which a white marble cenotaph is laid out. This cenotaph is profusely carved with arabesque and floral patterns
A stunning set of monuments, the Agra Fort or the Agra Red Fort is a World Heritage Site. The majestic fort is located in the beautiful Indian city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh.
Agra is home to many architectural marvels of the Mughal Empire and boasts of two more World Heritage Sites including the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri.
Known to many as Red Fort of Agra or Fort Rouge owing to the lavish use of red sandstone, the enclosure houses several sites and structures that display royal Mughal architectural heritage and splendor. Some of the exquisite structures that deserve a mention are:
Sheesh Mahal - Literally meaning 'Glass Palace' it was the royal dressing room adorned by tiny mirror-like glass-mosaic decorations on the walls.
The Diwan-i-Am - Which was used as a communications ground between the public and the aristocracy and once housed the Peacock Throne.
Diwan-i-Khas - A hall of private audience, it was used to welcome kings and dignitaries.
The Anguri Bagh - It houses 85 square, geometrically arranged lush gardens.
Khas Mahal - An immaculate white marble palace.
Mina Masjid - Literally meaning 'Heavenly Mosque' it is a tiny mosque closed to the public.
Nagina Masjid - Literally meaning 'Gem Mosque' it was designed exclusively for the ladies of the court.
Musamman Burj - A large, octagonal tower with a balcony facing the Taj Mahal.
By far, the most important fort of India, the Agra Fort is a treat for sore eyes and a thrill to weary senses
Taj Mahal Agra
The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan as a memorial for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. The death of Mumtaz left the emperor so heartbroken that his hair is said to have turned grey virtually overnight. Construction of The Taj Mahal began the following year; although the main building is thought to have been built in eight years, the whole complex was not completed until 1653. Not long after it was finished, Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son Aurangzeb and imprisoned in Agra Fort, where for the rest of his days he could only gaze out at his creation through a window. Following his death in 1666, Shah Jahan was buried here alongside his beloved Mumtaz.
In total, some 20,000 people from India and Central Asia worked on the building. Specialists were brought in from as far away as Europe to produce the exquisite marble screens and pietra dura (marble inlay work) made with thousands of semiprecious stones.
It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658), to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The tomb is the centerpiece of a 42-acre complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.
Construction of the mausoleum was essentially completed in 1643 but work continued on other phases of the project for another 10 years. The Taj Mahal Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees, which in 2015 would be approximately 52.8 billion rupees (US$827 million). The construction project employed some 20,000 artisans under the guidance of a board of architects led by the court architect to the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.
"One knows that 'The Taj Mahal Mahal' is one amongst the World's Wonders!
One knows that it is one amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Sites!!"
One knows The Taj Mahal as a legend of eternal love of an Emperor for his favorite Queen!!!
Well, 'The Taj Mahal' has distinctions much beyond just these!
Therefore, 'The Taj Mahal', surely, deserves your visit once and more!!!
Come, Walk along the pathway beside the reflecting pool with fountains up to the mausoleum crafted in soft & pure marble and jeweled with semi precious stones, where in the serenity of paradise rests the Queen in peace with her King. Come to unfold the pages from the past to churn the charm out of its mystique and enrich your imagination about this marvel of an epic in stone, The Taj Mahal!
The grace of perfection of proportions and grandeur of geometrical patterns of well appointed gardens enhancing the poise of the whole complex together add magnificence to the delicacy of this manse of love, dedication and purity, 'The Taj Mahal'!
Come take a dip into the saga of 'The Taj', culled out from no fiction but facts and unfurl a saga, which is set out of nothing but pure love!
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder! Probably for Taj Mahal, the axiom is just the other way round. The Taj Mahal is the beauty personified! The Taj displays its different moods through its varied shades. The Taj Mahal has as many shades as any kind of beauty can ever have! The Taj Mahal is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening, golden when the moon shines and the intermediary variants during different hours of the day and during different seasons in a year.
Picturesque descriptions by the historians contemporary to the period of its making, the facts revealed by the scholars & archaeologists of today and the panoramic montage of the reasons behind its making are sketched with every step you would walk towards the mausoleum the next time you visit The Taj Mahal!
A look this time at The Taj Mahal will keep you indulged with thoughts superimposing your sight and would make you feel the presence of Shah Jahan, the Maker and Mumtaz Mahal, the Reason, as though walking along with you.
Whence its breathtaking splendor makes you wonder breathlessly and you tend to pause for a while but to continue staring at 'The Taj Mahal', you would sense them standing beside you!
If one has a heart that beats and that beat throbs to seek, the purity of love in galore! Surely one deserves a visit to 'The Taj', as much as 'The Taj Mahal' deserves your visit once, and more!
Come to 'The Taj Mahal' with blissful pride! Bring the saga come alive!!
Come; fall in love, every time!!!