Agra - Mughal Capital
Located on the banks of the river Yamuna and home to one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, Agra is a must visit for tourists and Indians.The crowded streets of this vibrant city in Uttar Pradesh, once the capital of the mighty Mughal empire houses some of the most beautiful architectural miracles of the world.
The stunning Taj Mahal, 1653’s testament to love built by a grieving emperor Shah Jahan for his dying queen Mumtaz Mahal.A UNESCO World Heritage site where history and architecture are painted in romance.The toil of thousands of artisans and labourers resulted in this architectural masterpiece combining the best of Persian,Turkish and Indian styles.
Equally impressive is the sandstone Red Fort built by Mughal Emperor Akbar dating back to 1565.It’s magnificent 20m tall walls,towers, bastions and ramparts and majestic gateways symbolize the confidence and power the Mughal emperors weilded .Other places to see are the Sikandra fort,Itimad ud Daulah,The Baby Taj and Fatehpur sikri.
We cannot fail to mention the culinary attraction, the famous Agra ka Petha tasty chaat and Lassi.
Timings:8.00am to 12.00am
Itimad-ud-daulah or the Baby Taj is beautiful jewel to be found on the eastern side of the Yamuna river.It is a mausoleum built by Nur Jahan (the jewel in the world) ,the queen of Jahangir ,the fourth in line of Mughal dynasty, in memory of her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg.Beg was a Persian immigrant who landed in India in penuary but rose up the ranks in the Mughal court to become the Wazir.In many ways the monument laid the foundation of the architecture of the Taj Mahal. Traditional red sandstone work merges with pristine white marble of the tomb and motifs inlaid with precious stones(pietra dura). Light filtering through the intricate marble lattice-work around the tomb makes for a memorable experience. For more history visit…….
Timings:6.00am to 6.00pm
This UNESCO World heritage site as it stands today owes its majestic appearance to Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565 .Long before Sikander Lodi, preceding mughal emperors and Sher Shah Suri ruled from here. Akbar built the fort of red sandstone serving mainly as a military establishment, while Jahangir added beautiful courts and his legendry chain of justice. Shah Jahan covered a lot of it by white marble with inlaid glass work as you see in the Sheesh Mahal. The magnificent 20m tall walls,towers, bastions and ramparts and majestic gateways symbolize the confidence and power of the Mughals. Lean over one wall and you can see where those unpopular with the rulers were thrown over to the tigers or crocodiles .For more history visit…..
THE TAJ MAHAL
Timings:6.00am to 6.00pm,closed Fridays
One of the most beautiful masterpieces of Indo-Islamic architecture in the world, is the stunning Taj Mahal,a testament to love, built by a grieving emperor,Shah Jahan for his dying queen, Mumtaz Mahal.The toil of thousands of artisans and labourers combined the best of Persian,Turkish and Indian styles from 1632 to 1653.The main entrance is a huge red sandstone gateway inscribed with verses from the Quran leading to a long water way reflecting the Taj.The cenotaphs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan carry pietra dura decorations, a mosaic of exquisitely coloured hard precious stones inlaid into white marble and surrounded by a screen of delicate lattice work .For more on the Taj visit…..
MEHTAB BAGH OR THE BLACK TAJ MAHAL
Timings:6.00am to 6.00pm,daily
It is said that just behind the Taj Mahal across the Yamuna river Shah Jahan envisioned a black marble Taj, a negative image of the one he had made for his wife but before he could build it,he was imprisoned by his son,Aurangzeb in the Musamman Burj in the Red Fort where he spent the rest of his life in front of a window that overlooked the Taj. This fact remains a mystery and the only proof can be the recent excavations by the ASI.At present it is a beautiful 25acre garden offering a fantastic view of the Taj.