Visit Agra and Taj MahalAgra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India thanks to the presence of one the Seven Wonders of the World: the Taj Mahal.
Agra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India thanks to the presence of one the Seven Wonders of the World: the Taj Mahal.
With with Delhi and Jaipur Agra forms the Golden Triangle of tourism in India.
Situated in Uttar Pradesh region Agra is synonymous with the Taj Mahal however and has a significant role in India’s history.
With so many prominent rulers having ruled the city, Agra is home to several important monuments including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. A trip to Agra is incomplete without paying a visit to these that will take you back to an era of its glorious past.
Attractions in Agra:
The Taj Mahal is certainly the main attraction that draws millions of tourists to Agra every year and rightly so. Called the epitome of love, it was constructed by Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal whose tomb rests right under the central dome of the monument.
The white marble monument is an architectural marvel with fine detailing, on the south bank of the Yamuna River. Verses from the Holy Quran are inscribed on it, gemstones adorn its walls and the intricate inlay work adds a touch of magnificence to the structure.
Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar with the help of 4,000 workers who worked for eight years to finish its construction in 1573. Agra Fort is made of red sandstone and was the seat of the Mughal Empire. Some of the major attractions in Agra Fort that will leave you mesmerized are structures like the Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal, Jehangir’s Palace and Khas Mahal. The fort has four large gate of which the Delhi Gate was used for the king’s formal entry. Diwan-i-Khas and Diwan-i-Aam were reserved for royal audience and the public respectively.
One of Emperor Akbar’s pet projects was building a walled city a little away from Agra. He called it Fatehpur Sikri and even ruled here for sometime before he was forced to move out due to shortage of water supply. Nevertheless, the surviving monuments tell a tale of his valour and great work. Fateh in Persian signifies victory. The city survived and three of its walled sides are still intact. Akbar paid keen interest in its architecture and layout and it took about 15 years to plan and build it completely. Once ready, it had palaces, harems, buildings, courts and a mosque. But one of the best architectural wonders of Fatehpur Sikri is the Buland Darwaza, a grand gateway to the walled city. Made of red sandstone, there are 52 steps that lead up to its 175 ft high archway that has two inscriptions. Akbar’s favorite minister Birbal too has a monument in Fatehpur Sikri called Birbal’s house. Since he was a Hindu, the architecture is different than the usual Mughal buildings.
Mehtab Bagh is the perfect spot for admiring the beauty of the Taj Mahal. Built by Babur, it is a square garden that was once resplendent with pools, fountains and trees. Today, it makes for a recreational tourist spot. A Mughal garden, it is perfectly aligned with the Taj Mahal along the Yamuna River and was described by Shah Jahan as the ideal spot for viewing the Taj Mahal.
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