Agra - The Taj Mahal City
Famous for its carpets, gold thread
embroidery and leather
600 years approx.
famous as being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the world-the Taj
architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is
vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal empire, of
which Agra was the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries. While
its significance as a political center ended with the transfer of the
capital to Delhi in 1634 by Shah Jahan, its architectural wealth has
secured its place on the international map. A pleasant town with a
comparatively slow pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on
marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendants of those who
worked under the Mughals.
Taj Mahal - The Immortal
Signature of Love
There is no other monument in the world, which can match the beauty
and grandeur of the Taj Mahal. Set amongst the serene ambience of a
well laid out garden, the massive marble structure of the Taj is
awe-inspiring. The Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century by
Shahjahan- the fifth Mughal emperor, in memory of his beloved wife,
Mumtaz Mahal. Shahjahan loved his wife so much that after she passed
away in 1631, he decided to immortalize their love in the form of the
Taj Mahal. It is more than 350 years and still has its romantic aura
intact, which attracts millions of visitors from all part of the
Almost all foreign dignitaries coming to India make it a point to
visit this enchanting site. The president of USA, Bill Clinton has
been one of the most prominent dignitaries to visit this monument in
the recent past. "The world is divided between those who have seen the
Taj and those who have not. Very soon, I hope to be on the side that
has seen the Taj", was how he felt, shortly after landing at Taj Mahal.
Original drawings available here show the precision with which the
architect had planned this monument. He even anticipated that it would
be completed in 22 years. Drawings of the interiors show the position
of the graves in such precision that the foot of the graves faces the
viewer from any angle. Many more such breathtaking collections are
here which can also be seen.
The Mosque & The Jawab
To the left of the Taj is a mosque made of red sandstone. It is common
in Islam to build a mosque next to a tomb, as it sanctifies the area
and provides a place for worship. This mosque is still used for Friday
An identical mosque is also built to the right of the Taj and is known
as the Jawab or answer. Prayers are not held here as it faces west
i.e. away from Mecca. the holy city of the Muslims. It was built to
Built by the great Emperor Akbar in 1565 AD the fort is a masterpiece
of design and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite
buildings, including the Moti Masjid, Diwane-E-Am, Diwani-E-Khaas and
Musanman Burj, where the Emperor Shah Jahan died while in
The construction of the Agra fort was started around 1565 when the
initial structures were built by Akbar. Shah Jahan replaced most of
these with his marble creations. Some however survived, among them
are- Delhi Gate, Amar Singh Gate, Akbari Mahal and the Jahangiri Mahal.
The fort is crescent-shaped, flattened on the east with a long, nearly
straight wall facing the river. It has a total perimeter of 2.4 km,
and is ringed by double castellated ramparts of red sandstone
punctuated at regular intervals by bastions. A 9mt. wide and 10mt.deep
moat surrounds the outer wall. An imposing 22mt. high inner wall
imparts a feeling of invincible defensive construction. The route
through the Amar Singh gate is dog-legged. The layout of the fort was
determined by the course of the river, which in those days flowed
alongside. The main axis is parallel to the river and the walls bridge
out towards the city.
This is the first notable building that the visitor sees on his right
hand side at the end of a spacious lawn, as one enters through the
Amar Singh Gate and emerges out of the passage. It was built by Akbar
as women's quarters and is the only building that survives among his
original palace buildings. It is built of stone & is simply decorated
on the exterior.
The most important feature of the edifice are its ornamental stone
brackets which support the beams. In front is a large stone bowl which
was probably used to contain fragrant rose water. Ornamental Persian
verses have been carved along the outer rim, which record its
construction by Jahangir in 1611 AD. This elegant, double storied
palace reflects a strong Hindu influence with protruding balconies and
Jodha Bai's Palace
To the right of Jahangiri Mahal is Akbar's favorite queen Jodha Bai`s
Palace. In contrast to other palaces in the fort, it is rather simple.
Through the slits in the wall one can see the Taj.
These formal, 85m square, geometric gardens lie to the left of the
fort. During Shah Jahan's time the beauty of the gardens was
considerably enhanced by decorative flower beds.
The curved chala roofs of the small pavilions by the Khaas Mahal are
based on the roof shape of Bengali village huts constructed out of
curved bamboo, designed to keep off heavy rain. The shape was first
expressed in stone by the Sultans of Bengal. Originally gilded, these
were probably ladies' bedrooms, with hiding places for jewellery in
the walls. These pavilions are traditionally associated with Shah
Jahan's daughters-Roshanara and Jahanara Begum.
Mathura, a little town on the riverbed of Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh
state of India is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. There are numerous
little spots in the area that still reverberate with the enchantment
of Shri Krishna. The town is at a distance of 145 km southeast of
Delhi and 58 km northwest of Agra covering an area of about 3,800 sq.
km. A long line of picturesque ghats - with their steps leading to the
water's edge, arched gateways and temple spires extending along the
right bank of the River Yamuna, emphasize the sacred character of the
town of Mathura.
Vrindavana within the jurisdiction of district Mathura is intimately
connected with Krishna just like all its surrounding regions. Devotees
believe that Lord Krishna never leaves Vrindavana and engage in his
pastimes for eternity. It is believed to be one of the transcendental
abodes of the Lord as mentioned in 'Srimad Bhagavatam', the religious
holy book of Hindus. Mathura and Vrindavan have as many as sixty
billion sacred places! The presiding deity of the once forest of
Vrindavan was Vrinda Devi, who was believed to be the expansion of
Radharani, the beloved of Lord Krishna.
Much famous and beloved cultural festival of Agra, Taj Mahotsav is
organized annually for ten days during February 18-27. Shilpgram (the
Crafts Village), the chosen venue for this fair is close to Taj. Here,
one can find extensive display of arts, crafts and culture of India
along with classical dance and song performances. 'Mushairas' and 'Ghazal'
programmes by the well-known Indian artists. Children love to ride on
camels and elephants in the vene while one can taste traditional
Indian delicacies at the luring stalls here. The colorful celebrations
welcome the Spring with a fiesta of Indian cuisine, dance and music,
cultural displays and exhibition of arts and crafts.
from major cities
How to reach there
Agra Airport is well connected with
all major cities of India.
Agra Railway Station is well
connected with Delhi, all major states & cities of India.
NH-2 connects Delhi with Agra and
NH-11 connects Agra with Jaipur.
Hotels in Agra
ITC Mughal Sheraton
Hotel Grand Imperial
Hotel Mansingh Palace
Hotel Clark Shiraz
Hotel Howard Park Plaza
Hotel Pushp Villa
hh - heritage hotel ;
ph - palace hotel ; bh - boutique hotel ; gh - guest house ; hs -
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