Even as the world is caught in the skirmishes of War & peace, Nuclear and Non-Nuclear; Taj has stood as the epitome of love. This extravagant monument of love is one of the most visited and most photographed places in the world. Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan in the memory of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal was the culmination point of Indo-Persian architecture. The Mughals Emperor were always fond of constructing monuments. Perhaps they knew that they would be gone but these structures will remind the world of their grandeur.
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Agra Red Fort
Agra which lies on the west bank of river Jamuna became one of the principal cities of the Mughal Empire after the death of Ibrahim Lodi at Panipat in 1526. When Akbar choose Agra as his capital he laid the foundation of the Fort of Agra. After Taj this was one of the most important group of buildings. The construction was started in 1565 and was completed in about eight years at a cost of thirty five lakh of rupees under the superintendence of Qasim Khan Mir Barr-u-Bahr. This fort was just one of the many large fortified residences that the emperor wanted to have at various strategic points of his empire. According to contemporary chroniclers like Abul Fazal the fort contained over five hundred buildings. But later on Akbar's descendants added new buildings, mainly in marble to the fort and demolished the old ones.
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This tomb belongs to the father of Nur Jahan, Ghias-ud-Din Beg. He was the Wajir or the Chief Minister of Emperor Jehangir. This white marble tomb was built by Nur Jahan between 1622 and 1628. The tomb may not be as mammoth as the Taj but the inlay designs and carvings are no less than Taj if not more. The delicate marble latticework in the passages allows the light to enter the interiors. A similar tomb was built by Nur Jahan for Jehangir in Lahore. This tomb was the first complete marble Moghul structure.
A tomb of glazed tiles is a memorial dedicated to poet-scholar and later the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan, Allama Afzel Khal Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz.
Jama Masjid Or Jami Masjid
Built by Shah Jahan in 1648, the main gate of this mosque has inscription written on it that it was built by Jahanara Begum. She was the favorite daughter of Shah Jahan and was imprisoned with him. The absence of minarets and the shape of the dome give sit a distinguished character.
This was built by Akbar for his favorite son Jehangir to provide him with the comfort and luxury inside the fort. This palace displays an excellent combination of Hindu and Muslim architecture
Bagh-i-Gul Afshan or Ram Bagh is one of the earliest gardens of Mughal empire. Originally this garden was set up by Babur but it was later on renovated and renamed by Jehangir as Bagh-i-Nur Afshan. This garden is situated on the southern side of riverine Sarai of Nur Jehan. Babur introduced in this garden three terrace. The water, which was drawn from the river, descended from one terrace to another after flowing through a network of canals, tanks and water chutes. Each water chutes had stairs on both sides and ends in a red sandstone pond. To add to the beauty of the garden apart from the various water device platforms, pathways, Chhatris and a variety of plants were provided at regular intervals. During Jehangir's reign two beautiful suites on the two sides of the main terrace was built. In the centre a Mah-tab or island platform was built which was connected with the mainwater system. This gorgeous garden set on the riverbank is a typical example of Mughal pleasure garden.
The Musamman Burj, or Octagonal Tower, stands close to the Diwan-I-Khas and the small, private Mina Masjid. Also known as the Saman Burj, this tower was built by Shah Jahan for Mumtaz Mahal and is another of his finely designed buildings. It was here, with its views along the Yamuna to the Taj, that Shah Jahan died in 1666, after seven years' imprisonment. Unfortunately the tower has been much damaged over the years.
Dayal Bagh Temple
In Dayal Bagh, 10 km north of Agra. The white marble Samadhi of the Radah Soami religion is currently under construction. It was started in 1904 and is nor expected to be completed until sometime next century. You can see Pietra Dura inlaid marblework actually being worked on. Dayal Bagh is 2km north of Agra and can be reached by bus or cycle.
One of the most awaited cultural festivals in India is the Taj Mahotsav. The festival is organized during February. This ten day extravaganza is held in the Shilpgram close to the Taj. Taj Mahotsav brings the extensive arts, crafts and culture of India on display. This festival has the classical dance and classical song performances by some of the well known artists in India. Mushairas and ghazal programmes add to the colour of the festival. Camel and elephant rides accompanied by games and delicacies attract children and elders in equal numbers. more...
Situated at a distance of 70 km. from Agra on the banks of river Yamuna, Bateshwar is an important spiritual and cultural centre and also the birthplace of the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. more...
The marriage procession of Sri Ram called as 'Rambarat' is held every year, during Ramlila celebrations at Agra.more...
The Kailash fair is held at Kailash, 12 kms from Agra during the months of August-September.more...