The city of Taj, Agra is undoubtedly, India's topmost tourist attraction. White marble Taj Mahal, the mausoleum of the beloved queen of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, is the ultimate crown of this former Capital of Mughals. Agra was found in 1475 during the reign of Raja Badal Singh but it was during the Mughal period that the city was in its prime. During that period, it became the centre of art, culture, learning and commerce and massive and majestic buildings and monuments graced the land. Even today, the leatherwork and pietra dura marble-inlay work of Agra is famous and the exotic Mughal cuisine tickles the taste buds of many.
One of the cities of famous golden triangle of India along with Delhi
and Jaipur, Agra has witnessed the golden period of Mughal architecture
and is a land of many beautiful monuments such as Agra Fort and
Itmad-ud-daulah. From the time of Babar, who laid down the first formal
Persian garden in India here, this city situated on the banks of the
River Yamuna remained the chosen city of Moghuls, who found it even more
suitable because of its proximity to Felhi, the centre of political
power in India. Sikandra, the garden mausoleum of Akbar and Fatehpur
Sikri are the most talked-about excursions of the city.
Agra's Prime Attractions
The crown of Agra, the elegy in white marble, the poem of love, Taj
Mahal was built by Shahjahan to fulfill the promise he had given to his
beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, to build the most magnificent monument for
her as the mausoleum. Mumtaz died while giving birth to Shah Jahan's
14th child and the love between the couple was legendary. Standing
serenely on a raised marble platform on the shores of River Yamuna, it
took twenty years to complete the monument and the skilled workers and
artisans were hired from all over the world, mostly Central Asia to
contribute to its beauty. It is said that about 20,000 people labored to
make Taj, who worked diligently under the main architect Isa Khan, who
came to India from Shiraz in Iran.
The tomb of Emperor Jehangir's father-in-law Mirza Ghiyas Beg, who was
awarded the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah (the pillar of the state), it is a
garden mausoleum set in the centre of a luxurious Persian garden. Said
to be the precursor of Taj, it was the first Mughal structure made only
in marble and used pietra dura, the inlay marble work for the first
time. The architectural gem was the brain child of Empress Noorjehan
that she built between 1622 and 1628 and is quite similar to the
Jehangir's tomb built by her near Lahore in Pakistan.
Agra Fort was first built y Akbar in 1565. Later Jehangir and Shah
Jehan made many additions to it. Its huge double walls with four massive
gateways encircled a number of palaces, courts, mosques, baths and
fabulous gardens with fountains and pavilions that were designed to give
the most magnificent luxurious lifestyle and utmost security to its
inhabitants. The most remarkable monments in its premises are Diwan-i-
Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Khas Mahal, Palace of Mirrors, Pearl Mosque, Nagina
Masjid, Angoori Bagh and Fish Pavilion along with the red sandstone
Jehangiri Mahal built by Akbar for his Hindu queen Jodhabai.
10 km from the city centre, Sikandra is the mausoleum of Akbar that was
started by Akbar and finished by his son Jehangir. It presents an
eclectic mix of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Jain
architectural styles and it was named after Sikander Lodhi. The tomb
sports three-storey-minarets built in red sand stone on all its four
corners that have inlay work of marble on them.
40 km from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri was designed by Akbar to be the capital
of the Mughal Empire between 1570 and 1586 in the honor of the Sufi
saint Sheikh Salim Chisti, who blessed him with a son whom he called
Salim after the saint and an heir to his throne. This new city was focus
point of the monument complex. It is designed to be the focus of the
complex too. Other notable and interesting monuments of this complex are
Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Panch Mahal, Jama Masjid, and Buland Darwaza.
Agra City Facts
This city guide presents all the information related to the travel and tourism of Agra, the city of Taj.
|Location:||In Uttar Pradesh in North India. Agra is 204 km south from Delhi and 232 km from Jaipur.|
|Climate:||Agra has extreme and tropical climate, very hot in summers and chilly in winters. Monsoon season is characterized heavy rains and high humidity.|
How to Reach:
|By Air:||One can fly to Agra from Delhi and reach there in just 30 minutes. The nearest airport is known as 'Kheria' airport and is 6 km from the city center.|
|By Train:||There are some excellent trains from New Delhi to Agra Cantonment railway station such as Shatabdi Express, Taj Express and Inter-city Express from Delhi that take about 2-3 hours to reach Agra.|
|By Road:||The main bus terminal in Agra is 'Idgah'. Agra is well-connected with all the major Indian cities via National Highways and express and air-conditioned bus services such as Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gwalior and Jhansi.|