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Agra


Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, one of the seven Wonders of the World and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Needless to say, it features on the itinerary of not just domestic tourists but also foreign travelers. Agra is situated in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and along with Jaipur and Delhi forms the Golden Triangle of Indian tourism.

Agra has found its mention in the famous Hindu epic Mahabharat as the forest of Agraban close to Mathura. Badal Singh founded the city in 1475. Sikandar Lodhi made Agra his capital city. Later, Babur defeated the Lodhis to capture the city situated on the banks of River Yamuna and thus, the long association of Mughals with Agra started. The Mughal love of architecture translated into beautiful monuments such as Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and Sikandra. The glory of Agra was at its peak during the reign of Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan.

Agra Fort

It is one of the most important and robustly built stronghold of the Mughals, embellished with number of richly decorated buildings encompassing the imposing Mughal style of art and architecture.

It was constructed by the third Mughal emperor Akbar on the remains of an ancient site known as Badalgarh. Sikandar Lodi (1487-1517) was the first Sultan of Delhi to shift his capital from Delhi to Agra. After Sikandar Lodi who died in 1517, his son Ibrahim Lodi held the fort for 9 years until he was defeated and killed in the battle of Panipat in 1526. Several palaces, wells and a mosque were built in the fort during the Lodi period.

Fatehpur Sikri Fort

Fatehpur Sikri is a fascinating ghost city built in the 16th century; 37 km from Agra Akbar the great, who at 26 years did not have an heir, founded this historic site. Fatehpur Sikri He went to a saint, Shaikh Salim Chishti who lived in a city called Sikri. His blessing gave Akbar 3 sons. As a gesture, Akbar built a whole new city in Sikri. Akbar named his new capital Fatehpur Sikri or the City of Victory.

Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height.

It was built between 1569 and 1585 and was intended to be the joint capital with Agra, but was soon deserted because the water system could not support any residents. It remained untouched for over 400 years now and its palaces are a remainder of the extravagance of the Mughals Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture.

Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah

Itmad-ud-daula has a special place in the chronicles of both history as well as architecture. This is precisely because Itmad ud Daula is the very first tomb in India that is entirely made out of Marble. This is actually a mausoleum that overlooks the River Yamuna and is a tomb of Mir Ghiyas Beg, a minister in the court of Shah Jahan.

The story of Itmad-ud-daula is an inspirational rag to riches saga. The tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah is as interesting as the life of the person for whom it was built. Mirza Ghiyas-ud-din or Ghiyas Beg (later known as Itimad-ud-Daulah) was a poor merchant and lived in Persia (modern-day Iran). His wife gave birth to a daughter whom he wanted to abandon for he has no money to feed her but the persistent wails of the infant changed his heart. The baby girl brought a stroke of good luck to her parents, for Ghiyas Beg found a caravan that straightaway took him to the court of the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar. After Akbar death in 1605, his son Jahangir became the Mughal emperor, who made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister or Wazir. Ghiyas Beg was also honored with the title of Itimad-ud-Daulah or the pillar of the state.
 

Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid mosque at Sikri was the first structure to be built in 1571. The exterior is modest but the interior carries the most gorgeous ornamentation in the floral arabesques and ingenious geometrical patterns in brown, red, turquoise, black and white. The spacious courtyard adds a stately charm to the place. It could accommodate ten thousand men at prayer. Akbar was so enthusiastic about this mosque that he occasionally swept the floor and gave azan (call for prayer). On June 26, 1579, Akbar even read the khutba himself, a great innovation, earlier attempted only the Timur and Mirza Ulugh Beg

Jama Masjid in Fatehpur Sikri is one of the most notable tourist destinations for people visiting Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh. Agra is usually the base if you wish to visit Fatehpur Sikri end explore the place. Agra is well connected to Delhi and some other major Indian cities by air. The Taj Express or the Shatabdi express are the options if you are looking to travel by rail. Located at a distance of 204 km from Delhi, many people also prefer to drive down to Fatehpur Sikri.

Panch Mahal

The Panch Mahal is a five storey building in Fatehpur Sikri. Renowned for its exceptional architecture, it is situated close to the harem or zenana quarters, which is fitting since it functioned as a pleasure palace. Built by Akbar, the architecture of Panch Mahal was inspired by that of a Buddhist temple. Akbar essentially used the Panch Mahal for his relaxation and entertainment.

Entirely columnar, Panch Mahal comprises of four floors constructed in decreasing size. The ground floor of the building is made up of 84 pillars that support the entire structure. Initially, the pillars had a jaali between them, which acted as purdah for the royal ladies as they sat on the terrace enjoying the breeze and the view of Fatehpur Sikri and nearby towns. The views from the topmost pavilion are splendid including that of the fort that lies to its left.

Samadhi Swamiji Maharaj

Samadhi Swamiji Maharaj Bagh Known simply as Swami Bagh, this huge white marble mausoleum , which houses the tomb of Sri Shiv Dayal Singh Seth, the founder of the Radhasoami Faith, is of particular interest because it is still being built – more than 80 years after it was started.

 

Taj Museum

The museum was established in 1982 in the ground floor in western Naubat Khana, also known as Jal Mahal, with in the Taj Mahal complex. It is a double storied building having a quadrangle projection outside and is built on a raised platform.

The museum comprises of three galleries in addition to the main hall and has on display various exhibits relating mostly to the construction of the Taj Mahal and to the period of its builders. Totally 121 antiquities are on display, which are broadly categorized as Mughal miniature paintings, manuscripts, government decrees, specimen of calligraphy, arms, utensils, plans and drawings of Taj Complex, paintings, specimen inlay work, marble pillars, etc.

Chini ka Rauza

Chini ka Rauza is the tomb of Afzal Khan, a Persian poet who was also a minister in the court of Shah Jahan. This tomb is a landmark of Indo-Persian architecture and is the first building in India to be adorned with glazed tile work. The Chini ka Rauza is a brown, rectangular building, yet its most striking feature remains its tiles or chini in different hues such as turquoise, orange, yellow and green. The inside of the tomb is decorated with now fading paintwork and inscriptions from the Quran



PLACES TO VISIT

Get detailed information on top tourist destinations and Places to visit in uttarakhand.

Dehradun
Dehradun
Mussoorie
Mussoorie
Rishikesh
Rishikesh
Haridwar
Haridwar
Nainital
Nainital
Badrinath
Badrinath
Kedarnath
Kedarnath
Gangotri
Gangotri
Yamunotri
Yamunotri
Kullu
Kullu
Manali
Manali
Agra
Agra
Mathura
Mathura
Auli
Auli
Hemkund Sahib
Hemkund Sahib
Valley of Flowers
Valley of Flowers
Nainital Corbett
Nainital Corbett
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