Lying on the banks of the river Yamuna, Agra is one of the
most populous cities of our country. It is situated in Uttar Pradesh. The city
is world famous for its monuments, most of which were built during the regime
of the Mughal Empire. The Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri are
UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra offers
a rich cultural heritage besides its state-of-the art archaeological history.
Places to see Agra
Taj Mahal: This
majestic mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal was built by Shah Jahan. Because of its
marvel and beauty, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and also one of
the three UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is built in marble and took almost 22
years to get completed. It was designed by a Persian architect. The tombs of
Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan lie next to each other. The interior of the
monument contains semi precious stones and the walls are inscribed in Verses
from the Koran.
Agra Fort: The
Fort was renovated under the rule of Shah Jahan. It was converted into a palace
by shah Jahan. It was reworked in marble. The Pearl Mosque, Diwan-e-Am,
Diwan-e-Khaas, Jahangir’s palace, Khas Mahal, Shish Mahal and Musamman Burj are
the most notable buildings within the Fort.
This was the place where the first Mughal Emperor of India Babar defeated Rana
Sanga and the Mughal Empire came to force in India. Akbar made this as his
headquarter initially but then later shifted to Agra Fort. It consists of a
considerable number of buildings of historical importance. A very famous construction
called the Buland Darwaza was made by Akbar for his victory over Gujarat. It is
53.63 metres high and 35 metres wide and it is made from red and buff colored
Itimad-ul-Daulah’s tomb was made by Nur Jahan in fond memory of her father
Mirza Ghiyas Beg. It consists of hexagonal towers on each of its corners each
of which are 13 metres high. It is similar to the Taj Mahal in it’s design and
hence referred to as the ‘Baby Taj’ sometimes. The marble walls contain semi
precious stones in shapes of wine bottles, Cyprus trees, cut fruits or vases
containing bouquets. Even the windows contain thin meshes carved out of marble.
It is similar to Taj Mahal in one more aspect; the tombs of Nur Jahan’s parents
are set side by side.
Sikandra: This is the tomb of Akbar. It was designed by Akbar himself
following the Turkic custom and it depicts Akbar’s personality. In the centre
of a garden lies the tomb in sandstone surrounded by deer, rabbits and langurs.
Swami Bagh Samadhi:
This Samadhi holds the ashes of Huzur Swamiji Maharaj, the founder Radhaswami
Faith. This monument is sacred to the followers of the Faith. It’s construction
began in the year 1904 and some believe that it will never get completed. The
carvings on the marble are so life-like and are state-of-the-art in India.
It is one of the four temples dedicated to Lord Shiva built on each corner of
the city. It is located near Jama Masjid and has old markets all around.
Jama Masjid: It
is a very large mosque attributed to Shah Jahan’s daughter. The unique feature
of its construction is that it has an unusual dome and no minarets.
Chini ka Rauza:
It is influenced by the Persian architecture and is dedicated to Shah Jahan’s
Ram Bagh: It is
the oldest garden of the Mughal Empire in India and was built by Babar. The
construction of the garden is such that it stays cool even in the peak summer
climate. Babar used to spend his time here and eventually died in the same
Ankit ka Tal:
Initially a reservoir built to conserve rainwater, it is now a holy place for
Christians and Jains. Four Sikh Gurus are also said to have visited this place.
Mariam’s Tomb: It
is the tomb of Akbar’s wife, Mariam.
Mehtab Bagh: It
is also called the ‘Moonlight garden’ and is situated opposite to Taj Mahal.
How to reach Agra
By air: Agra
airport is situated around 12 kilometres from the main city.
By rail: Agra is
connected to the major cities by rail.
By road: Idgah
Bus stand, Taj depot, Forl depot and Inter State Bus terminal are the major bus