Famous for the alluring Taj Mahal, Agra has tourist flocking like moths over a mighty flame. Tucked amidst the state of Uttar Pradesh, the city has an incredible history that defines each of its monuments. For those who love to unfold the mystical chapters of the past, Agra is a place you ought not to miss. With the adorned legacy of the Mughals, Agra is house to some fascinating structures and mausoleums.
Looking over the massive Yamuna River, Agra is a scenic beauty to explore. In order to reach here, you can take flights to Kheria Airport which is 13 km from the main city. If you’re planning to take the rail route, Agra Cantt is the main railway station.
Coming under the category of Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Taj Mahal needs no introduction. A fairy tale monument constructed along the Yamuna River is a primary pick among tourists who come to India. Dating back to 1630, the Taj Mahal was built by Shahjahan as an ode to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Popularly known as a symbol of love, the monument is a favourite among couples.
The huge glistening marble structure looks the same from all four sides. The floors consist of intricate calligraphy and mosaic work adorned with precious stones. This fine artistry cannot be seen clearly since it is dark inside. But if you take closer look, you can see the miniature carvings and detailing.
The Taj Mahal had its workforce of 20, 000 craftsmen from Italy, Persia and Turkey. It took 22 years for this epitome of gorgeousness to be completed. To enter the mausoleum you need to put a cloth around your feet to maintain its purity. For its significant past and historical charisma, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
It is also known as Agra Fort and was commissioned by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565. The fort consists of many notable structures like the Moti Masjid, Diwan-e-Aam, Diwan-e-Khas, Jahangir’s Palace, Khas Mhal, Shish Mahal and Musamman Burj.
The red sandstone exteriors of the fort protect these sections that form an inner paradise. It has a typical Mughal style architecture which is a beautiful result of 4000 workers who took 8 years to complete the fort. Out of the four gates the Delhi Gate is grandest of them all.
This is another addition to the gigantic monuments in Agra built by Emperor Akhbar in the year 1569. The site displays a number of structures of historical significance. The Buland Darwaza is the highlighted feature of this place that was built to commemorate Akhbar’s victory over Gujarat. It is nearly 54 m high and 35 m wide.
Popular for being home to the tomb of Emperor Akhbar, it is a vast, beautifully carved red-ochre sandstone tomb, set amidst a verdant patch. The place is a little fantasy land with deer, rabbits and langurs that can be spotted loitering around. The tomb has 99 names of Allah inscribed on it.
This picturesque mausoleum was built by the commands of Noor Jahan, wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Bagh, who was honoured with the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah which means ‘pillar of the state’. The falls are built in white marble and have semi precious stones embedded in them.
It is a large mosque attribute to Shah Jahan’s daughter, Princess Jahanara Begum. It was built in 1648 and is known for its unusual dome. The mosque’s interiors have inscriptions in praise of Shah Jahan and Jahanara. Made of red stone and marble, the Jama Masjid took 5000 workers and 6 years to complete.
Chini Ka Rauza
Chini ka Rauza is popular for its Persian style dome made of glazing blue tiles that were imported from China. The monument has significant artwork and colored embellishments on it. The tomb is dedicated to Allama Afzal Khan, who was the Prime Minister and poet of Shah Jahan.
Gurudwara Shri Guru Ka Taal Sahib
It is one of the most honoured places in the Sikh community. Guru ka Taal is well known for its magnificent style of architecture. It has been built over the place where Guru Tegh Bahadur laid down his arms to offer arrest to Aurangazeb. Guru ka Taal was originally a reservoir but now is a holy place since it has been visited by 4 of the 10 Sikh Gurus.
It is a wildlife sanctuary that sprawls across 15 acres of land. It was established in 1991. Local migratory birds and small animals wander around and are easy to spot. The place is a natural beauty that once upon a time inspired poet Soordas to compose the ‘Bhakti Kavya’, one of his finest pieces of poetry ever written.
It is one of the stunning places in Agra, definitely worth a visit. With amazing architectural beauty, Dayal Bagh is a blend of mosque, temple and gurudwara. Dating back to 1904, this marble structure is now a head quarter of the followers of Radha Swami Faith.
Agra is an amalgam of the finest chapters of history that India beholds. It would be a shame to tear off its pages and leave it in ruins. Free Press Journal requests its readers to take a step in preserving the indigenous beauty of such splendid places.