Location : 220 kms From Delhi, 250 kms From Jaipur
Architectural Style : Mughal Architecture
Built In : 1551 - 1585
Built By : Mughal Emperor Akbar
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. Akbar made it the center of art, culture, commerce and learning and Shah Jahan saw it in full bloom. In fact, it is said that it was Akbar who laid the foundation of the modern city that we see now in 1558 and was known as Akbarabad. Most of the buildings belong to the period between mid-16th century and 17th century and were of high quality. These monuments were built in the contemporary Mughal style. Mughlai cuisine and the skilled craftsmen can still be seen in the narrow lanes of the city as a reminiscent of the lost times.Visit to India cannot complete without paying a visit to this erstwhile Mughgal city of Agra, the home of Taj Mahal, world's most beloved monument. With its laid -back lifestyle and its immense wealth of architecture, handicrafts and jewellery, Agra is amongst the most remarkable city of the world.
Places to Visit in Agra
Taj Mahal in Agra is one of the mainly well-known building in the world, the mausoleum of Shah Jahan's loving wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the New 7 wonder of the globe, and one of three World Heritage Sites in Agra . The fragile Makrana marble of this globe famous tomb takes on diverse hues from sunrise to sunset. It is chilly and dreamy at down, sun kissed and polished by the morning, golden and temperate by the day, dazzling and squashy by sunset, remote and ghostly by the moon light
The first Mughal gardens laid by Babur in 1558, half a km from Chini Ka Rauza, were planned carefully in Persian style. They were then named as Bagh-i-Gul Afshan. Later, Jehangir renovated them and named them as Bagh-i-Nur Afshan. Babur introduced three-terraced garden here for the first time. The river-drawn water was made to look like a spring, as it artificially descended from one terrace to another through a network of canals, tanks and water chutes that had stairs on both sides ended in a red sandstone pond. The gardens were beautified using 'Chhatris', platforms, pathways and a conglomeration of plants that were cultivated in a landscaped manner. Jehangir had also built two beautiful suites on the two sides of the main terrace and a Mahtab or island platform in the centre, which was connected with the main water system. Ram Bagh symbolizes the erstwhile Mughal pleasure garden that hasn't aged gracefully unlike other legacies of that time.
Massive fort is 2.5 kms long and is considered as the predecessor of the Delhi Red fort.The colossal walls are 20 feet high and the whole fort is encircled by a fetid moat. Amar Singh gate towards the south is the only entry point in the fort. The building and structures inside the fort gives an impression of a city within the city. Many of the building inside the fort is now closed for the public. The marble pearl mosque inside the fort is one of the most stunningly beautiful mosques in India.
Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah
Nur Jehan, the wife and queen of Mughal Emperor Jehangir built this tomb for her father Mirza Shiyath Beg between 1622-25.Mirza was appointed Prime Minister of the Empire and received the title of 'Itimad-ud-Daulah' or 'Treasurer of the Empire'. The tomb is situated on the left bank of river Yamuna and is only overshadowed by Taj in beauty. This beautiful mausolem was the first one to be built on a riverbank, which was normally used only to build pleasure gardens till then. The marble mausoleum is designed like a silver jewel box with stunning and delicate inlay work. Facing river Yamuna, this quadrangular tomb stretches across 550 sq. feet with four gateways facing the four main directions.
Dayal Bagh Temple
Swami Bagh Temple at Dayal Bagh is 10 km to the north of Agra. Started in 1904, it is still under construction even after 100 years! The white marble Samadhi of the Radha Swami, the founder of a unique religion that seeks to being all religions under one umbrella and preaches unity of mankind, the construction of this temple is not expected to be completed until sometime next century. If you want to witness the Pietra Dura inlaid marble work, you must visit the temple and walk to its sides to see the artisans at work. The aim of this structure is to build a temple for Hindus, a church for Christians, a gurudwara for Sikhs and a mosque for Muslims, each on a separate floor, in the same building, to symbolize brotherhood and unity in mankind. The artistic work here is wonderful and has an outstanding visual appeal.
Fatehpur Sikri, whose significance was short lived, is "an epic poem in sandstone" equivalent to Agra in its importance, as it is to this city that Akbar stayed for 14 years, transferred his entire court and capital. When he deserted it and returned to Agra , silence established over the city and the noise of elephant calls and the boom of drums were heard no more, but Akbar left at the back for posterity a wealthy inheritance in the buildings built by him.