Agra situated in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is well connected with most parts of India, and is hardly 200 km south of New Delhi, the capital of India. Agra is situated on the west bank of the river Yamuna, and lies between Mathura and Surajpur, both places having an ancient history.
Once upon a time Agra was the nerve center of India's political power from where a number of Mughal Emperors ruled a vast part of India and South Asia. For centuries, the city continued to grow and expand, and with the Taj Mahal, a love story set in white marble, the city continues to attract visitors from all parts of India and other parts of the world. In and around Agra, there are many places where you may just roam around for hours and re-live the history.
- The Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal located in Agra, a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is a monument, constructed in 22 years (1631-1653). The Taj Mahal fondly called simply the Taj, is one of the finest examples of Indian architecture, and combines the elements of traditional Islamic, Persian, and Hindu architecture. Being associated with and inspired by love of the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jehan for his wife, Mumtaj Mahal, the Taj has acquired an aura of its own, and is an expression of this love in the white marble unmatched for its intricate craftsmanship. The Taj is a must visit among the 100 places before one dies, and it generally features on the itinerary of domestic and the global tourists visiting north India.
In fact, Taj Mahal is a mausoleum of Shah Jehans favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who had died during a childbirth. The main mausoleum is located in a sprawling complex, and the main structure, the Taj, according to Wikipedia, has the following major parts:
Finial: decorative crowning element of the Taj Mahal domes
Lotus decoration: depiction of lotus flower sculpted on tops of domes
Onion dome: massive outer dome of the tomb (also called an amrud or apple dome)
Drum: cylindrical base of the onion dome, raising it from the main building
Guldasta: decorative spire attached to the edge of supporting walls
Chattri: a domed and columned kiosk
Spandrel: upper panels of an archway
Calligraphy: stylised writing of verses from the Qu'ran framing main arches
Arch: also called pishtaq (Persian word for portal projecting from the facade of a building) and
Dado: decorative sculpted panels lining lower walls
- Agra Fort
Mostly people would identify Agra with the Taj Mahal. Agra has several other architectural heritage, and the Agra Fort is one among the same. The Agra Fort was buil by Akbar, the third Mughal Emperor. The Fort built in red sandstone served a a miltary base as well as the Royal quarters. Over the next two generations, Akbar's son and grand son, Jahangir and Shajahan added many palaces, mosques and other structures inside the Fort constructed of the red sandstones as well as of white marbles. The Fort, built during the period 1565 and 1571, is a fine example of blend of the Islamic and Hindu styles of architecture. The shape of the fort is auricular and has walls rising to a height of 20 m and measures 2.5 m in circumference. A deep wide ditch, filled with water (now almost dry) encircled the walls of the Fort.
- Jama Masjid
- Fatehpur Sikri
- Ram Bagh, Dayal Bagh and Soami Bagh