Tourist Attractions in Agra, India
Taj Mahal - The Immortal Signature of Love
There is no other monument in the world, which can match the beauty and
grandeur of the Taj Mahal. Set amongst the serene ambience of a well laid
out garden, the massive marble structure of the Taj is awe-inspiring. The
Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century by Shahjahan- the fifth Mughal
emperor, in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Shahjahan loved his
wife so much that after she passed away in 1631, he decided to immortalize
their love in the form of the Taj Mahal. It is more than 350 years and still
has its romantic aura intact, which attracts millions of visitors from all
part of the world.
Almost all foreign dignitaries coming to India make it a point to visit this
enchanting site. The president of USA, Bill Clinton has been one of the most
prominent dignitaries to visit this monument in the recent past. "The
world is divided between those who have seen the Taj and those who have not.
Very soon, I hope to be on the side that has seen the Taj", was how he
felt, shortly after landing at Taj Mahal.
Original drawings available here show the precision with which the
architect had planned this monument. He even anticipated that it would be
completed in 22 years. Drawings of the interiors show the position of the
graves in such precision that the foot of the graves faces the viewer from
any angle. Many more such breathtaking collections are here which can also
The Mosque & The Jawab
To the left of the Taj is a mosque made of red sandstone. It is common in
Islam to build a mosque next to a tomb, as it sanctifies the area and
provides a place for worship. This mosque is still used for Friday prayers.
An identical mosque is also built to the right of the Taj and is known as
the Jawab or answer. Prayers are not held here as it faces west i.e. away
from Mecca. the holy city of the Muslims. It was built to maintain symmetry.
by the great Emperor Akbar in 1565 AD the fort is a masterpiece of design
and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite buildings,
including the Moti Masjid, Diwane-E-Am, Diwani-E-Khaas and Musanman Burj,
where the Emperor Shah Jahan died while in imprisonment.
The construction of the Agra fort was started around 1565 when the initial
structures were built by Akbar. Shah Jahan replaced most of these with his
marble creations. Some however survived, among them are- Delhi Gate, Amar
Singh Gate, Akbari Mahal and the Jahangiri Mahal.
The fort is crescent-shaped, flattened on the east with a long, nearly
straight wall facing the river. It has a total perimeter of 2.4 km, and is
ringed by double castellated ramparts of red sandstone punctuated at regular
intervals by bastions. A 9mt. wide and 10mt.deep moat surrounds the outer
wall. An imposing 22mt. high inner wall imparts a feeling of invincible
defensive construction. The route through the Amar Singh gate is dog-legged.
The layout of the fort was determined by the course of the river, which in
those days flowed alongside. The main axis is parallel to the river and the
walls bridge out towards the city.
This is the first notable building that the visitor sees on his right hand
side at the end of a spacious lawn, as one enters through the Amar Singh
Gate and emerges out of the passage. It was built by Akbar as women's
quarters and is the only building that survives among his original palace
buildings. It is built of stone & is simply decorated on the exterior.
The most important feature of the edifice are its ornamental stone brackets
which support the beams. In front is a large stone bowl which was probably
used to contain fragrant rose water. Ornamental Persian verses have been
carved along the outer rim, which record its construction by Jahangir in
1611 AD. This elegant, double storied palace reflects a strong Hindu
influence with protruding balconies and domed chhatries.
Jodha Bai's Palace
To the right of Jahangiri Mahal is Akbar's favorite queen Jodha Bai`s
Palace. In contrast to other palaces in the fort, it is rather simple.
Through the slits in the wall one can see the Taj.
These formal, 85m square, geometric gardens lie to the left of the fort.
During Shah Jahan's time the beauty of the gardens was considerably enhanced
by decorative flower beds.
The curved chala roofs of the small pavilions by the Khaas Mahal are based
on the roof shape of Bengali village huts constructed out of curved bamboo,
designed to keep off heavy rain. The shape was first expressed in stone by
the Sultans of Bengal. Originally gilded, these were probably ladies'
bedrooms, with hiding places for jewellery in the walls. These pavilions are
traditionally associated with Shah Jahan's daughters-Roshanara and Jahanara