Agra, the ancient capital of the Mughal Empire, is located about 200 km southeast of DELHI on the Yamuna , the largest tributary of the Ganges . Its main attractions, the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort , are WORLD HERITAGE SITES OF HUMANITY . Crafts flourish in the city of millions, inlays made of stone and embroidery are offered in numerous shops in the city center.The magical allure of the Taj Mahal draws tourists to Agra like moths to a wondrous flame. And despite the hype, it’s every bit as good as you’ve heard. But the Taj is not a stand-alone attraction. The legacy of the Mughal empire has left a magnificent fort and a liberal sprinkling of fascinating tombs and mausoleums; and there’s also fun to be had in the bustling chowks (marketplaces).
10 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN AGRA
For those unfamiliar with the history, Jahan had ten wives. He favoured Mumtaz above all. She was 20 when they married in 1612. She gave birth to 14 children, but died following the delivery of the 14th child. She was only 39. While on her death-bed she asked Jahan for a promise. She asked that he build a monument befitting of the love that they held for each other.Shah Jahan almost bankrupted his empire. The building took 17 years to complete and is commonly regarded as one of the best examples of Islamic art of all time. A masterpiece.
Jahan died in January 1666 at the age of 78. His remains were laid to rest at the side of his second wife within the Taj Mahal. Come, Walk along the pathway beside the reflecting pool with fountains upto the mausoleum crafted in soft & pure marble and jewelled with semi precious stones, where in the serenity of paradise rests the Queen in peace with her King. Come to unfold the pages from the past to churn the charm out of its mystique and enrich your imagination about this marvel of an epic in stone, The Taj! This excellent historic monument carved out with white marble is undoubted the most beautiful among all wonders of the world and represents an unforgettable tale of immortalized love. If one has a heart that beats and that beat throbs to seek, the purity of love in galore! Surely one deserves a visit to ‘The Taj’, as much as ‘The Taj’’
A city predominantly in red sand-stone, situated at a distance of 37 kms from Agra, was built by the Mughal Emperor Jalal-ud-din Mohammad Akbar, in honour of the great Sufi saint Salim Chisti; its magnificence and uniqueness offer a fine example of the emperor’s architectural finesse. Akbar’s tolerant religious views and interest in literature, architecture and fine arts gave the buildings at Fatehpur Sikri a charismatic blend of Islamic and Hindu elements in their style and design.At Fatehpur Sikri during sunset and sunrise, the turrets and domes create shadows and silhouette against the copper red sky; which truly is an inspirational scene for a painter’s canvas or the visitor’s eyes.The now 26-year-old ruler visited the Sufi saint Salim Chishti, who lived in a cave near Sikri. The saint prophesied to him the birth of the long-awaited heir to the throne. And it happened as predicted in 1569 AD. To celebrate the birth of his son, Akbar named his son after the holy Salim.
The fort is built alongside the Yamuna river and stretches almost 2.5 km. It consists of a wall built in red sandstone and several buildings inside. The wall has 2 gates, the Delhi Gate and the Amar Singh Gate.
As a matter of fact, the emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj, was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in the Agra Fort where he had a view on the building erected for his deceased wife. Shah Jahan is said to have died in the Musamman Burj, a tower with a beautiful marble balcony. From there you have the best view on the Taj. Between the many pavilions, you find small well maintained gardens place where .You have to see that place to believe the stone work done..its just amazing.The original meena bazaar and the place where it was a big pool but now it has been converted to a manicured lawn. At last the place where the emperor used to see the common people. That place is also full of stone work and designed in such a way that the emperor could view anyone coming from any direction.
This is park with a “Mughal-style” garden located across the river from the Taj Mahal. Mehtab Gaden is the best place to take photo of Taj mahal.. Taj mahal looks more elevated from here..This place is more peaceful..it is really nice when river is full.This place is something which you should experience it, it is really difficult to describe in words..This Garden has many tress and plants and has a very nice grass in it , like a carpet. This is like a place where you can feel the love among Shajahan (King ) and Mumtaz mahal (Queen) of Taj mahal.It is open from sunrise to sunset , 7 days a week. Go there either early in the morning or right before you go to the Taj. The Mehtab Bagh, translated as Moonlight Garden, is a beautiful park located to the north of the Taj Mahal & the views were breathtakingly romantic.
5.TOMB OF ITIMAD-UD-DAULAH
The empress Nur Jahan (Jahangir’s favorite wife) built this small, gorgeous tomb for her father, Mirza Ghiyas Beg (pronounced Baig), a Persian nobleman who became Jahangir’s chief minister. Beg was also the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of the emperor Shah Jahan. The monument, one of Agra’s loveliest, was supposedly built by workers from Persia. The tomb incorporates a great deal of brown and yellow Persian marble and marks the first use of Persian-style marble inlay in India—both features that would later characterize the style of Shah Jahan. Particularly in its use of intricate marble inlay goofy nickname of the “Baby Taj”).Itmad-ud daulah, one of the most beautiful of Mughal tombs, stands across the river Yamuna from the Taj Mahal, nearly one and a half kilometers up-stream. The use of arched entrances, octagonal shaped towers or minarets, use of exquisitely carved floral patterns, intricate marble-screen work and inlay work are all representative of the Islamic style. Is a must-see if you are visiting Agra. It predates the Taj Mahal, but is built in a similar style. Most people visit the Taj and the Agra Fort, but never get to Itimad-ud-Daulah it is so beautiful AND without the crowds of other attractions. The is absolutely stunning; it is so intricately carved that it looks like lace against the blue sky. Well worth the visit!
Sheesh Mahal” In English “Palace of Glass”. This Place was Built by King Man Singh Ji In 16th century and completed In 1727 which was the foundation year of Jaipur-Rajathan.This whole wall is completely carved with beautiful paintings and flowers and that too made with pure glass. The reason why it was made of glass was, The Queen was not allowed to Sleep In open air during the ancient times but she loved to see the stars shining. To this the King ordered his architects to make something which could solve the purpose. To this the Architects made a room complete of very small and big Glasses.After that they burnt two candles and the Relfection converted that small Light Into thousands of stars in those small and big glasses. This was how the Queen become happy.This house of mirrors looks like an art gallery. Placed inside the Amer fort, this Sheesh mahal leaves an impression in you. Not only is this colorful but it is also so meaningfully crafted that you would appreciate each of its bit!! The standard of craftsmanship in this glittering mosaic of Belgian glass mirrors was astounding. This hall is truly beautiful. The longer you look the more amazing the detail and more captivated you will be with this gorgeous work of art.
An exquisite statement in red sandstone and marble, India’s largest mosque was the last monument commissioned by Shah Jahan. Completed in 1656 after six years of work by 5,000 laborers, it’s arguably one of the loveliest houses of worship in the world. Three sets of broad steps lead to two-story gateways and a magnificent courtyard with a square ablution tank in the center. The entire space is enclosed by pillared corridors, with domed pavilions in each corner. Thousands gather to pray here, especially on Friday.
With its onion-shaped dome and tapering minarets, the mosque is characteristically Mughal, but Shah Jahan added an innovation: the stripes running up and down the marble domes and minarets. The whole structure exudes peace and harmony—climb the south minaret to see the domes up close, complete with swarms of pigeons, and to see how finely the mosque contrasts with the commercial streets around it. It is one of the largest mosque of India.
8.KALAKRITI CULTURAL AND CONVENTION CENTER
Kalakriti Conventional Center is located directly on the VIP Road to Taj Mahal, Fatehabad Road, Agra. It is an art, culture and conventional center in Agra. The aim of the center is to celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of Indian culture and heritage. The center offers the visitor the opportunity to see this trend inlay work looking at marble. Apart from that, it has a craft showroom where you can buy marble, metal, wood and thread. The key attraction of the Kalakriti Culture and Convention Center remains the popular musical drama, Mohabbat – the – Taj which is a series of plays every day at 6:30 pm. So excellent workers and artists who are attached to the stone and gives them Taj Mahal, coffee table, dining table etc. really wonderful. Also watching the show ‘Mohabbat Das Taj’ was our life’s work. Artists who played their respective parts listed with full excellence and to visit their performance one can say that they are all incomparable. Apart from their stage agreement with lighting is wonderful and in the last rising of Taj Mahal on the stage is incredible.
9.GURUDWARA GURU KA TAL
Guru ka Tal is a gurudwara dedicated to the ninth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. This gurudwara was built at the site where Guru Tegh Bahadur laid down his arms and surrendered to Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor. Built in 1610, this gurudwara featured twelve towers in the Tal, out of which only eight towers have survived.
Originally, the Tal was a reservoir in the area near Sikandra and was used for irrigation purposes during the dry season. When the gurudwara was constructed at the site, the reservoir was ornamented with stone carvings. This Gurudwara is huge and very attractive. This is considered as a sacred place for the Sikhs. A large number of devotees visit this place on everyday and take free langar (food). a visit. Best part is, you can visit here at time of the day.. And it was awesome feeling. This is big, sacred and peaceful. You can listen to kirtan, have guru ka langar and spend some good time. Really a wonderful experience being there, visiting this place makes u feel blessed. When you feel tired in the crowdy city then must visit there for some time sit and relax in the darbar hall of gurdwara sahib you feel peace and calm. The vibrations are positive. It feels good. There is guru ka Langar which is 24 hours. This Langar is a must visit as it gives you felling of fulfillment. Sitting on floor and eating tasty Langar with full devotion is a great feeling. Visiting this gurudwara is truly awesome experience.
10.MOTHER TERESA’S MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY
The Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa says it has shut down its adoption services in India over religious objections to the country’s new adoption rules. The Catholic sisters known for their blue and white habits and vow of free service to the poor say they have asked the government to de-register 13 orphanages. Under the name Nirmala Shishu Bhawan, the Missionaries’ network of homes provides shelter, food, medical care and schooling to abandoned and destitute children, including those with special needs across India.