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India Travel Guide

Places To See In Agra

The plush lives of the Mughals is reflected in the architectural gems in and around the Agra

Heritage Sites : Forts and Monuments -

Taj Mahal

No other monument in the world evokes the kind of awe and admiration from tourists worldwide, other than the Taj Mahal. One of UNESCO's Heritage sites, the Taj Mahal has been a source of inspiration for artists, writers and poets alike. An eternal love story written in white marble, the Taj Mahal was built by emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. The monument took 22 years to complete and involved the labour of 20,000 people. The material to build the Taj was brought to Agra from all over India and Central Asia. The central dome of the monument is 187 metres high. There are 28 different kinds of rare precious, semi-precious stones, which have been inlaid in the monument. The main gate of the Taj has Koranic verses inscribed on it. Once you enter the portals, a well laid out garden greets tourists. The garden is laid out in the Persian Char-Bagh style. A raised platform in front of the Taj allows tourists to take pictures as a token of remembrance. On the left of this platform is the Taj Museum, which displays all the original drawings of the Taj. A mosque on either side of the Taj add to the beauty if this monument. The mosque on the left is used till date for prayers. Four lofty minarets beautify the central dome. The interior of the mausoleum houses a large central burial chamber and four other octagonal burial chambers for other members of the royal family. In the center are the graves of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Care has been taken regarding the acoustics of the building, so that it echoes the verses from the Koran.

The monument is open all days of the week except Fridays.

Agra Fort

Considered to be a predecessor to Delhi's Red Fort, Agra Fort was initially built by Emperor Akbar as a vantage point during enemy invasions. Though later during Shahjahan's regime, the fort was used as a palace and a court. The colossal crescent shaped, red sandstone structure has walls, which rise upto 20 metres. The expanse of the fort is 2.5 kms. The fort is surrounded by a moat. The fort housed 500 buildings within it when it was built. All inspired from different styles of architecture. Today, the magnificent towers, the lofty walls, imposing gateways, impenetrable bastions are all reminders of the Mughal military prowess.

Some of the notable buildings within the fort include the Jehangir Mahal, built originally as women's quarters, Jodha Bai's Palace, who was one of Akbar's favorite queens. The other buildings include the Khaas Mahal, built by Shahjahan. This palace was built entirely of marble and draws from Islamic, Persian and the Hindu schools of architecture. This was the emperor's sleeping room. Musamman Burj, the tall, high ceilings were built with the purpose of drawing in the cool breeze from the River Yamuna. The Sheesh Mahal, which is famous for its glass inlays. This palace was used as a harem dressing room. Diwan-E-Aam, Diwan-E-Khaas, Nagina Masjid, Moti Masjid are some of the other famous buildings within the fort.

Chini Ka Rauza

This memorial was built in the honor of poet-scholar and later the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan, Allama Afzal Khal Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz. It is famous for its fa?ade, which is decorated with glazed tiles.

The Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah

One of the first Mughal buildings to incorporate marble inlay work, this tomb was built by Nur Jahan, wife of Emperor Jehangir in the memory of her father Ghias-ud-Din Beg. He was the Jehangir's chief minister. The tomb has been built like a jewellery box surrounded by a garden. This in later times acted as an inspiration for the Taj.

The Tomb of Mariyam

Located on the Delhi-Agra highway, this tomb is dedicated to Akbar's wife. The beautiful inscriptions on this red sandstone structure add to the beauty.

Religious Places -
Mosques -

Jama Masjid

A beautiful example of Iranian architecture, the mosque was built by Shahjahan and was dedicated to his daughter Jahanara Begum.

Temple -

Dayal Bagh Temple

A magnificent work of art in white marble, it is the place of worship of the followers of the Radha Swami sect. The majestic building, which is 110 feet high houses the samadhi of the founder of the Radha Swami faith, Swamiji Maharaj.

Parks and Gardens -

Ram Bagh

One of the earliest Mughal garden, it was laid out by Babar, founder of the Mughal Dynasty. It is said that he was buried here temporarily, before being moved to Kabul in Afghanistan.

Mehtab Bagh

Located opposite to the Taj Mahal this park is visited especially during the evenings when one can see the reflection of the Taj Mahal in the octagonal pool right in the center of the garden.


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Tourist Information - Agra
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