- One of the Seven wonders in the world, a must see place in India, Taj Mahal is situated majestically in Agra. It is acclaimed as one of the three World Heritage Sites in Agra and is the living specimen of romantic love life of Shah Jahan and his favorite beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. Located at the bank of majestic River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is a masterpiece of architectural design and excellence in finishing. Ustad Isa, the renowned Persian Architect, led the construction.
The most famous marble structure in Agra, in fact the most beautiful and fascinating monument all over India, completed the construction in 1653 AD. The Mughal King Sha Jahan built this as the final resting place for the queen Mumtaz. It is believed that it took nearly 22 years to complete the grandeur palace. There are 22 small domes over the Taj Mahal, denoting the 22 years and the verses of holy Koran are inscribed on the domes.
Set against picturesque landscaped gardens, the human labor expended for this monument was immense. One can see the amazing view of the Taj Mahal as an image in the calm still waters of Yamuna. From a long view, the people get an illusion that the building is floating in the air, the real exquisiteness of the architectural wonder. The Taj Mahal with perfect design and craftsmanship, the epitome of structural beauty, is the best view for any visitor and this view eye-catching experiment could not be forgotten in the lifetime.
- Also renowned as the Red Fort of Agra, Agra Fort is located near to the Taj Mahal gardens on the banks of River Yamuna. The real specimen of architectural marvel, this fortress was constructed in the 15th century. The construction of this mammoth structure started during 1565 during the Great King Akbar and continued the developments up to the period of King Shah Jahan, the grandson of Akbar.
The fort, in a length of 2.5 km marvelous enclosure walls, is built in red sandstones and encloses many monuments which are real architectural wonders. Many exquisite palaces such as the Shah Jahani Mahal, Jahangiri Mahal and the Khas Mahal, and audience halls named Diwan-i-Am and the Diwan-i-Khas are enclosed in the fortress. Other monuments include the Fish Pavilion, the Nagina Masjid, Garden of Grapes and the Pearl Mosque.
Agra fort, one of the world heritage sites, is really a worth place to visit to view the marvelous architectural beauty in red sandstones and is a place not to be missed by historians and architects.
- Musamman Burj is placed very close to the Diwan-i-Khas, the imposing private hall of Shah Jahan. Mausamman Burj, also renowned as Saman Burj, is an exquisite architectural marvel with octagonal tower. There are many carvings on the structure adorned with colored tiles.
This is one of the important historical structure in Agra. This is the place (prison) in which Shah Jahan died in 1666 under captivity by his son Aurangazeb. This place encloses a long pavilion which offers eye catching view of Yamuna. All those who visit Taj Mahal never miss this pavilion as it is marvelous piece of structural excellence.
- Located on the slopes from east to west to the north of Diwan-e-aam complex, Moti Masjid is famous for its pearl-white exteriors and the beautiful interiors as well as exteriors. Built during the years 1648-54, the mosque has 12 pillars and cusped arches. The mosque is very large and can e entered from 3 gates out of which the main entrance, located on the eastern side, is the grandest and most exquisite.
Chini Ka Rauza
- Chini Ka Rauza is a spectacular tomb very close to Taj Mahal in Agra. The tomb is dedicated to the Prime Minister of Mughal dynasty Allama Afzal Khan, the Mullah of Shiraz, during the rule of Shah Jahan.
The name Chini Ka Rauza is derived from most attractive tiles (Chini) used to adorn the ceilings and walls of the structure. The tomb is decorated with different colors, blue, yellow and green tiles adding a spectacular view to it.
This imposing structure is built in a rectangular shape and it is unique with a bulbous tomb. It has an orthogonal chamber in the middle and many inscriptions made with blue glazed tiles are visible in the tomb. This tomb has been a unique specimen of best of Mughal and Persian architectural styles.
- Fatehpur Sikri is a town located about 40 km away from Agra and is one of the renowned World Heritage site by UNESCO. The city was built during the period 1571 to 1585 by great Mughal emperor Akbar. The city in red sandstone was built to celebrate the birth of his son Salim and also to honor the Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti.
Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of Mughal Kingdom for few years, during which the city reached at the pinnacle of its developments. The architecture of the city is a mixture of Islamic and Hindu styles of constructions. There were places complexes and Mosque complexes in the city.
This city is a popular tourist attraction and the city is enriched with many historical monuments such as Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal, Diwan-i-Am, Jama Masjid, Diwan-i-Khas and the Sheikh Salim Chisti tomb. All these are highly worth visiting.
- The Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in Agra. It was built in 1648 and is popularly known as Jami Masjid. This mosque is credited with the name of Princess Jahanara Begum, the lovely daughter of Shah Jahan. The mosque is noted for the absence of minarets and also for the exquisite tomb.
The Masjid is placed on an elevated podium and has five marvelous entrances with arched structures. Three elegant sandstone domes add the attraction to the Masjid, all covered with imposing marbles. The walls are adorned with sacred inscriptions and colored tiles. The central courtyard of the Jami Masjid is a huge area serving thousands of devotees to offer prayers and meditation for many centuries.
Buland Darwaza is the massive gate through which Jama Masjid can be reached. The elegant and attractive tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti, the renowned Sufi saint, is situated interior to the complex of Jama Masjid.
- Buland Darwaza, an entrance constructed by Akbar to celebrate his victory in 1573 over the kingdom of Khandesh in Gujarat, is the gateway to the renowned Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. This exquisite architectural wonder is really an eye catching view for travelers and tourists, which is visible even from a long distance. The Darwaza is placed at an elevated plain of height about 40 meters and seems to be inviting the tourists to the land of Agra wholeheartedly.
The mammoth entrance is one of the grandeur monuments built by Akbar in Agra. Many verses from the Koran are inscribed on the Darwaza. This is really made with simple but beautiful adornments.
- A big five storied pavilion placed in the Fatehpur Sikri fort complex, Panch Mahal was believed to be the pleasure and relaxation place for Mughal emperor Akbar. The pavilion is made up of beautiful red sandstone and is at the highest point in Fatehpur Sikri. This is a monument depicting the architectural marvel of Persian style of construction.
Panch Mahal was the residential pavilion for his queens and the pavilion has stone screens prohibiting the view from outside. Presently the screens were removed and the columns are visible from outside. There was a marvelous and imposing dome supported by four columns.
The pavilion steeps in a progressive style and each floor is connected to the next floor through well crafted stairs. The first floor has 84 pillars, second floor has 56 pillars, third floor has 20 pillars and the fourth floor has 12 pillars. All the pillars are carved with beautiful images and are very attractive.
- Maryamuzzamani Palace is an exquisite palace located in the fort complex of Fatehpur Sikri. This was the palace of Queen Maryamuzzammani, the Goan Wife of the Emperor Akbar and the mother of Jehangir.
The palace had been the nerve centre of the Mughal power for two generations of Mughal Dynasty, namely the period of Akbar and Jehangir. The palace was made with all luxuries and with marvelous architectural style. This is one of the most attractive palaces in Agra.
The Palace is constructed on the most beautiful scenic location in Fatehpur sikri. The imposing garden surrounding this sandstone palace is very attractive as well. This is one of the eye catching palaces among the numerous palaces in Agra.
- Itimad-ud-daula's Tomb on the bank of River Yamuna was built by the queen Noor Jahan, the queen of Jahangir, for her parents. It is an architectural marvel located in Agra. It is situated at the middle of the well known and scenic Persian Garden. The tomb was superbly designed and elegantly finished in marvelous architectural styles.
This tomb is sometimes referred as baby Taj as it was the precursor of the architectural marvel the TajMahal. The tomb is fully laid by yellow marble with black and white marble inlay bringing the glorious days of the Mughal rule. This tomb is placed itself in picturesque surroundings of a beautiful garden. It is a main attraction in Agra.
Sikandra Complex (Akbar's Tomb)
- Sikandra Complex containing Akbar’s tomb is really an architectural marvel in Agra. The Great Mughal emperor began the construction of this complex in 1605, embedding various architectural styles. Jehangir, Akbar’s son, completed the Sikandra Complex after Akbar’s death.
This majestic and imposing tomb is located in the scenic surroundings of a gorgeous garden. Akbar’s tomb is a perfect structure constructed using red sandstones and glossy white marbles. All the four sides are laid with grandeur doorways in multicolored mosaics laid with complex but beautiful patterns.
The tomb of Mariam Zamani, Akbar’s Christian Wife from Goa and King Jehangir's mother, built in red sandstone is placed nearby.
- The Mehtab Bagh, a 25 acre garden plot constructed during 1631 to 1635 AD, is the moonlight garden located along the western side of bank of the river Yamuna. It is laid just across the Yamuna, aligned with the world famous Taj in a symmetrical style.
This is the ideal location from where one can view the perfect beauty of Taj Mahal under the romantic glossy moon light. This garden is one of the most attractive gardens in Agra and it replenish the grandeur era of Mughal dynasty in the minds of the traveler.
This picturesque area is now converted into the epic centre of the eco-friendly environment developing around Taj Mahal. The soft cool breeze from Yamuna and the fragrance of the colored flowers in the garden are sure to attract all visitors to this romantic place.