Agra

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Agra

Agra is a city in northern India which houses the iconic Taj Mahal, a mausoleum built for Mumtaz Mahal wife of Mughal ruler Shah Jahan.

Taj Mahal

It is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river which was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The tomb is in the centre, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.

The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees and employed some 20,000 artisans led by the court architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.

The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.  The Taj Mahal attracts 7–8 million visitors a year. In 2007 it was declared a one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Tomb of I’timad-ud-Daulah

It is a Mughal mausoleum described as a “jewel box”, sometimes called the “Baby Taj”, the tomb of I’timad-ud-Daulah is often regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal.

Along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. The tomb was built between 1622 and 1628. It was primarily built from red sandstone with marble decorations.

The mausoleum was commissioned by Noor Jahan, the wife of Mughal ruler Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg, originally a Persian Amir in exile, who had been given the title of I’timad-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state).

Jama Masjid

It is one of the largest mosques in India which is situated opposite of the Agra Fort. The Jama Masjid is also popularly known as the Jami Masjid or “Friday Mosque”.

The Mosque was built by Mughal emperor, Shahjahan in 1648 and dedicated to his favourite daughter, Jahanara Begum. It is a very simple mosque of red sandstone with little white marble decoration and blue colour paint wall and ceilings.

Agra Fort

It is the former imperial residence of the Mughal Dynasty. Originally the fort was built by Lodi. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city.

The 380,000-square-meter fort has a semicircular plan, its chord lies parallel to the river and its walls are seventy feet high.

Double ramparts have massive circular bastions at intervals, with battlements, embrasures, machicolations and string courses. Four gates were provided on its four sides, one Khizri gate opening on to the river.

Two of the fort’s gates are notable: the “Delhi Gate” and the “Lahore Gate.” The Lahore Gate is also popularly also known as the “Amar Singh Gate. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage.

Guru ka Tal

It is a historical Sikh pilgrimage place dedicated to the memory of ninth Guru Sri Guru Tegh Bahudar Ji near Sikandra in Agra. Several devotees gather every year to pay homage to the great Sikh guru in this Gurudwara.

Originally there were twelve towers in the Tal and this red stone structure bears similarity to many other magnificent structures of the Mughals like the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri etc.

Fatehpur Sikri

It is a city in the Agra which was founded in 1569 by Akbar, the Mughal Emperor. It served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585 until it was abandoned.

Akabr commenced the construction of a planned walled city, which took the next fifteen years in planning and construction, with a series of royal palaces, harem, courts, a mosque, private quarters and other utility buildings. He named the city Fatehabad, with Fateh, a word of Arabic origin in Persian, meaning “victorious.” It was later called Fatehpur Sikri. It is here that the legends of Akbar and his famed courtiers, the nine jewels or Navaratnas, were born. Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best preserved examples of Mughal architecture in India.

Fatehpur Sikri sits on rocky ridge, surrounded by walls on three sides and bordered by a lake on the other side. Its architects were Tuhir Das and Dhruv Chawla and were constructed using Indian principles. The buildings of Fatehpur Sikri show a synthesis of various regional schools of architectural craftsmanship such as Gujarat and Bengal.

The building material used in all the buildings at Fatehpur Sikri, palace-city complex, is the locally quarried red sandstone, known as ‘Sikri sandstone’. It is accessed through gates namely, Delhi Gate, the Lal Gate, the Agra Gate and Birbal’s Gate, Chandanpal Gate, The Gwalior Gate, the Tehra Gate, the Chor Gate and the Ajmere Gate.

Akbar’s Tomb

It is the tomb of Akbar, the Mughal emperor and it is an important Mughal architectural masterpiece. It was built in 1605–1613 and is situated in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra.

Moti Masjid

It was built by Shah Jahan famed as Pearl Mosque as it shined like a pearl. It stands on ground that slopes from east to west to the north of Diwan-i-Am complex in Agra Fort.

The courtyard of the Moti Masjid has side arcades and arched recessions and the main sanctuary facade beyond. The sanctuary is roofed with three bulbous domes built of light white marble and stand on the red sandstone walls.

There are a series of Hindu-style domed kiosks along the parapet. There are seven bays that are divided into aisles which are supported by piers and lobed arches.

The Moti Masjid boasts of extensive white marble facing, a typical stylistic feature of architecture during the reign of Shah Jahan.

 

ENTRY FEE FOR VARIOUS MONUMENTS IN AGRA

Monuments For Indian Tourist For Foreign Tourist
A.S.I. A.D.A. Total A.S.I. A.D.A. Total
Rs. Rs. Rs. Rs. Rs. Rs.
Taj Mahal 10 10 20 250 500 750
Taj Museum, Taj Mahal 5 Nil 5 5 Nil 5
Fatehpur Sikri 10 10 20 250 10 260
Akbar’s Tomb Sikandra 5 5 10 100 10 110
Mariyam Tomb, Sikandra 5 Nil 5 100 Nil 100
Ram Bagh 5 Nil 5 100 Nil 100
Itmad-ud-Daula 5 5 10 100 10 110
Mehtab Bagh 5 Nil 5 100 Nil 100

 

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