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Golden Triangle - AGRA
DELHI AGRA JAIPUR
 
AGRA

Agra is world wide famous for Taj Mahal, which is the mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Formarly it was the capital city of Mughals but later they shifted to delhi as per the pilitical and other needs. Excluding Taj Mahal there are many other places to visit like Agra Fort, Jma Masjid, Jahangir's Palace, Secandrabad and Fatehpu Sikri etc. The whole city is full of Mughal style of architechture at its best.

 
PLACES IN AGRA
 
Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is the most famous Mughal Monument which was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his young and beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. Taj MAhal is described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love. Shah Jahan was heartbroken when Mumtaz died in 1629 in childbirth after 17 years of marriage.

The construction of the Taj began in 1631. Almost 20,000 workers were recruited not only from all over India but also from central Asia and other places. Architechtural Experts were brought from Europe, the Frenchman Austin of Bordeaux and the Italian Veroneo of Venice for its decoration. The structure of Taj Mahal stands on a marble platform on the northern side of the ornamental gardens. The whole building including the platform is made of milky white marbel stone. Tall and fully decorative white pilars in each corner of the platform makes a grace full look. Twin red sandstone buildings are there,of which the west side is a mosque and the identical one is purely for symmetry,but it It cannot be used as a mosque for its wrong direction. The central structure is huge. The tombs of Mumtaj and Shah Jahan are in the basement room and in the main chamber it is false tombs.The Taj is amazingly graceful from each and every angle.

Path leading from the main gate to the Taj is divided by a long watercourse in which the Taj is reflected beautifully if it is filled with water. The ornamental gardens is designed according to the classical Mughal lines of a square quartered designs.

 
Agra Fort

Agra Fort - Agra Fort was built by Emperor Akbar on the bank of the river Yamuna and beautified by his son Jehangir with palaces and gardens.It is in the centre of Agra city. One can enter to the fort only through the Amar Singh Gate. Akbar started constructing this fort which was ended by Shah Jahan. During Akhar's time it was principally a military structure.

Diwan-i-Am or the Hall of Public Audiences was built by Shah Jahan.Earlier it was an wooden structure. This is where the emperor used to meet general people with their problrms. Beside the Diwan-i-Am there is the small Nagina Masjid.

A door leads to the Ladies' Bazaar, where female merchants came to sell goods to the royal ladies and no males were allowed to enter this bazaar except Akbar.

Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of private Audiences was also built by Shah Jahan, Here the emperor used to do all important works and meatings with his ministers and foreign ambassadors.The famous Peacock Throne was kept here before it was moved to Delhi by Aurangzeb. It was later carted off by Nadir Shah.

 
Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid was built in 1648 AD, in memory of Sheikh Salim Chisthi and his grandson Islam Khan by Sha Jahan's daughter Jehanara Begum. The masjid is a wonderful combination of Iranian and Mughal architecture. The building has a rectangular open forecourt and striking marble pattern.

 
Chini ka Rauza

Chini Ka Roza or the tomb of Afzal Khan is just one km away from itmad- ud-daula.He was the minister of Shah Jaehan and aslo a poet too.He was ordered to kill Shibaji as he was the most reliable person to do this work.The whole building is made of brightly coloured glazed tiles with a persian style.

 
Akbar's Mausoleum

It is Sikandra, just 10 km from Agra,where the tomb of Akbar is lies in the centre of the large garden. Akbar himsel startes this construction but was completed by his son, Jehangir who significantly changed the original plans.There are four gates made of sandstone lead to the tomb complex indicate the mjor religion Hindu,Muslim,Christian and his own and unique secular one.

 
Itimad -ud -daulah

This tomb was made in memory of Mirza Ghiyas Beg,who was Jehangir's wazir or prime minister and father of Empress Noor Jahan.It is also known as the "baby taj" as it was the first Mughal structure built from marble. The tomb was constructed By Noor Jahan, between 1622 and 1628 and very similar to the Tomb she made for her hasband Jahangir in Lahore.

 
Ram Bagh

Ram Bagh is one of the earliest Mughal Gardens in India. It was laid out by first Mughal emperor Babar.He was temporarily buried here before pemanently interred at Kabul, his home place.This is a huge garden and well planed and maintained too.

 
Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri was built by great Mughal Emperor Akbar between 1571 and 1584. The architectural grandeur of this city cannot be described in words.One can only experience its magnificent edifices by seeing them. It is the combinations of palaces,mosque and monuments.

 

Though The Taj Mahal is one of the greatest monumnets of the world,but Fatehpur Sikri is as remarkable as its the best of Mughal style of architechture.

 
Diwan-I-Aam

There are nine gateways on the way to the main palace complex,. Diwani-I-Aam or the hall of public audience appears first. Akbar used to listen to all the general problem of public here.The royal ladies used to sit beside the jali and to consult to him. As per tradition, Akbar's pet elephant Hiran used to be tied here to crush the head of the guilty.

 
Diwan-I-Khas

At the northern corner of diwan-i-aam there is a small but grand single-storey structure which is called Diwan-I-Khas where Akbar used to talk to his ministers.Centre of this place it is the famous Ibadat-Khana where Akbar initiated to make a new secular religion with all the goodnesses of Hindu, Muslim, Jain, and Jesuit.

 
Panch Mahal

Panch Mahal is a five storeyed building.It is also called badgir, the Persian type of wind tower for ladies of the harem. The jail screens and the carved pillars are now disappeared. Each storey of the building are in different style as per the choise and background of the queens Jodha Bai, Mariyam and Turkish sultana. On the top terraces the royal ladies used to enjoy the cool breezes and watching the view of Sikri town. In the courtyard Akbar used to play pachisi (checker board) with the live oieces of dancing girls

 
Jami Masjid

Jami Masjid was the first structure to be built in 1571. The interior is full of gorgeous ornamentation in the floral and geometrical patterns with brown, red, turquoise, black and white colors. The big courtyard can accommodate ten thousand men at prayer. Akbar was very enthusiastic about this mosque that he occasionally swept the floor and gave azan (call for prayer).

Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti Akbar built the tomb in red sandstone after eight years the saint died in 1572. The jail screens carved out of huge marble slabs shows a rare perfection of craftsmanship. The real grave lies in an undisturbed repose in the crypt which is closed to visitors. Women devotees come here and tie a colored thread to the jails to get a child and they even come back to give thanks when their wish is fulfilled.

Buland Darwaza Buland Darwaza is a huge arch which was built in 1575 to celebrate Akbar's conquest of Gujarat. The grand central arch is the most magnificent of the entire range of Mughal architecture in India. The ornamentation with calligraphy contains a famous line. "The world is but a bridge, Pass over but build no houses on it."

 
Palaces in the Harem

Abdul Fazl who was Akbar's autobiographer mentioned that there were nearly 5000 wives. Except that the queens always brought a great number of maids, dancers and attendants with them.

Jodha Bai who was the princess of Amber and mother of Jehangir and the other Rajput wives from Bikaner, Marwar, Jaisalmer, Merta and Durgapur and their companions used to live here in the double storeyed pavilion.

This palace has some Hindu architectural features like ornamental columns, bells and chain motifs with heavy brackets the wall for the deities worshipped by Rajput ladies. The other small and beautiful palace of Akbar's mother, Hamida Banu Begun is there. She was the most respected lady of the harem.

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