India is incredible with its rich history and marvellous architecture; Taj Mahal being one of them. Located at Agra, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This memorial was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal is as beautiful as its name. Built in pure white marble, the memorial of love is studded with semi-precious stones and engraved with Arabic inscriptions from Quran. While the floral paintings are symbolic, the motifs enhance the beauty of the edifice.
Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World is not the only attraction of Agra. Agra is a treasure of Mughal and ancient Hindu architecture.
Agra Red Fort
Popularly known as the Red Fort due to its sandstone built, this is one of the mightiest forts of the Mughal era. Agra Fort is a city in itself with classic palaces, sacred mosques and massive assembly halls. While some the palaces are built in red sandstone, the others are in white marble, creating a nice hue. The Sheesh Mahal is the most enticing piece of architecture of Agra Fort; every corner of the palace is adorned with mosaic and glasses. The Khas Mahal is imposing with its white marble structure while the lush meadows of Anguri Bagh are the best place to rest your tired feet. Nagina Masjid is another gem of architecture of the fort while you can get a spectacular view of Taj Mahal from the balcony of Musamman Burj.
Also known as Sikandara, the tomb of Akbar is a mausoleum built bu Mughal emperor, Akbar. The unique feature of this mosque is that it is based on Jain, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Islamic themes; symbolic of the fact that the emperor himself believed in unity of all religions. The majestic gateway with vivid mosaic patterns is the first thing that attracts the tourists. With its square design, the tomb is different from other Mughal constructions, while the portico in front of the graveyard is distinguishing with rare stucco paintings. Last but not the least, the inscription of 99 names of Allah makes the tomb of Akbar special.
The Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb is a landmark in the architectural history of India as it is the first monument of the country to be built with marble. The tomb was dedicated to Mirza Ghiyas-ud-din or Ghiyas Beg by his daughter, Nur Jahan, the beloved empress of Mughal emperor Jahangir. A blend of Persian and Islamic influence, this tomb is beautiful with arched entrances and enticing, being located amidst green gardens at the banks of River Yamuna.
Also known as the ‘Moonlight Garden,’ Mehtab Bagh is an apt destination for tourists seeking a view of Taj Mahal in isolation. Located just at the opposite bank of Taj Mahal, this exquisite garden was made by the first Mughal emperor, Babur as the last of the 11 gardens that he had constructed. Walk on the soft grass of the garden exploring magnificent fountains and inhaling some fresh air.
The Mankameshwar Temple is a jewel of Hindu architecture at Agra. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this divine temple has several folklores surrounding it. The sanctum where the Shiva Lingum is kept represents a unique feature of Hindu architecture, while the complete shrine is precious being wrapped in silver.
Swami Bagh Samadhi
Almost an 80 years old memorial, the Swami Bagh Samadhi dedicated to Sri Shiv Dayal Singh Seth, the founder of Radhasoami Faith. The walls of the memorial exhibit 1904 paintings and delicate floral carvings.
The first planned city of the Mughals, Fatehpur Sikri was built by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar. An Indo-Islamic architectural style, Fatehpur Sikri is bright with red sandstone buildings. Ornamented pillars, jali designed jharokhas, chhatris and palatial palaces like Khas Mahal, Buland Darwaza portray the opulence of Mughal emperors.
Hence unfold the golden age of Indian architecture at Agra this vacation.