Agra, historic and capital city of Mughals on the banks of river Yamuna in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh find its description in early historic inscriptions. However, city came to its glory during the Mughals and remain the capital of Mughal Empire under the rule of Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. During this period , lot of monuments of Mughal legacy and architectural excellence were constructed including Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Tomb of Itmad-ud-daullah, Sikandra, Fatehpur Sikri, Mehtab Bagh and Aram Bagh. After the decline of Mughal Empire, city came under the influence of Marathas before taken over by British in 1803. Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Agra is part of famous Golden Triangle Tour along with Delhi and Jaipur. City is well connected with Delhi and Jaipur by road and by a flight with important sacred city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

Photograhs of : Taj Mahal , Agra Fort , Itmad-ud-daullah , Mehtab Bagh , Sikandra , Fatehpur Sikri

Taj Mahal :  Monument of Love, Romance in Marble, Tear Drop on the Cheeks on Time, Crown of the Palaces …..and so many more words and phrases have been described by scholars and poets about this beautiful building. For tourists ….. It is just … Superb, Whao…Amazing, Marvelous ……

Ivory white marble mausoleum on the banks of river Yamuna was constructed between 1631-1653 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his beloved queen Mumtaj Mahal. Later, the emperor was also buried here next to the grave of his wife.

The magical allure of Taj Mahal has been drawing tourists from all around the world and is the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Taj Mahal can be visited at many times, but may be one of the most amazing views are during the sunrise or sunset, when the sky forms a symphony of colors and the almost translucent marble of this eternal monument absorbs the magical light and reflects it, thus giving an unforgettable show from its gardens.

Agra Fort or Red Fort of Agra is perfectly preserved massive fort complex was the main residence of Mughal Emperors till 1638 when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. This UNESCO World Heritage Site houses many palaces constructed by different rulers. Akbar Mahal, Jahangiri Mahal, Palace of Roshan Ara, Diwan-E-Am, Diwan-e-Khas, Moti Masjid are the main architectural sites inside the fort complex. However ,perhaps the most remarkable place inside is the Mutthamman Burz or Shahjahani Mahal where Emperor Shah Jahan, the builder of Taj Mahal was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. It is said that Shah Jahan wished to be imprisoned here so that he can see the great monument Taj Mahal which he dedicate to his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Even today, similar and uninterrupted views of Taj Mahal can be enjoyed.

Tomb of Itmad-ud-daullah or Baby Taj constructed in white marble is a jeweled shaped building by river side and is the first building erected in white marble. Perhaps the idea of building Taj Mahal in white marble was inspired from here. The tomb was constructed by Queen Nur Jahan for the mausoleum of her parents.

Sikandra at the out-skirts of Agra is the Tomb of Great Mughal Emperor Akbar. Built between 1603 and 1613 is an important Mughal architecture masterpiece. The dome in the center of the gardens is flanked by a wall with four gates of Muslim, Hindu and Christian architecture.

Mehtab Bagh or Moonlit Garden on the north bank of river Yamuna opposite to Taj Mahal was the last of the eleven Mughal built gardens in the shape of Char Bagh. The gardens are perfectly aligned with Taj Mahal on the other bank and one can enjoy mesmerizing views of Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh.

Fatehpur Sikri , the erstwhile capital of Mughals lies approximate 38 Kms west of Agra was founded by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1571. It is said that it was bent of mind of an emperor from capitalism to spiritualism when Akbar visited a small village “Sikri” to seek the blessing of the a famous Sufi saint Salim Chishti. Akbar was blessed with the birth of a son in 1969 who later became the emperor of India and was known by the name of Jahangir. Akbar began the construction of a religious compound to commemorate the saint. Later, imperial buildings and palaces were constructed with-in a walled city. City got its name as Fatehpur Sikri or a City of Victory after Akbar’s victory over Gujrat. The palace complex has many architectural masterpieces like Diwan-E-Khas, Diwan-E-Am, Panch Mahal , Anup Talao, Treasury, Astrologer’s seat, Jahangiri Mahal and Buland Darwaja. White marble building has the grave of Sufi saint under an ornate wooden canopy encrusted with mother of pearl mosaic.

Bear Rescue Sanctuary and Elephant Conservation Center are two other interesting places to visit and are the re habitation centers of Sloth Bears and Asiatic Elephants. Both centers are run by an NGO Wild Life SOS and house around 175 sloth bears and around 12 elephants rescued from the miserable living conditions.

Visit a rural village near Agra and learn how life is dependent on agriculture and cattle. Experience the roti ( Indian bread ) making in the kitchen of a village house along with milking of buffalo by hand. The girls of the village will be happy to make a rangoli ( you can also learn it ) to welcome you.

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