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Taj Mahal Tour
THE CITY OF TAJ
Tradition ascribes the foundation of Present City’s of Agra to Raja Badal
Singh around 1475 AD However, the mention of Agraban in the Mahabharata
suggests that it has been the sister of Mathura, an ancient city in the
vicinity, from a very early period. Sikander Lodi made this place his
capital, when the Lodis ruled North India. With the arrival of the Mughals
in 1526 led by Babur, Agra entered a completely new epoch which, beyond
everything else has contributed to making it such a sought after destination
in our contemporary times. Agra reached its zenith between 1556 and 1658,
under the mughal emperors Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jnhan.Akbar made it a
great centre for learning, art commerce and culture. Most of the famed
monuments including the Taj Mahal belong to this period when Agra witnessed
a frenzy of building activity and which spoke of exceptionally high
It is not surprising, then, that
modern Agra still reflects its mughal heritage most conspicuously. A walk
down the narrow. Bustling streets of the city will introduce the visitor to
the flavours of Mughal food; the traditional craftsmen busy creating an
endless chain of masterpieces, and much more. Alongside, a good range of
hotels to suit all types of tourists, good restaurants serving multicuisine,
and a large range of specialties to shop from, all go to make Agra what it
is-an excellent tourist destination.
PRIME SITES -
Taj Mahal need little introduction to even the new comer to Agra since it is
the raison-de-etre for his coming here. Built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to
his queen Mumtaz Mahal, the monument made of white marble took over 22 years
to finish between 1630-1652. Ustad Isa, a Persian architect is said to have
been the main designer and planner behind the Taj. Apart from its fine
symmetry and balance of design, the Taj Mahal also has some of the best
examples of inlay work.
Two other noteworthy features of
the mausoleum are the elegant dome and the fragile screens of marble.
On full moon nights the glory of
the Taj is at its best in the soft and subdued moonlight. it is open daily
from sunrise to sunset.
PRIME SITES - AGRA FORT
Built between 1622-28 A.D. by Nur Jahan in memory of her father Ghias-ud-Din-
Beg, this white marble tomb is an impressive structure predating the Taj
itself. Though much smaller then the latter, the inlay work is often
considered of an equal if not of a higher standard.
PRIME SITES - CHINI KA ROZA
This is a memorial dedicated to the well know poet and scholar of Jahangir’s
reign - Allama Afzel Khan Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz.
PRIME SITES - RAMBAGH
Ram Bagh is one of the earliest gardens laid by the mughals and dates
back to the era of Babar in the early 16th Century.
PRIME SITES - SIKANDRA
The noteworthy monument here is the tomb of Akbar which shows an interesting
fusion of Hindu and Muslim art and architecture reflecting the spirit of the
PRIME SITES - MARIYAM'S TOMB
Situated on the Delhi-Agra Highway, this red sandstone tomb is dedicated to
the Rajput wife of Akbar and is said to have been built around 1611 AD
PRIME SITES - JAMA MASJID
dating back to 1648 AD and built by Jahanara Begum, the absence of
minarets and the shape of the dome gives it a distinguished character.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur: the highlight of this important
bird sanctuary in India is the annual visit of the Siberian cranes which
come here during the winter months. Besides, it gives sanctuary to a great
variety of resident species and has gained acclaim as an ornithologist’s
paradise. It is 60 Km from /Agra on the Agra- Jaipur highway.
PRIME SITES - FATEHPUR SIKRI
37 km from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, as we see it today are the remains of the
new capital that Akbar Built. Predominantly, a red sandstone construction
sprawling over a huge area, the architectural style is very much in tune
with the emperor’s dreams and partake of both Hindu and Muslim styles. The
shortage of water at the site was one of the main reasons for its desertion
The semi-desert area of Shekhawati region is situated in the triangular mass
of land between Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner. This region, famous for its
painted havelis or mansions with beautiful frescoes, is today termed as an
Open Air Art Gallery of Rajasthan. There is no record of a distinct school
of painting in Shekhawati other then the frescoes. "History took this
colourless page and made Shekhawati blossom with frescoes. Later, after a
short span of some two hundred years, the art was lost and history passed by
- a silent unparticipating spectator." The region today provides a veritable
feast of wall paintings, which is unmatched in the world.