Lying on the banks of the River Yamuna in UP, Agra is a major tourist destination of India. Some of its monuments are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra has a semiarid climate and features mild winters and hot and dry summers. The golden age of the city began with the Mughals when it was then known as Akbarabad. The Marathas, later, gave it its name, Agra.
Agra is the birthplace of Din-i-Ilahi and the Radhaswami Faith, which flourished during the reign of Akbar. Agra has historic bonding with Shauripur of Jainism and Runukta of Hinduism.
Taj Mahal, built in 1652, is one of the most famous buildings in the world and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Agra is commonly identified as the “City of Taj”. This perfectly symmetrical monument took 22 years of labour and 20,000 workers, masons and jewelers to build and is located amidst landscaped gardens. Several verses of the Quran are extolled on it and twenty-two small domes are made at the top of the gate.
Agra Fort was commissioned by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565 and is another of Agra’s World Heritage Sites. Notable buildings in the fort include the Motī Masjid, the Dīwān-e-‘Ām and Dīwān-e-Khās, Jahāngīr’s Palace, Khās Mahal, Shīsh Mahal and the Musamman Burj.
Constructed by Akbar, Fatehpūr Sikrī was his capital. A World Heritage Site, it is often visited by tourists. Buland Darwāza was built by him in 1601 CE at Fatehpūr Sikrī. The Buland Darwāza is can be approached in 52 steps. It is made of red and buff sandstone, decorated by carving and black and white marble inlays. An inscription on the central face of the Darwāza reads a teaching by Jesus Christ where he is advising his followers that this world is not their permanent home; it demonstrates Akbar’s religious broadmindedness.
Sikandra is the burial ground of the greatest Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great. The tomb reflects the wholeness of his personality. The gigantic, skillfully carved, red-ochre sandstone grave with animals like rabbits, langurs and deer and are set amidst a lush garden. 99 names of Allah have been inscribed on the tomb.
This temple is among the four ancient temples devoted to Lord Shiva. The temple is surrounded by different markets; many of them date back to the Mughal Era.
Gurudwara Guru ka Taal
Originally a reservoir, it is a holy place for the Sikhs. Enjoying both chronological and holy importance, this shrine attracts a large number of devotees and tourists all throughout the year.
Built in 1648, is notable for its unusual dome and absence of minarets.
Chini ka Rauza
Known for Persian designs, its dome is constructed with blue glazed tiles, it is dedicated to Allāma Afzal Khāl Mullā Shukrullāh of Shiraz, the Prime Minister at the court of Shah Jahan.
Ram Bagh, the oldest Mughal gardens in India, was built by the Emperor Babur in 1528 on the banks of River Yamuna. It lies in the north of the Tāj Mahal. The pavilions in this garden are planned so that the wind from the Yamuna keeps the garden cool even during summer.
Also known as Sur Sarovar, Keetham lake is situated within the Surdas Reserved Forest. The lake has an extraordinary variety of aquatic life and water birds.
Mughal Heritage Walk
Mughal Heritage Walk is a part of community development program. It seeks to build sustainable livelihoods for youth and women from low resource communities and improve their living environments through infrastructure services and integration within the city.
Fairs and festivals of Agra
This cultural festival was started in the year 1992 and has grown since then. The year 2017 is the 26th year of this Mahotsav. A large number of Indian and foreign tourists coming to Agra join this festivity in the month of February. One of the objectives of this craft fair is to provide encouragement to the artisans.
It is a part of Ram-lila celebration in Agra. It is one of the biggest annual events in North India. Every year a new locality is chosen in Agra and is elaborately decorated with lights & flowers.
Taj Literature Festival
It sees stars of the literary world manifest themselves on the earth of Agra. This festival is an attempt to rejuvenate that aesthetic spirit which is a soul of this historically rich city, Agra.
Image Courtesy: Native Planet, History in India, TripAdvisor, Agra Leaks, HappyTrips.com
One thought on “The heart of the Mughals”
Agra and the Taj Mahal was a place I really, really would love to go back to. Or India period.
No other country has left an impact on me like India.
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