Places to see in Agra-

With three world heritage sites and one of the seven wonders of the world and many other buildings of historical places ,Agra is certainly a place which takes you to the forgotten pages of history.It also shows the architecture of Mughals and persians and the grandeur of the Mughal emperors who ruled India for many centuries. Although the word Agra seems synonymous with Thr Majestic Taj Mahal but apart from it there are many imposing buildings that make your vacations worthwile.So, just take a look at the places you should see during your Agra travel.

Historical monuments in Agra-

Taj Mahal-

Taj Mahal- Agra travel-Famous Places in indiaOne of the best monuments in the world ,Taj Mahal literally mean 'Crown's Palace' and is the final resting place of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Taj Mahal is considered as the symbol of eternal love. Finished in white marble this mausoleum was finished building in 1653. It is said that it too 20,000 workers to work for 16 years to build this wonder.

The grounds of the complex include several other beautiful buildings, reflecting pools, and extensive ornamental gardens with flowering trees and bushes, and a small gift shop. The Taj framed by trees and reflected in a pool is amazing. Close up, large parts of the building are covered with inlaid stonework.

I have found one of the best descriptions of Taj Mahal in Wikipedia-
It can be observed like a mirage from the Agra Fort from where Emperor Shah Jahan stared at it, for the last eight years his life as a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb. It is a masterpiece of symmetry, seeming to be floating in the air from a distance, and each revealed as an illusion experienced as one enters through the main gate. Verses of the Holy Koran are inscribed on it.The Taj Mahal was built on a marble platform that stands above a sandstone one. The most elegant dome of the Taj, with a diameter of 60 feet (18 m), rises 80 feet (24 m) over the building and directly under the dome is the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan's tomb was erected next to hers by his son Aurangzeb. Fantastic inlay works using semi-precious stones decorate the interiors.
The Taj is open for tourists from 6 am to 7.30 pm everyday except Friday.The entry cost is Rs. 250 with a levy of Rs. 500 from foreign tourists and Rs. 20 for Indians.The security is tight and you are not allowed to take pen knives ,cigarettes etc.

Agra red fort-

Agra fort- Agra vacation- Travelling to indiaThe Agra fort also called as the Agra red fort is world heritage site and is made of red sandstone with similar outline with Delhi red fort but better preserved than this.It is believed that Mughal Emperor ,Akbar built this fort but on the gate it is clearly inscribed that it is built in 1000 AD. Many historians are of view that it was built in 1000 AD and was vastly modified by emperor Akbar and other emperors who followed him.

You can reach this fort by a shuttle bus from Taj Mahal or by hiring a Taxi or an Auto rickshaw.Transportation is cheaper than many parts in India.The entry fees to enter this fort is Rs. 250 + levy.

Incredible India has best described this fort-
The great Mughal Emperor Akbar commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort in 1565, A.D. although additions were made till the time of his grandson Shah Jehan. The forbidding exteriors of this fort hide an inner paradise. There are a number of exquisite buildings like Moti Masjid - a white marble mosque akin to a perfect pearl; Diwan-I- Am, Diwan-I-Khaas, Musamman Burj - where Shah Jehan died in 1666 A.D. Jahangir's Palace; Khaas Mahal and Shish Mahal.

Fatehpur Sikri-

Fateh pur sikri- Tourism places in india-Agra TravelThis is the third world heritage site in Agra and lies about 35 kms. from here.The place got it name after the first Mughal emperor Babur defeated Rana Sanga at a place called Sikri ( 5 kms from here). 'Fateh' is an Urdu word for victory.Later Akbar shifted his capital here but moved to Agra because of shortage of water here in Fatehpur Sikri.

The site displays a number of buildings of significant historical importance. One of them is Buland Darwaza.was built by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar in 1601 CE. at Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar built the Buland Darwaza to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. The Buland Darwaza is approached by 42 steps.

The Buland Darwaza is 53.63 m high and 35 meters wide. Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in the world and an astounding example of the Mughal architecture. The Buland Darwaza or the magnificence gateway is made of red and buff sandstone, decorated by carving and inlaying of white and black marble. An inscription on the central face of the Buland Darwaza throws light on Akbar's religious broad mindedness, here is an inscription one on the monument which is a message from Jesus advising his followers not to consider this world as their permanent home.

Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb-

Itmad-ud-daulah -agra vacation- famous places in indiaSometimes referred to as mini Taj or baby Taj, this tomb was built by empress Noor Jehan for his father Ghias-ud-din who was on one of the ministeers in the durbar of emperor Jehangir.Located on the left bank of the Yamuna river, the mausoleum is set in a large cruciform garden criss-crossed by water courses and walkways.It was here that 'Pietra Dura' the inlay work on marble - so characteristic of the Taj - was first used. On each corner are hexagonal towers, about 13 meters tall. Small in comparison to many other Mughal-era tombs, it is sometimes described as a jewel box. Its garden layout and use of white marble, pietra dura, inlay designs and latticework presage many elements of the Taj Mahal.

Sikandra (The tomb of Akbar)-

Sikandra- agra vacation- Travelling to indiaThis place is the final resting place of the emperor Akbar.Located about 13 kms. from Agra fort on Delhi-Agra highway the Akbar's tomb is a vast, beautifully carved, red-ochre sandstone tomb with deers, rabbits and langoor monkeys is set amidst a lush garden. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it. To construct a tomb in one's lifetime was a Tartary custom which the Mughals followed religiously. Akbar's son Jahangir completed the construction of this pyramidal tomb in 1613.Four red sandstone's gates lead to the tomb complex: one is Muslim, one Hindu, one christian and last is Akbar's patent mixture.

Chini ka Rauza-

This mausoleum is dedicated to Shah Jahan's prime minister ,Allama Afzal and is built in persian style.The dome made up of blue gazed tiles gives the perfect influence of persian style in the Mughal architecture.It was built by Afzal Khan a high official during Shah Jahan's reign.

Mariam's Tomb-

The tomb was built in memory of Akbar's Goan-christian wife, Mariam and has some beautiful carvvings on the redstone from which it is built.This building lies west of Akbar's tomb on Delhi-Agra highway and is largely in ruined condition.It lies in the compound of a christian missionary Society.

Religious Places in Agra-

Swami Bagh Samadhi-

swamibagh- Agra travel- Tourism Places in IndiaLocated 10 m north of Agra on Bhagwan takies- Dayalbagh road this place is the mausoleum of Huzur Swamiji Maharaj (Shri Shiv Dayal Singh Seth) .He was the founer of Radha Swami sect and his samadhi is sacred to his followers.This place also happens to be the headquarter of this sect.
The construction of this temple started abot a century ago and it is believed that it will take another century to complete this building.The construction is still going on.The carvings in stone, using a combination or coloured marble, is life-like and not seen anywhere else in India.When completed, the samadhi will have a carved dome and a gateway.

Mankameswar temple-

Located at Rawatpara near to Agra fort railway station and 2.5 kms from Agra fort this temple is one of the oldest temple of Lord Shiva located on the four corners of the city of Agra.Being located in the old city, the temple is surrounded by Mughal-era markets, some of which date back to the early days of Mughal rule in India.

Jama Masjid-

This large mosque was built by daughter of emperor Shah Jahan, Jehanara Begum in memory of the famous Sheikh Salim Chishti and his grandson Islam Khan.The mosque has a large forecourt and the assimilation of Iranian architecture makes this place particularly wrth seeing.The mosque is far famed for its unusual dome and absent minarets.

Guru ka taal -

Guru a taal is a religious place for Sikhs.It is said that one of the ten gurus of Sikhs visited this place.Originally it used to be a an artificial lake built during Jehangir's reign to conserve rain water.Boasting elaborate stone carvings and 8 towers of the 12 original towers, this gurudwara beckons travelers from far and away to bask in its glory.

Gardens in Agra-

Ram Bagh-
It is the oldest garden made by Mughals and is said to have been laid out by Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty.It lies about 2.34 km north of Taj Mahal and lies on the bank of Yamuna river. The pavilions in this garden are designed in such a manner that the wind from the Yamuna, combined with the greenery, keeps these pavilions cool even during the peak of summer. It is said that Babar was temporarily buried here before being permanently interred at Kabul in Afghanistan.

Mehtab Bagh-

Mehtab Bagh lies directly opposite to the Taj Mahal across the Yamuna river.The view of Taj Mahal from this Garden is fantastic.It also provides you the opportunity to take a view of Taj Mahal away from the crowd and with a different angle.It takes about half an hour from the centre of the city by an auto rickshaw.

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Agra : General Information

Short History of Agra

How to reach Agra?
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Where to stay in Agra?

Eating out in Agra

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