|Agra, Agra is globally renown
as the city of the Taj Mahal. But this royal Mughal city has,
in addition to the legendary Taj, many monuments that epitomise
the high point of Mughal architecture. In the Mughal period,
in the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of India.
It was here that the founder of the dynasty, Babar, laid out
the first formal Persian garden on the banks of the river Yamuna.
Here, Akbar, his grandson raised the towering ramparts of the
great Red Fort. Within its walls, Jehangir built rose-red palaces,
courts and gardens, and Shahajahan embellished it with marble
mosques, palaces and pavilions of gem-inlaid white marble.
The crowning glory of the city is obviously the Taj, a monument
of love and imagination, that represents India to the world.
Taj Mahal - stands serene and awesome, on a raised marble
platform, by the banks of the Yamuna, testifying to the timelessness
of art and love. Its pure white marble shimmers silver in
the soft moonlight, exudes a shell - pink glow at dawn, and
at the close of the day, takes on the tawny, fiery hue of
the majestic sun. Shahjahan built the monument in memory of
his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the 'lady of the Taj', who
died giving birth to their 14th child. It has been called
the most extravagant monument ever built for the sake of love.
Agra Fort- Among the other monuments that Agra takes pride
in , built by three of the greatest Mughal emperors. The construction
of this massive structure began in 1565, under Akbar, and
continued till the time of his grandson, Shahjahan. The Diwan
- i - Am, the Diwan - i - Khas, the Khas Mahal, the Palace
of Mirrors, the Pearl mosque, the Nagina Masjid, the Garden
of Grapes, and the Fish Pavilion are the other monuments in
the fort complex.
Itmad-ud-daulah tomb- stands in the centre of a grand Persian
garden, an architectural gem of its times. It is the tomb
of Mirza Ghiyas Beg, Emperor Jehangir's wazir, or Chief Minister,
and also his father - in- law.This splendid garden tomb is
believed to be the precursor of the magnificent Taj Mahal,
and was the first Mughal structure to be built entirely of
marble, and the first, again, to make use of pietra dura,
the inlay marble work that came to be typical of the Taj.
Access by Air:
Agra is on the popular regular tourist route Khajuraho/Varanasi
and return. Flights connect Agra to Delhi, Khajuraho and Varanasi
Access by Rail:
Agra lies on the Delhi to Mumbai broad - gauge railway line.
Express trains from Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, and Chennai halt
Access by Road:
Agra is connected to Delhi, Rajasthan and other cities of
Uttar Pradesh by an excellent bus service.
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