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Agra (Beacon of Love)

Agra, the city of Taj is the perfect destination to view some of the finest architecture of Mughal Era. You can find a glimpse of Mughals in every structure. The taj Mahal is one of the world’s most beautiful architecture, which is also an epitome of eternal love. Apart from Taj Mahal visitors can also take a trip to Red Fort, which is also worth visiting. The visitors can explore the colourful markets of Agra, and buy exclusive artifacts as souvenirs. Agra is the most visited city of India as it has wonder of the world and proper connectivity from various parts of India via airways, rail and Road.

Taj Mahal:

Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It took almost 17 years or the completion of this Mughal masterpiece, from 1631 AD to 1648 AD.Ustad Ahmad Lahauri was the architect of this mausoleum, around 20,000 workmen were employed for the construction. Materials that were used for the construction were brought from all the corners of India as well as central Asia. The materials that were brought from Central Asia took almost 1000 elephants to carry the raw material to the site.The crystals& jade were brought from China, sapphire and lapis lazuli from Sri Lanka,cornelian and coal from Arabia, red sandstone was sourced from Fatehpur Sikri, jasper from Punjab and turquoise from Tibet, are the raw material that were used in the construction and decoration of the Taj Mahal. The major material that was used in the construction was white marble, it was quarried from Makrana, Rajasthan.

Some people call the Taj Mahal as it rauza (tomb) of Mumtaz Mahal, and they consider it as “crown of the palace”. The monument was constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Soon after the completion of Taj mahal, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was house arrested by his son and was kept in the Agra Fort. After emperor Shah Jahan’s death, he was buried next to his wife Mumtaz mahal in the monument. By late 19th century different sections of Taj Mahal had fallen into bad conditons.

In 1857, during the revolt, British soldiers ruined Taj Mahal and took away the precious stones which were there on the walls of Taj Mahal along withlapis lazuli. In 19th century British viceroy Lord Curzon, started the remodelling of the Taj Mahal. By 1908 the project of restoration and remodelling of the lawns in British style was started. He also installed a large lamp in the inner chamber of mausoleum.

The main source of attraction of the entire complex is the Tomb. The huge marble monuments architecture is inspired from the Persian style of architecture. The length of the base is equal to the height of the marble tomb, about 115 ft (35 meters). The tomb is placed on a cylindrical "drum" which measures to the height of 23 ft (7 meters). The lotus deign is made to decorate the tomb. The monument is decorated with a perfect blend of Indian and Persian style. The exteriors of the monument shows the finest intricate Mughal Architecture in India. The decorative elements that are used in the exteriors of the monument are stone inlays, carvings, paints and stucco.

The vegetative motifs and calligraphy abstract from Quranadd an amazing and unique decorative element.The decoration of the interior chamber of the mausoleum is incomparable. It is in the shape of octagon, with doors on each face. The doors that are garden facing are at the south of the complex and it is used by visitors to witness the majestic piece of Mughal architecture.

Agra Fort

As you enter the great courtyard of Agra Fort, there is a numerous pillared hall "Diwan-i-am", which was built by Shah Jahan in 1628 on the right side. There are imperial Pavilion that include Zenana Mina Bazaar, mosques and palaces.The glory of Mughual architecture can be seen by the intricate carvings on the building, made of marbles. rooms of the fort are very cool because of the hollow walls , the walls were filled with running water to keep the temperature cool. The balconies of Agra fort show a magnificent view of river Yamuna and The Taj Mahal.

Architecture:

The fort’s architecture is built according to the guidelines stated in ‘Shilp Shastra’, namely ‘Karmuka–Khadaga’ plan. According to the architecture plan it was made in a semi-circular structure to the fort along with parallel fortification along the river Yamuna.The architecture of the for is a blend of Islamic and Hindu architecture.

The layout of the fort is described as ‘Karmuka’ according to the ancient Indian Vastu Shahstra.This layout was very beneficial for a king as the fort was fortified with huge walls and moats in the surrounding.In every element of the fortMina Masjid, Khas Mahal,Shah Jahani Mahal, the Zenana Mina Bazaar, Macchi Bhavan, Nagina Masjid and Shish Mahal.

Itmad ud Daulah

Itmad ud Daulahis completely build using white marble along with some semi-precious stones, it is located on the banks of the Yamuna rives and it has a Persian touch to it. Itmad ud Daulah is also known as Baby Taj, it is one of the monument that deserves a visit from all. This beautiful marble tomb is built by Emperor Jahangir's queen, Nurjahan in the memory of her father Mirza Ghias Beg. Visitors can also visit Chini-ka-Rauza, Ram Bagh and Mehtab Bagh which are near to this place.

Jama Masjid

Jama masjid is one of the most popular mosques in the country. It was built by emperor Shah Jahan in 1648, and he dedicated this mosque to his favourite daughter Jahanara Begum. The place has finely crafted panels of inlaid work, carvings, glazed tiles and some paintings which makes this mosque more beautiful. The walls of Jama Masjid are engraved with the praises of Shah Jahan and his daughter Jahanara.

Every Friday the mosque is lighten up, as the Muslim devotees come here and offer their weekly prayers. This brings calming and peaceful atmosphere in the mosque.

Mehtab bagh

Mehtab garden is situated on the northern side of the Taj Mahal. It is a beautiful garden complex which is also known as 'Moonlight Garden'. The complex is situated on the opposite side of the river Yamuna, it is just like an extension to the gardens of the Taj Mahal. Emperor Babur originally set up the garden, so that the visitors can enjoy a great view of taj mahal from the garden. The best time of the day to visit the garden would be evening, as you can watch the sunset which is immensely beautiful. Mehtab Garden is open throughout the day.

Tomb of Akbar the Great

Tomb of Akbar the Great is an important piece of Mughal architecture as it has the mortal remains of the greatest Mughal Emperor Akbar. The main tomb is a five storey building that exhibits intricate calligraphy, ornamented work and beautiful carvings. The design and architecture of the tomb is enough to leave the visitors spellbound

There is a huge garden around the tomb of Akbar, which offers a soothing environment to the visitors. Visitors can have a good time here while having a look at monkeys, peacocks and antelopes. The architectural as well as natural beauty of the tombis another gem in the city of love, Agra.

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