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AGRA FORT

 
The Agra Fort was begun by Akbar between 1565 and 1573. It is situated on the west bank of the Jumna River, about 2km upstream from the Taj Mahal (map). Akbar built the fort of sandstone; his grandson Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal, constructed palaces of white marble within the fort itself. Shah Jahan was imprisoned in Agra Fort following the coup of his son, Aurangzeb, and died here.

Agra Fort is entered today at the south end, through a low outer wall and gate (shown here) built by Aurangzeb. Visitors then pass in succession through two of Akbar's gates, the Amar Singh and the Akbari, before finally gaining admittance to the fort proper. The original entrance to the fort was through the grander Delhi Gate in the west wall.

TAJ MAHAL

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The most beautiful building in the world. In 1631 the emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz, who died in childbirth. The white marble mausoleum at Agra has become the monument of a man's love for a woman.

Taj Mahal is considered to be the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Islamic and Indian architectural styles.

FATEHPUR SIKRI

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Fatehpur Sikri is located in Uttar Pradesh , about 40km ( 25 miles) west of Agra , the city famous for the Taj Mahal.

During the days of Akbar, the most prominent of the Mughal emperors, Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of Mughal India. Houwere after his death the city had been abandoned. Though very unlikely, the most popular reason told for this is some kind of water shortage or drought in the capital region.Fatehpur Sikri is now a ghost city, popular among both tourists and archeologists.

BULAND DARWAZA

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The Buland Darwaza is a grand gateway located in Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. This triumphal arch was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, when he defeated the king of Khandesh or Gujarat in 1573.

The name Buland Darwaza means 'High Door' and this victory arch rises to a height of 40 meters or 175 feet. It is the most striking monument in Fatehpur Sikri and can be seen from quite a distance. Rising impressively towards the sky, the Buland Darwaza is approached by a series of steps. You will pass under the massive arch of the Buland Darwaza when you enter the city of Fatehpur Sikri.

ITMAD-UD-DAULAH'S TOMB

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Itmad-ud daulah, one of the most beautiful of Mughal tombs, stands across the river Yamuna from the Taj Mahal, nearly one and a half kilometers up-stream. Belonging to the age of Jahangir, it contains cenotaphs of Mirza Ghiyas and Asmat Begum, parents of the powerful Mughal Empress Nurjahan queen of Jahangir, an exceptional beauty and an astute administrator. The tomb marks a significant departure from the tombs of the Mughal dynasty built before its construction.

The pure white and elaborately carved tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah conforms to the Islamic style of architecture. The use of arched entrances, octagonal shaped towers or minarets, use of exquisitely carved floral patterns, intricate marble-screen work and inlay work are all representative of the Islamic style.

RAMBAGH

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The Rambagh Gardens in Agra, a beautiful Mughal pleasure Garden, are located 3 Km from the Tomb of Itimad ud Daulah and 500 m from the Chini Ka Rauza.

The Mughal Emperors of India, were very influenced by their Persian background. In Persia, the pleasure garden is an important part of the landscape of every city. The Mughal emperors introduced the same concept in India. In Islam, the garden is considered a representation of Paradise, a word derived from pairidesa, which means land of fairies. Devout Muslims should not only aspire to reach paradise but should strive to create its likeness on earth. Therefore the Mughal Emperors laid out many beautiful gardens to create a paradise within their kingdoms.

MEHTAB BAGH

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Mahtab Bagh is situated on the sandy bank of Yamuna River just opposite the Taj Mahal mausoleum. The place is an ideal spot for it provides picturesque view of Taj Mahal. The name Mehtab Bagh means 'Moon Lit Garden' and the same was testified by the beautiful reflection of Taj Mahal in the pool at night in Mahtab Bagh. The place has a history of its own. It is believed that the great emperor Shah Jahan who built Taj Mahal for his queen wanted an identical one for himself at Mehtab Bagh. However the archaeological findings have proved the existence of garden complex. Whatever the popular beliefs be, the place is worth a visit as it provides bewitching image of Taj Mahal.

The important attraction of Mehtab Bagh is Taj Mahal itself. The garden has been renovated by the Archaeological Survey according to the original plan. The place has been enriched with vegetation and at present more than 40 species of plants bloom in the garden. The garden has been built in a typical Charbagh fashion.

DAYALBAGH

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The Dayalbagh Gardens have been founded in the memory of Shiv Dayal Sahib the founder of the Radhasoami Satsang Movement, a religious movement that was begun in 1861. The movement basically follows a code that is an amalgamation of a number of other religions such as Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism and Buddhism. The architecture of the Dayalbagh Gardens follows much of the same pattern of amalgamation of the traits of different religions like the Radhasoami Satsang movement itself. Thus, this beautiful memorial gives examples of different architectural styles such as those that can be found in temples, gurudwaras, viharas and mosques all across the country. Impressive at a height of around 110 feet, the memorial is built completely in white marble with majestic pillars.

TAJ MAHAL GARDEN

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Taj Mahal gardens, Agra mostly feature religious motifs. The Water Garden, for example, is divided into four equal squares by two marble canals. The garden is bounded by cypress trees and fountains; the garden conjures up the Islamic concept of heaven where rivers of water, milk, wine and honey flow. At the center of the garden and the mausoleum a lotus shaped tank is located. The water in the tank acts as a reflective facade and the image of Taj can be seen on the water from any spot in the garden. The exclusive location of the tank helps the mirror like viewing of this extravagant monument of love.

JAMA MASJID

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The Jama Masjid Agra has been built at a great height and has a large courtyard for prayers and is flanked by the Jammat Khana hall and the Zenana Rauza (the tomb of the women of the royal household) on both sides.

When you visit the Jama Masjid, you can also have a look at the shrine of the Sufi religious leader Sheikh Salim Chisti, which is an example of some very amazing workmanship. The whole of Jama Masjid is exquisitely decorated with inscriptions, inlaid geometric designs and colored tiles. Yet, the monument manages to preserve its austerity.

MANGLESHWAR TEMPLE

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The Mangleshwar Temple in Agra is reckoned among the most celebrated religious sites of Agra. It is situated towards the western part of the Agra city center in the Gokal Pura area. This temple is very lavishly bedecked during festivities and exemplifies the religious diversity in Agra. Truly speaking, a visit during Hindu festivities will bring in spotlight the Hindu style of worship. The entire ambience of the temple acquires a gorgeous, animated and colorful look. If you are also interested in paying Agra Mangleshwar Temple a visit and basking in its architectural splendor and religious importance then do come here. It is very near to the central railway line. This rail line connects the northern and southern regions of the Agra city. You can also come here by Ramratan Road.

GURU KA TAAL

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The Agra Guru Ka Taal is a holy place of worship for the Sikh. The four Sikh gurus of the 10 Sikh gurus are said to have paid it a visit. Enjoying both historical and religious importance, this gurudwara attracts end number of devotees and tourists. Every year thousands of devotees gather here to pay homage to the great Sikh guru. This 17th century red stone structure is reckoned among the magnificent architectural wonders of India. 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.

MOTI MASJID

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The Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque, built between 1648-54, stands on the ground that slopes from east to west to the north of Diwan-I-Am complex. It is known so because of its pearly white marble interiors.

The exteriors of the mosque seem to be made of brick. The monumental mosque was built at that time at an exponential cost of three lakh of rupees and had a marble-paved court. The marble tank situated centrally in the court and the sundial made up of an octagonal marble pillar in one of its corners are quite impressive. There are arcaded cloisters surrounding the courtyard on the northern, eastern and the southern sides with twelve sided pillars and cusped arches while the prayer chamber is on its western side.

TAJ MUSEUM

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The museum was established in 1982 in the ground floor in western Naubat Khana, also known as Jal Mahal, with in the Taj Mahal complex. It is a double storied building having a quadrangle projection outside and is built on a raised platform.

The museum comprises of three galleries in addition to the main hall and has on display various exhibits relating mostly to the construction of the Taj Mahal and to the period of its builders. Totally 121 antiquities are on display, which are broadly categorized as Mughal miniature paintings, manuscripts, government decrees, specimen of calligraphy, arms, utensils, plans and drawings of Taj Complex, paintings, specimen inlay work, marble pillars, etc.

JAHANGIRI MAHAL

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This is the first notable building that the visitor sees on his right hand side at the end of a spacious lawn, as one enters through the Amar Singh Gate and emerges out of the passage. It was built by Akbar as women's quarters and is the only building that survives among his original palace buildings. It is built of stone & is simply decorated on the exterior.

JODHA BAI'S PALACE

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Jodha Bai's palace is the largest and most important part of Imperial Harem, having all facilities, provisions and safeguards. The name Jodha Bai palace is a misnomer in itself. It is most widely accepted that the building was for Raniwas or Zenani-Dyodhi.

The palace building consists of a rectangular block measuring 231'8"x215' in dimension, with a single magnificent gateway on eastern side, which was protected by guard rooms, having triangular ceiling and other apartments. Several Hindu motifs have been used in the building, which confirms that occupant of the building was a Hindu lady.