Historical Places in Agra
Whatever type of tour one may opt for, be it a tour for entertainment or pilgrimage, there is an element of education in it. Man learns a lot while traveling and it was travel that has brought the early man this far. Every place has a message and every tour has an element of entertainment, education and of course fun. However, there are certain locations that stand apart for the sheer excellence they have to offer in terms of natural beauty or man made wonders. Agra in Uttar Pradesh is one such place and if it is your choice destination for this year’s vacation, take some time to go through the places to visit in Agra that you are not supposed to miss on your Historical Places in Agra
- Taj Mahal: You cannot think of Agra without thinking of Taj Mahal. Or, you might not have thought of Agra were it not for the monument of love. Taj Mahal, the white marble beauty was constructed by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The monument stands proof for the brilliance of Mughal architecture. Named as one of the wonders of the world, Taj Mahal stands the test of time. It has been declared as World Heritage Site in the year 1983. It is a feast to your eyes and senses to watch the unmatched beauty on the night of full moon day.
- Agra Fort: You would regret if you miss Agra Fort during your visit to Agra. The 16th century monument is yet another proof of the architectural brilliance of Mughals. This is situated near the gardens of the world famous Taj Mahal. Called the Red Fort of Agra, you will be awe inspired by the powerful fortress. The fortress comprises many palaces namely, Jahangir Palace, Khas Mahal and so on. There are audience halls and two mosques. The entire fortress is a symbol of Mughal’s grandeur. It was in Agra Fort Shah Jahan was held prisoner by Aurangazeb, his son. Shah Jahan, the emperor, spent his last days here viewing the monument of love he had built for his wife.
- Itmad-Ud-Daulah: India’s first tomb to be made completely out of marble, Itmad-Ud-Daulah signals the beginning of new era in Mughal architecture. Until then, it was buildings of red sandstone. It was constructed during Jahangir’s period. The 21-meter high tomb was constructed in memory of Mirza Ghiyas, who was the father-in-law of Jahangir. He was bestowed with the title Itmad-Ud-Daula, which means pillar of the state. Influenced by Islamic architectural style, the monument’s towers display Persian touch. The wall paintings inside are sheer beauty to view.
- Fatehpur Sikri :Built by Akbar, the Mughal emperor in 1570, the city was a tribute to Sufi Saint. Fatehpur Sikri is a perfect blend of Indian, Islamic and Persian architecture and it was built using red sandstone. For around 10 years, the city remained the capital of Mughal Empire. The city has a 6-kilometer long wall on three sides and there are towers and gates. It houses some of the city’s important buildings namely Buland Darwaza, Birbal’s House, Panch Mahal and Jama Masjid. The entire city along with all the important constructions including royal palaces, Jama Masjid and courts were declared as World Heritage Site in the year 1986.
- Mariam’s Tomb : Located a kilometre north of Sikandra (a suburb of Agra) is Mariam’s Tomb, the final resting place of Akbar’s wife and Jahangir’s mother, Marium-uz-Zamani Begum. Mariam’s Tomb, though largely plain, is a large sandstone structure with intricate carvings covering its outer walls. Unlike other Mughal monuments, the tomb has no domes and large chhatris top the corners of the building instead. The architecture of the tomb is a unique combination of Islamic and Hindu styles, which had gained popularity during the rule of Akbar and Jahangir. The interiors of the tomb are segmented by a grid of crisscrossing corridors and like most Mughal tombs, Mariam’s grave lies in a vault below the surface of the tomb.
- Khas Mahal : Flanked by the majestic Yamuna on one side and the Anguri Bagh on the other, Khas Mahal, also known as Aramgah-i-Muqaddar, was a private palace built by Shah Jahan for his daughters Roshnara and Jahanara. Construction of the Khas Mahal began in 1631 and was completed in 1640. The Khas Mahal has heavily adorned ceilings and alcoves in the walls around. They once contained portraits of Mughal rulers. Iron rings visible on the ceilings were where chandeliers once hung. Take a stroll through Khas Mahal and enjoy its beautiful tanks, fountains, marble domes, open courtyards and a large central hall. The interiors of the palace are adorned with gold work, mural paintings, ornamental designs and floral designs. The pavilions of the Khas Mahal were constructed using red sandstone and coated with white shell plaster. They contained beautiful golden work and fresco paintings. Gold and blue, the 2 royal colours of the time have been used extensively and some traces of them are still visible in the Khas Mahal.
- Chini ka Rauza : Chini ka Rauza is the tomb of Afzal Khan, a Persian poet who was also a minister in the court of Shah Jahan. This tomb is a landmark of Indo-Persian architecture and is the first building in India to be adorned with glazed tile work. The Chini ka Rauza is a brown, rectangular building, yet its most striking feature remains its tiles or chini in different hues such as turquoise, orange, yellow and green. The inside of the tomb is decorated with now fading paintwork and inscriptions from the Quran.
- Anguri Bagh : Built by Shah Jahan in 1637, Anguri Bagh is flanked by the Khas Mahal on its east and red sandstone walkways on its other three sides. As the name suggests, Anguri Bagh was known for its rich harvests of grapes and flowers and was also the central area of the zenana. The garden was meant to be a private area of relaxation for the royal ladies. It is made up of a concrete platform with a fountain in the middle. The garden is divided into various subdivisions with elaborate geometric patterns. To the northeast of Anguri Bagh are structures which were use as the royal bath houses or hamams and were extravagantly decorated with fine wall paintings.