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   Agra
THE CITY OF TAJ

Tradition ascribes the foundation of Present City’s of Agra to Raja Badal Singh around 1475 AD However, the mention of Agraban in the Mahabharata suggests that it has been the sister of Mathura, an ancient city in the vicinity, from a very early period. Sikander Lodi made this place his capital, when the Lodis ruled North India. With the arrival of the Mughals in 1526 led by Babur, Agra entered a completely new epoch which, beyond everything else has contributed to making it such a sought after destination in our contemporary times. Agra reached its zenith between 1556 and 1658, under the mughal emperors Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jnhan.Akbar made it a great centre for learning, art commerce and culture. Most of the famed monuments including the Taj Mahal belong to this period when Agra witnessed a frenzy of building activity and which spoke of exceptionally high standards.

It is not surprising, then, that modern Agra still reflects its mughal heritage most conspicuously. A walk down the narrow. Bustling streets of the city will introduce the visitor to the flavours of Mughal food; the traditional craftsmen busy creating an endless chain of masterpieces, and much more. Alongside, a good range of hotels to suit all types of tourists, good restaurants serving multicuisine, and a large range of specialties to shop from, all go to make Agra what it is-an excellent tourist destination.

PRIME SITES - TAJ MAHAL

The Taj Mahal need little introduction to even the new comer to Agra since it is the raison-de-etre for his coming here. Built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal, the monument made of white marble took over 22 years to finish between 1630-1652. Ustad Isa, a Persian architect is said to have been the main designer and planner behind the Taj. Apart from its fine symmetry and balance of design, the Taj Mahal also has some of the best examples of inlay work.

Two other noteworthy features of the mausoleum are the elegant dome and the fragile screens of marble.

On full moon nights the glory of the Taj is at its best in the soft and subdued moonlight. it is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

PRIME SITES - AGRA FORT

Built between 1622-28 A.D. by Nur Jahan in memory of her father Ghias-ud-Din- Beg, this white marble tomb is an impressive structure predating the Taj itself. Though much smaller then the latter, the inlay work is often considered of an equal if not of a higher standard.

PRIME SITES - CHINI KA ROZA

This is a memorial dedicated to the well know poet and scholar of Jahangir’s reign - Allama Afzel Khan Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz.

PRIME SITES - RAMBAGH

Ram Bagh is one of the earliest gardens laid by the mughals and dates back to the era of Babar in the early 16th Century.

PRIME SITES - SIKANDRA

The noteworthy monument here is the tomb of Akbar which shows an interesting fusion of Hindu and Muslim art and architecture reflecting the spirit of the emperor himself.

PRIME SITES - MARIYAM'S TOMB

Situated on the Delhi-Agra Highway, this red sandstone tomb is dedicated to the Rajput wife of Akbar and is said to have been built around 1611 AD

PRIME SITES - JAMA MASJID

A Mosque dating back to 1648 AD and built by Jahanara Begum, the absence of minarets and the shape of the dome gives it a distinguished character. Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur: the highlight of this important bird sanctuary in India is the annual visit of the Siberian cranes which come here during the winter months. Besides, it gives sanctuary to a great variety of resident species and has gained acclaim as an ornithologist’s paradise. It is 60 Km from /Agra on the Agra- Jaipur highway.

PRIME SITES - FATEHPUR SIKRI

37 km from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, as we see it today are the remains of the new capital that Akbar Built. Predominantly, a red sandstone construction sprawling over a huge area, the architectural style is very much in tune with the emperor’s dreams and partake of both Hindu and Muslim styles. The shortage of water at the site was one of the main reasons for its desertion The semi-desert area of Shekhawati region is situated in the triangular mass of land between Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner. This region, famous for its painted havelis or mansions with beautiful frescoes, is today termed as an Open Air Art Gallery of Rajasthan. There is no record of a distinct school of painting in Shekhawati other then the frescoes. "History took this colourless page and made Shekhawati blossom with frescoes. Later, after a short span of some two hundred years, the art was lost and history passed by - a silent unparticipating spectator." The region today provides a veritable feast of wall paintings, which is unmatched in the world.

Rajasthan Destinations & Agra

 

 

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