The city is home to some of the most beautiful mausoleums, forts and palaces in the country. Dreaming of a romantic time in India? Look no further than Agra. The city is home to some of the most beautiful mausoleums, forts and palaces in the country. Most people make Taj Mahal day tour from Delhi or Jaipur, but we highly recommend staying at least overnight so you can enjoy a romantic sunset at the Taj Mahal. It finds mention in the epic Mahabharata when it was called Agrevana. It was later established as the capital of Sultanate of Delhi by Sikandar Lodi in the 16th century. Fatehpur Sikri, which served as the capital of Mughal Empire between 1571 and 1585, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one among the popular tourist places to visit near Agra
Places to visit in Agra
Agra Fort is a historical fort in the city of Agra in India. In 1983, the Agra fort has been inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage site along with Taj Mahal.The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city. After the First Battle of Panipat (1526) in which Mughal Emperor Babur defeated Ibrahin Shah Suri, he chose a new site near the Yamuna River and built a mud-brick fort known as Badalgarh. It was in 1558 when Emperor Akbar succeeded to throne that Agra assumed its present shape and size. He added palaces, gates and gardens to it which were later enhanced by his successors Jahangir and Shahjahan.
The interior of the fort was even more spectacular: it housed several palaces, each with their own special features and decorations. One palace had a large hall for gathering guests; another palace had a room that served as an audience chamber for kings; yet another palace had beautiful marble flooring throughout its entire length!
The Taj Mahal was built as a tomb for the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal, who died bearing her 14th child. After her death, the emperor commissioned the monument, and construction began in 1632. The white marble mausoleum was completed in another 10 years. Shah Jahan himself passed away in 1666 and was interred in the Taj Mahal alongside his beloved wife.
In 1983, UNESCO declared the Taj Mahal a World Heritage Site, an honor it shares with only 26 other sites across India. In 2010, a global poll conducted by Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Smithsonian magazine ranked the Taj Mahal as one of the most favorite manufactured wonders out of 200 monuments in the world. So lots of people prefer Taj Mahal day tour from Delhi. In 2007, it was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
The city of Fatehpur Sikri is just 37 kilometers from Agra, and within the same state of Uttar Pradesh. Its name means “city of victory” in Hindi, and it was built as the capital of the Mughal Empire by Emperor Akbar. However, due to a lack of water, the capital was moved back to Agra only 15 years later. Now the complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the best places to visit in India.
The city was designed with both Islamic and Hindu influences in mind. Akbar wanted to rule over both religions with tolerance and love, so he created a city that incorporated elements from both cultures. For example, there are many Hindu elements in Fatehpur Sikri’s architecture, such as the lotus blossom on pillars and arches. In addition, there are many large buildings built for religious purposes in both Hinduism and Islam.
Imad-ud-daulah’s Tomb, often described as a “jewel box”, is often regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal. The mausoleum was commissioned by Nur Jahan, the wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg, who had been given the title of Itimad-ud-Daulah (Pillar of the State). Nur Jahan was also responsible for constructing the tomb of her husband Jahangir and her brother Asaf Khan in Lahore. The tomb has an ambiance quite different from the Taj Mahal. Unlike the white marbled Taj, Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb is built with marble that has richly coloured patterns. The tombs are set in a garden on opposite sides of a stream.
The mausoleum is square in plan, set on a base about 50 feet square and about 22 feet high. On each side there is an arch shaped doorway to enter into the main hall. There are four minarets at the four corners which are about 40 feet high. The minarets have alternate vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble up to half their height
The Mughal emperor Akbar (1542-1605), having decided that he would be buried at Sikandra, a suburb of Agra, built his tomb there, though it was not completed until after his death. The building was designed by a court architect, probably Ustad Ahmad. The mausoleum is about 200 meters square, with four minarets in the corners, and each side has an arched gateway whose design is derived from the Tāj Mahal. A massive red sandstone wall encloses the compound, which also includes gardens and pavilions for courtiers of the king.The main structure is of red sandstone with intricate carvings on the walls. There are many chhatris (umbrellas) on the roof. The main entrance gate to the mausoleum has a courtyard with rooms on either side for guards. Inscribed over this gate is an extract from the Qur’ān
Mehtab Bagh (the Moonlight Garden) is located on the opposite side of the Yamuna River, in relation to the Taj Mahal. The garden complex, square in shape, measures about 300 by 300 metres and is perfectly aligned with the Taj Mahal on the opposite bank. During the moonlight, the shimmering reflection of the Taj Mahal is visible in the waters of Mehtab Bagh. It was designed as a part of the Taj complex and was meant to be an important element of it. The raised pathways ran north-south and east-west. A feature that has disappeared now are two rectangular pools, which were located on either side of the western channel.
The Mehtab Bagh was conceived as a moonlit pleasure garden in order to capture reflections of the moonlight on its surface as well as those of nearby Taj Mahal on its surface. The garden is perfectly aligned with Taj Mahal, on opposite side of Yamuna river, which allows viewing of Taj from here in all its splendor.
The Jama Masjid Agra, one of the largest mosques in India, was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1648 and 1656. The edifice stands at the entrance to the Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort, on whose right side stands Akbar’s mosque, the Moti Masjid. There are three great gates, four towers and two minarets standing 40 meters high. The courtyard of the mosque can hold 25,000 persons at once. The main entry gate has 39 steps which have to be climbed to reach the mosque.
The eastern gateway of Jama Masjid is a three-storied structure built with red sandstone and white marbles. In that gate there are four towers and two minarets built on both sides of it. These minarets are forty-meter high from ground level and were constructed with white marble up to half its height from ground level and with red sandstone above that level.
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