Agra Monuments


Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is perhaps the world’s most perfectly proportioned monument. This stunning mausoleum immortalized the name of Shah Jahan’s last wife Mumtaz Mahal, “light of the palace”. Built by Indian artisans and artisans from neighboring Islamic countries, it is aptly described by the poet laureate Tagore as “A tear on the face of eternity”.


Decorated with a mosaic of semi precious stones and Persian calligraphy recreating verses from the Koran, the mausoleum is an “Urs”, an important place of pilgrimage since the empress died in childbirth, thus making her a martyr. Prayers are said and passages from Koran are constantly recited in the mosque and cenotaph chamber. Designed by the Persian architect Ustad Isa, it took 20,000 workmen 22 years of ceaseless toil to complete this mausoleum.

Agra Fort
The massive 440 years old red sandstone Agra Fort, is the original red sandstone fort of North India. Built by Akbar, the greatest Mughal Emperor in 1564 A.D., the present structure stands on the site of 14th century fort that was occupied by the Lodi Sultans of Delhi. When Akbar established his supremacy in Northern India, he began his first architectural venture with rebuilding the fort as a beautiful fort palace. The work was completed by his son and grandson, highlighting the ability of the Mughals to blend defensive and decorative architecture. Richly decorated with marble and mosaic, the many beautiful monuments within the Fort include the delicate Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-i-Khas, the Diwan-i-Am, Jehangir’s Palace and the Shish Mahal, among others. It was in a part of this fort that Shah Jahan spent the last years of his life, imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. His private quarters, where he was confined, have a magical view of the Taj Mahal across the river Yamuna.

 


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