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Attraction of Agra

Taj Mahal

The construction of this marble masterpiece is credited to the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who erected this mausoleum in memory of his beloved wife Arjumand Bano Begum; known as Mumtaz Mahal who died in A.D. 1630 after she had given birth to his fourteenth child. Her last wish was `to build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before'. Thus Shah Jehan vowed to erect a sublime mausoleum in her memory. It was named the Taj Mahal, a peerless monument in pristine marble.

Agra Red Fort
Agra which lies on the west bank of river Jamuna became one of the principal cities of the Mughal Empire after the death of Ibrahim Lodi at Panipat in 1526. When Akbar choose Agra as his capital he laid the foundation of the Fort of Agra. After Taj this was one of the most important group of buildings. The construction was started in 1565 and was completed in about eight years at a cost of thirty five lakh of rupees under the superintendence of Qasim Khan Mir Barr-u-Bahr. This fort was just one of the many large fortified residences that the emperor wanted to have at various strategic points of his empire. According to contemporary chroniclers like Abul Fazal the fort contained over five hundred buildings. But later on Akbar's descendants added new buildings, mainly in marble to the fort and demolished the old ones.

Tomb Of Mariam Zamani
Mariam Zamani is believed to be daughter of Raja Bharmal Kachhwaha of Ambar (Amer) or modern Jaipur. She married Akbar in 1562 A.D. and gave birth to Salim (Jehangir) in 1569 at Fatehpur Sikri. Her Rajput name is not known and in Mughal history she is addressed by the title of 'Mariam Zamani', which was conferred upon her by Akbar on the eve of Salim's birth. She died at Agra in 1623 and stylistically her tomb seems to have been built by Jehangir.

Chini ka Rauza

On the left bank of river Yamuna, is located the second most beautiful building in Agra; after Taj, the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah. Designed like a silver Jewel box in marble, this building is a marvellous example of delicacy and precision in inlay work. This tomb was the first mausoleum built on riverbank, till then only pleasure gardens were built on the riverbank. This beautiful mausoleum was built by Nur-Jahan between 1622-1625 A.D. for her father Mirza Ghiyath Beg, who was appointed the prime Minister of the Empire shortly after Nur Jahan's marriage to Jehangir and titled as 'Itimad-ud-Daulah' which means "Lord Treasurer of the Empire".

Ram Bagh
Bagh-i-Gul Afshan or Ram Bagh is one of the earliest gardens of Mughal empire. Originally this garden was set up by Babur but it was later on renovated and renamed by Jehangir as Bagh-i-Nur Afshan. This garden is situated on the southern side of riverine Sarai of Nur Jehan. Babur introduced in this garden three terrace. The water, which was drawn from the river, descended from one terrace to another after flowing through a network of canals, tanks and water chutes. Each water chutes had stairs on both sides and ends in a red sandstone pond. To add to the beauty of the garden apart from the various water device platforms, pathways, Chhatris and a variety of plants were provided at regular intervals. During Jehangir's reign two beautiful suites on the two sides of the main terrace was built. In the centre a Mah-tab or island platform was built which was connected with the mainwater system. This gorgeous garden set on the riverbank is a typical example of Mughal pleasure garden.

Octagonal Tower
The Musamman Burj, or Octagonal Tower, stands close to the Diwan-I-Khas and the small, private Mina Masjid. Also known as the Saman Burj, this tower was built by Shah Jahan for Mumtaz Mahal and is another of his finely designed buildings. It was here, with its views along the Yamuna to the Taj, that Shah Jahan died in 1666, after seven years' imprisonment. Unfortunately the tower has been much damaged over the years.

Dayal Bagh Temple
In Dayal Bagh, 10 km north of Agra. The white marble Samadhi of the Radah Soami religion is currently under construction. It was started in 1904 and is nor expected to be completed until sometime next century. You can see Pietra Dura inlaid marblework actually being worked on. Dayal Bagh is 2km north of Agra and can be reached by bus or cycle. Fatehpur Sikri Like the cactus flower that for a moment adorns the desert, so was the town of Fateh Pur Sikri, having a brief span of glory and abandoned only after 15 years of its construction, due to scarcity of water in the town. But it is true that no town like Fateh Pur Sikri was ever erected before or can be erected again. This magnificent town once the capital of Mughal Empire still stands majestically, almost untouched by the passage of time.

Jama Masjid
In the close proximity of the Royal Palace is the Jami Masjid, the sacred section of the Fatehpur Sikri. Built in 1572 AD, this is one of the largest mosques of India. Inside the mosque is the vast congregational courtyard. To the right, at the corner, is the Jammat Khana hall and next to this is Zenana Rauza, the Tomb of the Royal Ladies.

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