The Taj Mahal is a unique example of love based on Indo- Islamic architecture. This marvelous edifice, erected on the banks of the River Yamuna, is constructed in pure white Makrana marble.
It is dedicated to Lady Mumtaj Mahal who was the most favourite wife of the Emperor Shahjahan and died during the time of child birth. This project took 22 years time (1631- 1653) to complete it. There are three gates to enter the forecourt area of the Taj and finally you enter the northern main gate to view the magnificent structure. The best time to visit Agra with Taj Mahal Tour guide is at dawn or dusk. The main tomb is set at the end of the garden having beautiful gardens and fountains on the front while on both of the sides there are two impressive sandstone structures namely -The Royal guest house and the Mosque. The Taj Mahal also houses a small museum having some drawings, sketches and artifacts of the mughals. Our guide would take you to the Taj Mahal on horsecart and would narrate to you all the historical and architectural aspects of the Taj Mahal.
After the Taj Mahal another highlight of the city is the Agra Fort. The history of this fort goes back to the pre-mughal time while this fort was known as Badalgarh and was basically a mud fort. On the remains of the same previous fort the great mughal Emperor Akbar built this present masterpiece.Later on his descendants i.e. Jahangir and Shahjahan also contributed to this fort. This fort has double moats. As strategically this fort had a great importance, so massive security arrangements were done. AmarSingh Gate of this fort is open to the tourists and Delhi Gate is used by the Indian army. At present more than 2/3 part of this fort is occupied by the army. Worth visit monuments and palaces inside the fort are Jahangeeri palace, Angoori Bagh , Deevan- i- Am, Deevan -i- Khaas, Mussaman Burj and Khas Mahal.
This is the UNESCO protected monument like the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort and used to be the second capital of the great mughal emperor Akbar Sikri was the strong hold of sikarwar Rajputs. It is believed that Akbar had no issue and he was perplexed. A famous Sufi Saint Saleem Chisti used to reside in his Khankah in Sikri. Akbar approached the saint and he bless him with children. As Akbar got children he became a devotee to the saint. Presently you see a big Dargah of the Sufi Saint where millions of people approach to have blessings. Saleem chisti’s Tomb is built in pure white marble and note worthy is the filigree work. The religious premises has two gates one called the Royal Gate and the Other Buland Gate. You also get to see the places in the adjoing area. Major building include Deevan-i- am, Deevan-i- Khas, Panch Mahal, Turkish Sultana’s Palace, Jodhabai’s place, Anoop Talao, Beerbal Palace etc
This small tomb built on the bank of the river Yamuna is a jewel box of architecture and is properly known as the Baby Taj. This is modelled on typical Char Bagh (Four quartered Garden) system of mughal. The Tomb was constructed by Lady Noor Jahan for her parents. It took 7 years(1622-1629) to complete it. This is the first mughal tomb built in white marble. Outwardly the monument is decorated with mosaic work and the interiors are done with fresco.
This tomb of Akbar lies 10 kms away from the city on Agra- Delhi highway at Sikandra. This is again built on Char Bagh concept. The construction work of the Tomb was started in1602 by the Emperor Akbar while he was alive and the remaining work was finished by his son Jahangir. The entrance to the tomb is impressive and is well decorated with mosaic and calligraphic work. The main tomb is in the shape of a Buddhist pagoda. The garden of the tomb have much flora and fauna.
This is the Samadhi of swami ji Maharaj who was the propounder of Radhaswami faith. This is situated 2 kms away from Bhagwan Cinema. This temple is built in pure white marble and even after more than 100 years construction work in progress.
Quazi Nurullah shustari is known as Shaheed-i- Salees.He was an important sufi person from south of Iran. His Dargah is built on Dayalbagh road close to Bhagwan cinema Quazi was having an important place in Mughal emperor Akbar’s time.
On the highway to Delhi just a kilometer before the Tomb of Sikandra lies the Gurudwara – Guru ka Taal. This Sikh temple is one of the largest in the area. A beautiful marble structure adorns the sanctum sanctorum of this temple. This Gurudwara is in fond remembrance of the ninth Sikh Guru- Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib ji who gave his life for the freedom of religion. There is a free community kitchen operating 24 hours a day serving free of cost food to the needy. The Sikh temple Gurudwara is open to people of all caste/ religions.
This tomb is supposed to be the tomb of Hindu wife of Akbar, Heer Kanwar who was given the title of Mariam-Uz-zamani. Before hand it used to be the pleasure pavilion of a Lodhi ruler- Sikandar Lodhi and was converted into a tomb by the Mughal. This tomb is close to Sikandra on NH 2.
This is the tomb of mullah Shukurullah Shirazi who was the Important noble of shahjahan .Shirazi was a famous Persian poet. This tomb was built in 1635 and was glaring with the use of glazed tiles. This tomb is based on the bank of river Yamuna is close to Itmad-Ud- Duala’s Tomb.
This is again a famous garden tomb of Emperor Babur. Babur, the founder of mughal dynasty in India was a lover of gardens and he laid out many gardens in Agra on the bank of river Yamuna. This is one of his famous gardens and was previously known as Aram Bagh (leisure Garden). Babur’s temporary burial was done here and later on according to his wish his body was exhumed and re buried in Kabul in Afghanistan.
Mehtab Bagh is another famous garden of Babur known as moonlight Garden. This was submerged in the sand of the river Yamuna and was excavated by A.S.I almost two decades back later on. Archeological survey of India developed a beautiful garden on the mughal there you can have the best pictures and enjoy the rear view of the Taj from this garden.
This is built on the bank of the river Yamuna in balkeshwar colony in Agra. This is the Kiosk of Rajput king of Jodhpur – Raja jaswant singh who served the mughal emperor Aurangzeb this splendid chhatri has profuse carving work in red sandstone.
This is the tomb of Salabhat Khan who was the chief treasure of the mughal emperor shahjahan. The whole building is supported on 64 pillars and is out of red sandstone. Four beautiful kiosks are added on the four corners of the platform and they add to the beauty.
(House of Glass)- This is a pretty monument close to Akbar’s Tomb Emperor Jahangir built this as his pleasure resort. The structure is highly carved out and used to have beautiful glass work.
This is very close to Bhagwan cinema on M.G road and is one of the oldest cemeteries of north India. Many Europeans of the Mughal times are buried here. Most important is the tomb of John Hessing. His tomb built in red sandstone is also known as the Red Taj Mahal.
This tomb stands on Agra, Gwalior road and was constructed in 1647 A.D Firuz Khan who the incharge of the Royal Harem of Shahjahan built his own tomb. The tomb is totally built in red sand stone and is on the bank of a reservoir. Many carvings depict flower vases ,swans and lotus flower this tomb fell victims to the local encroachment but now A.S.I. has restored it a lot.