Agra-Love of the World!

by admin on July 20, 2010

GD Star Rating
loading...
The Taj Mahal - The Eternal Symbol of Love

The Taj Mahal - The Eternal Symbol of Love

The most sought-after weekend getaway from Delhi is without doubt Agra the town next door and the address of the most famous mausoleum in the history of Love – the Taj Mahal! One of the most hyped monuments in the history of the whole world, the Taj Mahal never disappoints and you should meet the legend to find out what the hullaballoo is all about. (The celebrated Aldous Huxley is said to have expressed his dislike for the Taj, but then he is also reputed to have been short-sighted.)

Agra-a short backgrounder

Agravena or Agra finds a mention in the great Indian epic Mahabharata; however it is under the Mughals (Emperor Akbar, Emperor Jahangir, and Emperor Shah Jahan) that it reached its golden age. Home to several fabulous Mughal pieces of architecture, Agra has three World Heritage Sites (the legendary Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Agra Fort and the astonishing Fatehpur Sikri, a city that remained grounded) located in and around the city.

Shah_Jahan

Shah Jahan - Mughal Supremo

The legend

Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor fathered 14 kids, built some of the most amazing Mughal buildings including the Taj, dedicated to the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaj, was respected as an able ruler, jazzed up the Agra fort began by his grandfather Akbar and got incarcerated in the same fort by his son Aurangzeb during the final years of his life. If you say whew to that you would understand how a person could have such a majestic vision; if you don’t, just looking at the monument is enough.

Built on the banks of Yamuna, the Taj Mahal was supposed to have a twin in black marble just on the opposite bank with a bridge connecting the two. Shah Jahan wanted the black Taj to house his own grave but unfortunately he got imprisoned before construction got going. You may call the Grand Mughal a hedonist but you have to give it to him that whatever he may have lacked in his character, he did not lack imagination!

The Agra Fort-poetry in stone

The Amazing Red Fort - Agra

The Amazing Red Fort - Agra

The massive Agra Fort was begun by another great Mughal Emperor Akbar and the finishing touches were given by the builder par excellence – Shah Jahan. It is surrounded by a trench which had ferocious wild animals roaming at large and putting up the first line of defense against the invaders.

However, invaders still left their vandalisms behind and you would see many stones missing from the detailed inlay work that adorns most of the walls in rooms inside. But the grandeur has not evaporated altogether and you would still be able to discern how fantastic the living quarters in this fort cum palace must have once been.

You should not miss the gossip corner – a large room built in such a way that it is possible to hear what one is speaking in the other corner. And definitely the prison chamber of Shah Jahan from where he is supposed to have kept looking at his beloved Taj will give you a different view to the monument of love.

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri

This fort town was built by Akbar the great and legend has it that plagued by the death of his twins, Akbar had visited the saint Salim Chisti who lived in the village of Sikri. When his prediction of a male child came true, Akbar decided to honor the godman by raising a city in the same place. Fatehpur Sikri contains the remains of the celebrated Sufi saint and is seen as a respected pilgrimage by many.

Apart from the dargah of Salim Chisti, and Buland Darwaza, a magnificent gate commemorating one of Akbar’s victories; the place is associated with the nine jewels or the nine supremely gifted Akbar’s courtiers. One of them, the legendary singer Tansen who is supposed to have ignited fire/ bring forth shower at will with his singing prowess, practiced and sang here.

 

Other attractions

The beautiful Tomb of Sikandra

The beautiful Tomb of Sikandra

Sikandra, the tomb of Akbar and Itimad-Ud-Daulah’s tomb also known as the baby Taj should be part of your itinerary if you don’t have time enough for exploring all the nooks and corners in and around the city. Marble inlay work aka pietra dura and leather wares from Agra are known for their artistry, and while it is advisable not to buy anything without the knowledge of your tour operator or an experienced person, there is no harm in feasting your eyes.

GD Star Rating
loading...
Agra-Love of the World!, 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

Previous post:

Next post: