Home | About Us | Tour Packages | About Taj Mahal | Hotels In Agra | 7 Wonders | Delhi Agra Tour | Contact Us
 

About Agra

About  Taj Mahal

Attractions in and around Agra

When to Visit tajmahal

How to Reach Taj Mahal

Cities Around Agra

Taj Mahotsav

Agra Hotels

 

About Agra

Agra - The city of Mughals

Agra is the another city comes under golden triangle, after Delhi. The ancient city is situated on the bank of river Yamuna. Agra is known all over the world for housing World Heritage Sites like Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Agra city is considered hopelessly romantic due to the presence of massive monument of Taj Mahal. The city of Agra is surrounded by various places of historical significance. The forts and palaces built in Mughal era speaks of Mughal grandeur. Apart from the monuments the city is famous for its variety of cuisines, prominent among them is the Mughlai cuisine. The city also offers a variety of eating out options, which are available on a reasonable charge.

The History of Agra

The history of Agra is as variant as the people of the city. The city become of one of the principal cities of the Mughal Empire during 1526 to 1658. Agra got its best recognition, when the city was under the rule of great Mughal Emperor Akbar. After the death of Ibrahim Lodi in the war of Panipat in 1526, emperor Akbar choose Agra as his capital.

 
About  Taj Mahal

The most beautiful building in the world. In 1631 the emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz, who died in childbirth. The white marble mausoleum at Agra has become the monument of a man's love for a woman.

Shah Jahan came to power in 1622 when he seized the throne from his father, while murdering his brothers to ensure his claim to rule. He was known as an extravagant and cruel leader. But he redeemed himself by his generosity to his friends and the poor, by his passion in adorning India with some of its most beautiful architecture, and by his devotion to his wife Mumtaz Mahal - "Ornament of the Palace." He had married her when he was 21, when he already had two children by an earlier consort. Mumtaz gave her husband 14 children in eighteen years, and died at the age of 39 during the birth of the final child. Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a monument to her memory and her fertility, but then relapsed into a life of scandalous behavior. This tomb was only one of hundreds of beautiful buildings that Shah Jahan erected, mostly at Agra and in the new Dehli that came into being under his planning.

Many architects have rated it as the most perfect of all buildings standing on earth. Three artists designed it: a Persian, an Italian, and a Frenchman. But the design is completely Mohammedan. Even the skilled artisans who built it were brought in from Baghdad, Constantinople, and other centers of the Muslim faith. For 22 years more than 20,000 workmen were forced to build the Taj. The Maharaja of Jaipur sent the marble as a gift to Shah Jahan. The building and its surroundings cost more than $200,000,000 in todays currency.

Passing through a high wall, one comes suddently upon the Taj - raised upon a marble platform, and framed on either side by handsome mosques and stately minarets. In the foreground spacious gardens enclose a pool in whose waters the inverted palace becomes a quivering dream. Every portion of the structure is of white marble, precious metals, or costly stones. The building is a complex figure of twelve sides, four of which are portals. A slender minaret rises at each corner, and the roof is a massive spired dome. The main entrance, once guarded with solid silver gates, is a maze of marble embroidery; inlaid in the wall in jeweled script are qotations from the Koran, one of which invites the "pure in heart" to enter "the gardens of Paradise."

Shah Jahan had begun his reign by killing his brothers; but he had neglected to kill his sons, one of whom was destined to overthrow him. In 1657 his son Aurangzeb led an insurrection from the Deccan. Aurangzeb defeated all the forces sent against him, captured his father, and imprisoned him in the Fort of Agra. For 9 bitter years the deposed emperor lingered there, never visited by his son, attended only by his faithful daughter Jahanara, and spending his days looking from the Jasmine Tower of his prison across the Jumna to where his once-beloved Mumtaz lay in her jeweled tomb.

The new emperor Aurangzeb was a more pious Muslim than his father Shah Jahan had been. He memorized the entire Koran, spent days in fasts, and campaigned against infidelity. He cared little for luxuries, but, paradoxically, gave the world one of its most perfect works of art: a marble screen inside the Taj Mahal. Native and European thieves robbed the tomb of its abundant jewels, and of the gold railing, encrusted with precious stones, that once enclosed the sarcophagi of Shah Jahan and his Queen. Aurangzeb replaced the railing with an octagonal screen of almost transparent marble, carved into a miracle of alabaster lace. Few products of human art have ever surpassed the beauty of this screen.

From aftar the Taj Mahal, with its delicate details, is not imposing. Only a nearer view reveals that its perfection has no proportion to its size. When in our hurried times, we see enormous structures of a hundred stories raised in a year, and then consider how 20,000 men worked for 22 years on this little tomb, hardly a hundred feet high, we begin to sense the difference between industry and art. And perhaps more importantly, we sense the ultimate lesson it offers: beauty and that which lasts, is based on love.

 
Taj Mahotsav

The10 day festival held every year between 18 th - 27 th February. The festival brings together the finest arts, crafts and culture of the state. Taj Mahotsav is conducted by the Uttar Pradesh tourism department, in which the glorious past of the Mughals is recreated by bedecked elephants and camels, drum beaters, folk artist and master craftsmen. The dance festival is also organized during the festival, in which the artists present different kinds of dances. The food festival is another attraction of Taj Mahotsav.
Taj Mahal, Agra
The festivities commence with a spectacular procession inspired by Mughal splendour. Bedecked elephants and camels, drum beaters, folk artists and mastercraftsmen.... all help to recreate a visual delight reminiscent of the golden era of the Mughal Darbars.

Taj Mahotsav is where the legendary artisans and mastercraftsmen breathe life into their exquisite works of art. Marble inlay apart, the Festival brings forth an array of other fine crafts as well- wood carvings from Saharanpur, brass and other metalwasre from Moradabad, handmade carpets of Badohi, the blue pottery of Khurja, the Chikan work of Lucknow, the silk of Banares... to name a few. Agra with its legendry tradition of exquisite craftmenship is thus the ideal venue for holding a crafts fair like the Taj Mahotsav.

At the Mahotsav, be sure to be a part of the Food Festival. Relish the exotic cuisine's and delicacies prepared by some of the oldest exponents and the typical preparations from the interiors of Uttar Pradesh.

Throughout the Mahotsav, one can experience a profusion of folk music and dances of Dundelkhand, 'Nautanki' (Drama), 'Sapera' dance of Rajasthan, Lavani of Maharashtra.... performed just the way they used to be centuries ago.

Agra is renowned for it's breathtaking, centuries old monuments. For experiencing the pomp and glory of the eras gone by there are classical performances held at these ageless sites, recreating the splendor and ambience once associated with Mughal monarchs

 
When to Visit Taj mahal
Best time of the day:
Dawn is a magical time when it's virtually deserted and the first rays of the sun light up the Taj. In the afternoon, the Taj is a dazzling spectacle in white, and in the evening the Taj dons the orange glow of the setting sun. Of course, there's nothing more romantic than beholding the Taj on a full-moon night.

Taj Mahal in the Morning
The glory of the monument is strangely undiminished by the crowds of tourists who visit each day, as small and insignificant as ants in the face of this immense and captivating monument. That said, the Taj is at its most alluring in the relative quiet of early morning, shrouded in mists and bathed with a soft red glow. As its vast marble surfaces fall into shadow or reflect the sun, its colour changes, from soft grey and yellow to pearly cream and dazzling white; it's well worth visiting at different times. This play of light is an important decorative device, symbolically implying the presence of Allah, who is never represented in anthropomorphic form.

Beauty of Taj Mahal during Day

The Taj Mahal shows a different aspect of beauty at different times of the day. The sight of the Taj awash with the subtle pinks of dawn is an unforgettable sight.

Taj Mahal at Sunset
Sunsets stain the Taj an exotic shade of orange. But nothing beats the poignant beauty of the Taj seen when the cool white marble is bathed in the soft silver light of the moon. Even in the bright light of the day, this wonder of the world shines with an awe-inspiring loveliness.

Try arriving just as it opens or is about to close. A few minutes alone in the perpetually echoing inner sanctum will reward you far more than several hours spent on a guided tour.
 
How to Reach Taj Mahal

BY AIR
Indian Airlines (Domestic Airline in India) runs daily flights from Delhi to Agra. Kheria Airport (Airport of Agra) is about 6 km from the Agra city centre and is easily accessible by taxis and auto-rickshaws at nominal rates.

BY RAIL / TRAIN
Agra is well connected by excellent train services to Delhi such as The Shatabdi Express (2 hrs), Taj Express (2.5 hrs), Intercity Express (3 hrs).

BY ROAD
Express bus services (a/c and non-a/c) are available from Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gwalior, and Jhansi. For those driving to Agra, the distances are:

 
CITIES AROUND AGRA

Delhi: 203 km
Khajuraho: 393 km
Lucknow: 363 km
Nainital: 376 km
Sikandra: 10 km
Varanasi: 577 km
Dehradun: 381 km
Gwalior: 118 km
Jaipur: 232 km
Mathura - Vrindavan: 58 km

 

Attractions in and around Agra

Taj Mahal

The principal landmark of the city is famous for its beautiful look. Designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1983, the monument is one of the seven wonders of the world. The mausoleum was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal. It houses the graves of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

Agra Fort

The dominating structure of Agra city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Made of red sandstone, the fort is also called as the Red Fort of Agra. Emperor Akabr started the construction work of the fort in 1565, later on Shah Jahan renovated and converted the fort into a palace. The famous buildings inside the fort complex are Jehangir's Palace, Diwan-e-Am and Diwan-e-Khas, Pearl Mosque, Khaas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal (Mirrored Palace) and Musamman Burj etc.

Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb

The tomb was built by empress Nur Jehan for her father Ghiyasuddin Beg, the Chief Minister of Emperor Taj. Small in comparison to other tombs of Mughal era, the tomb is sometimes called as the Baby Taj. Described as th jewel box the tomb has known for its garden layout ans use of white marble, Pietra dura, inlay designs and lattice work.

Sikandra

The small town of Sikandra is located at a distance of 4 Kms from Agra. Akbar's tomb is the main attraction here. Akbar started the construction of the tomb while he was alive and his son Jehangir completed it. Similar to the Taj Mahal in some of its design, the tomb has a large arched entrance and green lawns. The entrance has been decorated with marble inlay work around the arch. The inner surface of the tomb's dome is decorated with figures of flowers, geometric designs and Islamic calligraphy.

Fatehpur Sikri

Located at a distance of 35 Kms from Agra this is yet another World Heritage Site. Built predominantly in red Sandstone the city was developed between 1571 and 1585. Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best examples of Mughal architectural style. Though the city is mostly in ruins but it presents the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Fathehpur Sikri houses the famous monuments like Dargah Of Sheikh Salim Chisti, Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-khana-I-khaas, Turkish Sultana's House,The Treasury.

Vrindavan

Located very close to Agra, Vrindavan is a sacred place of the Hindus. Vrindavan has its connection with life of Lord Krishna. Vrindavan houses around 4,000 temples most of them dedicated to Lord

Palace of Jodha Bai, Hawa Mahal and Nagina Masjid etc.

 
ATTRACTIONS AROUND AGRA
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary
Panna National Park
Ranthambore National Park
Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary
 

TOP

 
 

Home | About Us | Tour Packages | About Agra | Hotels in Agra | 7 Wonders | Delhi Agra Tour | Contact us

 

Copyright 2007. Taj Mahal Tours. All rights Reserved

Designed & Developed by Pragya Net Technology