Agra – “The city of Taj Mahal, the monument of eternal love”
Agra is the city of the Taj Mahal, in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, some 200 km from Delhi. Agra has three UNESCO World Heritage sites, The Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort in the city and Fatehpur Sikri located 40 km away. The City is also known as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the world, The Taj Mahal!
Agra is a sneak peek into the architectural history with other structures such as Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri and hence makes for a must visit for anyone living in or visiting India. The Taj Mahal, which makes the whole country proud. But that’s not the only thing Agra has to boast of. Agra has three UNESCO World Heritage sites and Taj Mahal features in the 50 most popular tourist destinations in the world. History, architecture, romance all together creates the magic of Agra which is almost the lifeline of Indian tourism. History and architecture buffs can have Wonderful time here with the sheer expanse of the Mughal art and culture on display. Apart from its monuments, the city also has some exciting stuff for foodies – including the famous Agra ka Petha and amazing chaat and Lassi.
The Taj Mahal was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1631, to be built in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess who died giving birth to their 14th child, Gauhara Begum. Construction started in 1632, and the mausoleum was completed in 1643, while the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. The imperial court documenting Shah Jahan’s grief after the death of Mumtaz Mahal illustrates the love story held as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal.
To experience the heart of Agra, head to the fascinating and congested Old City behind 17th century Jama Masjid mosque. The narrow lanes housing a startling variety of wares including spices, clothes, saris, jewellery, shoes, crafts and snack stalls. The Taj is majestic from the exterior, has an equally splendid artistic design in the interiors. There are water channels and fountains in the entrance which makes the monument even more spectacular. The reflection of this majestic spectacle in the Yamuna is almost poetic in its perfection.