A place, resemble love, great architecture and rich history. It also has one of world’s Seven Wonder, which resides in Uttar Pradesh, India – Agra.
Agra has world’s one of the seven wonder and also India’s struggle. My first impression after entering Agra was astonishing. Small uneven roads and not only cow but foreigners walking on the street. People are struggling to live their life, crowded and yet famous. The only reason Agra has been favourite tourist attraction is because of Taj Mahal – monument of love.
A place builds in the memory of Mumtaz Mahal beloved wife of Shah Jehan. Taj Mahal is built in white marble and it took over 20 years to create a wonder of the world. It is said that Mughals were great builder and Taj Mahal is one of their creation. There is a story which says that workers who built the Taj Mahal lost their fingers once the construction was completed so no one can build such a great construction. Shah Jehan also wanted to construct another replica of Taj Mahal with black color Marble as his own resting place but his son has thwarted the vision by killing the brothers and imprisoned his father to take the throne. In the end Shah Jehan was buried in Taj Mahal next to his beloved wife. Best time to visit Taj Mahal is both or dawn or dusk as rays of sun will enhance the splendor of Taj Mahal. One can visit the Taj Mahal during full moon. The tickets are available at the counter but it needs to be bought 24 hours in advance. It is not just Taj Mahal you will see when you enter, the construction is vast and it features huge entrance, garden, fountain along with 2 mosques on the both side of Taj Mahal.
The visit to Agra is not just about Taj Mahal, but also about 2 more UNESCO World Heritage sites. Once of them is Agra Fort. It is said that Agra Fort has similar layout to the Red Fort in Delhi but to be honest, Agra Fort is much better and it is different than Red Fort. Even if one roams in Agra Fort ‘n’ times, a person will not be able to compare it with Red Fort as the fort itself is so huge that you will feel lost at many points. The passage, the rooms, the garden.. the beauty of Fort will captivate you and take you to the era of Shah Jehan and Mughals. The story tied with each of the place is Agra Fort is praiseworthy and also gloomy. Best part of the Fort is place where Shah Jehan was captivated – the view of Taj Mahal is enchanting with Yamuna River connecting the 2 places at its bank. The richness of Mughals can be reflected in each architecture marvel and Agra Fort is one of them.
The second UNESCO World Heritage site is few miles away from Agra in Fatehpur Sikri often called The City of Victory. The city was created by Emperor Akbar in 16th century and it was served as Capital of Mughal for 10 years. Emperor Akbar built the entire city post his victories over Chittor and Ranthambore. The city contains a series of royal palaces, harem, courts, a mosque, private quarters and other utility buildings. The Fort has one of the largest Mosque in India name ‘Jama Masjid’. The entire area is surrounded by a wall and entry inside is prohibited by vehicle. One needs to get a pass or hire a guide with pass to enter the area. You can also take transportation provided inside till the palace. Fatehpur Sikri is not entirely accessible by tourist. Many areas has been restricted for the view and one can only visit the Jama Masjid and few part of the palace. The construction of Fatehpur Sikri is marvelous, made of red stone on a mountain. It shows the power of Emperor Akbar and his success. Beware of the guide who stops you when you are reaching Fatehpur Sikri. They will stop your car and charge you handsome amount of money for the tour. Also there is a belief of person’s wishes being granted if they pay respect by a cloth or tread in Jama Masjid. These are exaggerated for the tourist attraction. One needs to have faith to believe in such stories.
3 day tour to Agra and nearby sightseeing is pleasure to the eye and showcases the wonder of Mughals. It shows that India once was rich country with rulers being so lavish in their taste. That was an era of architecture, love and power. Agra is definitely a place for lovers and history lover. Must visit place in India!