A visit to Agra is incomplete without Agra Fort, another UNESCO World Heritage monument. Situated on the bank of Yamuna river,this fort had confronted many invasions and ruins. Originally, there was a brick fort known as Badalgarh built by Raja Badal Singh at the place of Agra Fort.
This fort has been known to be home of many famous rulers like Lodi’s, Suri’s and Mughal’s. The marvel we see today is the great work that happened in reign of Akbar who rebuild it from a brick fort to red sandstone one . When Shah Jahan,grandson of Akbar came into power he preferred Marble instead of red sandstone, so the exquisite work of white marble inside the fort shows his sheer love towards it.
Inside the fort there are many buildings one after the other like Diwan-I-am, Diwan-i-Khas, Khas mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Shah Jahani Mahal, Jahangiri Mahal, Anguri Bagh and Musamman Burj depicts glorious Mughal Era.
Musamman Burj was build by Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. He was confined to this place by his son Aurangzeb for 8 years and was taken care by his daughter Jahanara Begum. He spend his last days in this burj over viewing Taj Mahal.
Most remarkable building inside fort is Jahangiri Mahal, built by Akbar. It was the principal Zenana (palace for Royal women), mainly used by the Rajput wives of Akbar.
Agra Fort is a perfect example of a dynasty with glorious past,their succession & love for architecture…!!!!
Agra, a city known for its cultural heritage, Mughal Architecture,food delicacies and one of the seven wonders of the world.
Taj Mahal, a world class monument of love built by ShahJahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It was on our list for long to visit this magnificent piece of art.
As a Delhiite,it became more easier for us with Yamuna expressway, a straight 165 km 6 lanes highway to make it happen.
We made our trip in peak of summer that’s why we decided to visit this monument early in the morning around 6 a.m. After reaching at the parking of Southern gate from there onward we had tuktuk ride (you can also opt for horse cart or camel cart). We opted for government approved tourist guide who provided minute details.
Here are some interesting facts we came to know through our guide:
Aayats of Quran
This 17th Century monument depicts the best of Mughal style architecture. The most striking feature of monument is the Arabic inscriptions written in black marble on Royal Gate and main mausoleum entrance. The Aayats of Quran, are so written that they look alike but actually their size increases from bottom to top.
Domes represent years of completion
There are 22 domes (11 on both inner and outer side of Royal Gate), signifying the number of years taken to complete it.
Astonishing Symmetry with one exception
Amazingly, all fountains were placed in symmetry with center line of Taj Mahal, even inside the Mausoleum Mumtaz Mahal’s grave is aligned to it. Only the grave of Shahjahan which is quite big compared to Mumtaz Mahal’s, is asymmetrical(as it was placed later on). I wonder, without any technology and equipment putting everything symmetrical be it gardens, trees, floor-tiles pattern and fountains.
Artistic “Charbagh” enhance the beauty of Taj
Moving on there are 16 gardens 8 on both sides of fountains and each of same size, gives the best panoramic view, even today it could not have been bettered out.
Mosque & Jawab- An Architectural Equilibrium
Firstly, a mosque on the west was built and then an identical building called Jawab on east side of main dome, just not to break the symmetry.
How many of you have noticed that four pillars of Taj are tilted outwards? Actually, the pillars are not perpendicular to the ground but leaning outwards so that the main dome will not get affected even if they fall due to any natural calamity. What an architectural vision !!!
Actual depiction of finial
intricate designs of semi precious stones engraved in white marble
We have just presented what we had captured from our visit, as it has been spoken and detailed out a lot everywhere and believe us getting a glimpse of this is more than words could explain.
We would love to know your experience with Taj Mahal in comments.