When one mentions Agra, only the Taj Mahal comes to mind! No doubt a trip to Agra is incomplete without the mandatory visit to the Taj Mahal and nothing can match its beauty, but there are several monuments which speak grandiosely of Indian architecture during the Mughal era like the Agra Fort.
This place was incredible. We had a guide who told us in detail about the history of the fort. I sure did click alot of pictures at every nook and crevice I could find. This fort had about a million and one beautiful courtyards that seemed to stretch on forever. Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site was built by Emperor Akbar in Red Sandstone after accession to power in 1654. Some 1,444,000 builders worked on it for eight years, completing it in 1573. His grandson Emperor Shah Jahan was imprisoned at the fort by his son Aurangzeb for splurging all the wealth on building the Taj Mahal. It is rumored that Shah Jahan died in Musamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with an excellent view of the Taj Mahal.
Some of the exquisite structures that deserve a mention are:
Diwan-e-Aam: This was used for the general people to meet the Emperor and discuss their issues and grievances and also once housed the Peacock Throne.
Diwan-e-Khaas – A hall of private audience, it was used to welcome kings and dignitaries.
Sheesh Mahal – Literally meaning ‘Glass Palace’ it was the royal dressing room adorned by tiny mirror-like glass-mosaic decorations on the walls.
The Anguri Bagh – It houses 85 square, geometrically arranged lush gardens.
Nagina Masjid – Literally meaning ‘Gem Mosque’ it was designed exclusively for the ladies of the court.
Musamman Burj – A large, tower with a balcony facing the Taj Mahal.
Khaas Mahal – An immaculate white marble palace.
Mina Masjid – Literally meaning ‘Heavenly Mosque’ it is a tiny mosque closed to the public.
Until Next Time
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