Day 1: Delhi - Agra
Visit the city of architectural wonders on the bank of river Yamuna thathas always inspired poets and lovers throughout the world !! The city of Agra is truly a tourist's delight when it comes to historical monuments, extraordinary Mughal architecture, sweets and shopping. The royal capital of the erstwhile Mughal Empire, Agra is filled with magnificent grandeur.
The city is synonymous with the grand Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful monuments in the world. It is a legendary architecture of pure white marble, a tribute by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to his wife Mumtaz Mahal, and an inspiration for all the lovers in the world. But Agra is not only about the Taj Mahal. The charm of Agra Fort, Jama Masjid and Sikandra also draws millions of tourists to Agra.
Built over a period of 22 years (1631 - 1653) at an estimated amount 35 million rupees, the Taj Mahal is listed among the seven wonders of the world. Ustad Isa Khan, the chief architect, supervised the construction of this amazing monument, employing about 20,000 artisans and workers, under the orders of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Inside this beautiful monument lie the crypts of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, side by side with their heads facing in the direction of the holy city of Mecca. The Taj and the crypts are intricately decorated with carvings, inscriptions, jali work etc., which, at one point of time, were studded with semi-precious stones and gems. It was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his loving wife Mumtaz Mahal, whose unparalleled beauty was the inspiration behind its construction.
Inspired by the Persian, Indian and Turkish styles of architecture, the Taj Mahal is considered as the finest specimen of the Mughal style of architecture. Its rounded dome, the lotus design carved at the top of the dome, a bronze spire on the top of the dome, and four minarets in each corner make the Taj a unique blend of Hindu as well as Persian architecture. The beautifully maintained Taj Mahal gardens add even more splendor and beauty to the monument.
Listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, Agra Fort is a marvellous set of monuments. Widely known as the Red Fort of Agra or Fort Rouge because of the generous use of red sandstone, the monument displays stunning and royal Mughal architecture. The Taj Mahal is located about two km from the Agra Fort on the banks of River Yamuna. Founded as a military establishment by Akbar in 1565, the fort is a grand and tall architectural structure belonging to the typical Mughal style. It was completed in the year 1571. Built over an area of 2.5 km, the fort has two main gates- the Delhi Gate and the Amar Singh Gate. Entry is permitted only through the Amar Singh Gate.