Sightseeing Options in Agra
Agra is a historical city that needs no introduction. While Taj Mahal is the shining crown of this city, there are several other sightseeing options that deserve to be seen and admired. Here are some popular tourist destinations and places to visit near Taj Mahal with historical importance that must be seen every time Agra is visited, as they present an altogether new vista on every sight –
Agra Fort, one of the significant places to visit near Taj Mahal, symbolizes the royalty and grandeur of Mughal era through every tower, rampart, bastion, and gateway that stands there. Built by Mughal Emperor Akbar between the years 1565 to 1571 AD, is visited by mostly every tourist coming to Agra to feel and witness what Mughal magnificence was all about. This fort was started by Emperor Akbar but was completed by Shahjahan, his grandson. Expansively stretched alongside Yamuna River, this fort is built of red sandstone and has several mini-monuments within its enclosed vicinity such as –
- The Jahangiri Mahal – This part of palace was built for women inhabitants and has reflections of Hindu architecture such as domes and jutting balconies.
- Khass Mahal – This palace has beautiful paintings made on marble, an example of Persian-Islamic architecture.
- The Sheesh Mahal – Made up of colorful glass bits, every wall and ceiling in this palace resembles a unique mosaic.
- The Musamman Burj – This monument is a tower in the shape of an octagon that has been set amidst an expansive area. History says that Shah Jahan lay over this tower at the time of his death, with his eyes gazing at Taj Mahal.
Mausoleum of Akbar
Akbar’s Mausoleum is situated in Sikandra, nearly 10 kms away from Agra city and another of the places to visit. It is made up of marble and red sandstone with an amalgamation of Indian and Mughal architecture highlighted by fine and intricate carvings. There is a colossal gate over here that is well-known by the name of Buland Darwaza. This mausoleum is open for tourists from dawn to dusk with reasonable visiting charges. Tourists can also take a ride in a rickshaw or a horse cart that allows them take a round of the whole vicinity.
Chini Ka Rauza
Close to Itmad-ud-daula’s tomb, there is another tomb by the name Chini-ka-rauza. It was built in the year 1635 and oversees Yamuna River. This is the only showcasing of pure Persian architecture in the whole of Agra. Though in a slightly dilapidated state now, it still manage to exude the glory of it’s bygone era with its numerous colorful enamel tiles. This tomb was made in memory of Allama Afzel Khal Mullah Shukrullah, a Persian scholar and poet. He also served later as Minister of Shah Jahan.
Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah was built by Mughal queen Noor Jahan in commemoration of his father Mirza Ghiyas Beg. He was also the chief treasurer (Itmad-ud-Daulah) of Mughal Emperor. This monument was made much earlier than Taj and was first of its kind of monument that was made over the bank of a river.
This post by Stephenleuis, a Travel enthusiast, currently working with ixigo.com, an online India Travel Guide helps you to plan your trip. This time he has written on Taj Mahal India. Hope this information will help you to plan your trip to Taj Mahal.