Tourism in Agra, India

Jun 4 09:21 2012 RamanMankotia Print This Article

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about Agra, India, is, of course, the Taj Mahal, but to truly explore Agra there is much more to be seen than just the Taj, the precious gem of India tourism.

Tourists who travel India often overlook the rest of the town in their burning desire to see Taj Mahal.However,Guest Posting we say there is far more to Agra than meets the eye.  For those who travel India, there is a magnificent fort and many stunning tombs and mausoleums that add a fascinating look into the legacy that the Mughal Empire left behind.  Agra sits on a large bend in the river Yamuna, a river considered holy here in India.


The Taj Mahal in Agra 
Agra is a city of architectural wonders with the Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.  But it is the Taj that captures the attention of most tourists on their India tours.  The stunning white marble monument to love, it has inspired poets, writers, and lovers everywhere. Worldwide, Taj Mahal is recognized as one of the most impressive buildings in a history of mankind. The story is that the Mughal emperor Shah Jahans favorite wife passed away in 1631 and in her memory the Taj Mahal ( Crown of  Palaces) was build.  It is her mausoleum and they are both buried there.  There were rumors that the emperor was planning to build a black replica across the river for himself but his son over threw him and killed his 3 brothers to secure the throne for himself, and the plans never came to fruition.
Taj Mahal is the perfect example of Mughal architectural style that is combining the elements of Indian, Turkish and Persian architecture. It is actually a complex that encompasses five areas: first area would be the Moonlight Garden, beautiful garden that was built in front of the mausoleum and is separated from it by the river Yamuna. Second area is the terrace area with the Tomb itself and the mosque. Third area is consisted of gardens (charbagh), in fourth area other toms were placed and the final, fifth area is bazaar. The central part is the Tomb, impressive cube with fourt minarets in its corners and a big dome made of white marble. Main chamber is where sarcophagi of Mumtaz and Shaha Jahan are placed, but their real graves lay at the lower level of Taj Mahal. The interior decoration of Taj Mahal cannot be described with words, it has to be seen. The best artists of that era were engaged on the task, and they have created a unique masterpiece of immeasurable value. The finest materials, precious and semi-precious stones were used to decorate this complex, geometrical and plant motifs, and inscriptions on the walls.
Every year, between 2 and 4 million of people visit Taj Mahal. Almost every India tour package has visit to Taj Mahal as part of its itinerary. It is one of the most recognized buildings on the world and it gives a huge boost to India tourism.
Red Fort in Agra, India
Agra Fort, also known as Red Fort, is a precious historical and architectural gem, proclaimed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, located 2km from Taj Mahal.  In 1080 it was mentioned for the first time but its real glory begins in 15th century, when Sikandar Lori, Sultan of Delhi started to live and rule from the fort. Famous for its seventy feet high walls made of red sandstone and four mighty gates of which the Delhi Gate is the most famous, as it was built by Akbar and served as his formal entrance to the fort, displaying his power and wealth. With beautiful decorations consisted of, otherwise forbidden images for Islamic architecture, Agra Fort would be much better described as a fortified city, with several palaces and three mosques inside of it. Pearl Mosque, (Moti Masjid), was built for members of the court, and the second one, Heavenly Mosque, (Mina Masjid) was a private mosque of the ruler. The third mosque was used only by women of the court. One of the most impressive buildings inside of the Red Fort Complex is Jahangiri Mahal, built by Akbar. This palace was reserved for women belonging to the royal household. Rulers kept their treasure in Agra, and the legend says that together with the fort, Mughals captured one of the world’s biggest diamonds Koh-i-Noor (aka Mountain of Light), now part of the Crown Jewels, as it was given to Queen Victoria in 1850. In 1857. the Fort was a battle site during the Indian rebellion that ended the rule of Britain.
Fatehpur Sikri in Agra, India
Fatehpur Sikri was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar, son of Humayun, to honor a great Sufi saint, Salim Christi who foretold the birth of his son, and later, his heir, Jahangir. He decided to move his capital from Agra to Sikri. The planning and the building of this new city lasted 15 years during which Emperor himself was greatly involved. The city was supposed to be surrounded by a wall, to have a mosque and living quarters worthy of Akbar himself. There were many palaces, harem buildings and other supporting structures. The city was constructed in Persian style but with obvious Indian influence. It is a shame that it had to be abandoned shortly after the construction was finished due to problems with water supplies. Today, Fatehpur Sikri looks like a town of ghosts, and is a very popular tourist attraction for those who are visiting Agra while on their India tours. Important buildings inside this city are Tomb of Salim Christi, Buland Darwaza, the entrance to Fatehpur Sikri, the mosque, palace of Akbra´s wife Mariam and the House of Worship that was supposed to be the meeting place for Akbar´s new religion followers.
Agra City, modern and ancient
The impressive past of Agra and its citizens is obvious at almost every turn and it is brilliant to see that the older city has retained much of its splendor.  This is ultimately one of the most captivating destinations in India. Agra is part of so called Golden Triangle, together with Delhi and Jaipur, and most of India tours will take you to those places.  But besides being archaically historic Agra, has overtones of modernity as you are likely to find in lots of India’s cities these days.
Obviously in a city like Agra, where its attractions are known worldwide tourism has a huge role in the economy.  But the city also has a large industrial base for business.  There are many manufacturing plants and industry related wholesale markets situated in Agra.
Sloth Bear rescue facilities in Agra, India
Something a little different here in Agra is the Agra bear rescue facility. Not so long ago the road between Agra and Fatehpur Sikri was crowded with dancing sloth bears.  These days the practice still unfortunately exists but this facility is the first of its kind in India and is also the largest in the world.  This is a brilliant place to visit during your India tour package.
Facts:
Area: 188.40 km sqAltitude: 171mGeographical Location: 27°11'N 78°01'E? / 27.18°N 78.02°EClimate: long hot summers and cold winters-semi aridRainfall: 400 mmPrimary Rainy season: july to septemberTemperatures: -4.5C to 45CLanguage: Hindi and UrduPopulation: 1,400,000

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RamanMankotia
RamanMankotia


Author is an eminent and experienced Content Writer in Travel & Tourism related topics. Author has written several articles on Delhi hotels ,Budget Hotels in Delhi and  Hotels in Delhi etc. Currently, Author is rendering service for Hotel Godwin Deluxe Delhi.

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