Agra: The City of Architectural Wonders

Agra: The City of Architectural Wonders

Agra: The City of Architectural Wonders

 

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Agra is a city located on the banks of river Yamuna in the southwestern part of Uttar Pradesh, which is connected to Mathura and Etawah by Grand Trunk Road (G.T. Road-Grand Trunk Road). Agra is an ancient city, but modern Agra was established in 1475 by Raja Birbal Singh. Sikandar Lodhi (1489-1517) made this city his capital. Along with Delhi, Agra was also the excellent capital of the Mughal dynasty.

In 1526, the first Mughal ruler Babur (1530) made Agra his sub-capital with Delhi, and built the first Mughal garden ‘Ram Bagh’ on the banks of the Jamuna River.

Babur’s grandson Mahan-Akbar (1556–1605) made Agra his capital between 1571 and 1585, before being temporarily transferred to Fatehpur Sikri, 23 miles (37 km) from Agra. Akbar-the Great was buried at Sikandra, 6 miles (10 km) northwest of Agra, after his death.

During the time of Akbar’s son Jahangir (1605–1627) and his Persian wife Nur Jahan (light of the world), Agra became a splendid center of Hindu-Persian culture. The Mughal style became even more dense during the time of the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan (1628–1658), when Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal (Crown Palace) here and Agra became one of the most famous cities in the world as a building site. And the Taj Mahal of Agra is known to be one of the wonders of the modern world.

Shah Jahan was the highest spending Mughal ruler on his grand constructions, he demolished all the buildings built between 1565 and 1571 and built buildings made of white marble and plaster to be even better than the Taj Mahal.

 

Agra’s fort wall is about 1.5 km. It is long, decorated with beautiful stones, its main entrance is Delhi Darwaza. The Emperor’s private building is built of marble on the banks of the river. The public audience building Diwan-i-Aam and originally the Moti Masjid famous for the Mayur throne, which was built by plaster, were located far away. The tomb of Jahangir’s father-in-law Itimad-al-Daula (1622) is one of the architectural wonders of the city.

The Taj Mahal, the grandest building in Agra. It is actually the mausoleum of Shah Jahan’s third wife, Mumtaz Mahal (palace crown), who died in 1631. After Shah Jahan’s death, he too was buried next to Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal was designed by Ustad Ahmed and 20,000 workers worked for 22 years to build it. Many scholars consider it the most influential building of the Mughal period.

 

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The Taj Mahal is built on a 57 X 57 m (186 X186 ft) high flat platform. Its central dome is 58 ft (18 m) in diameter and 213 ft (65 m) high. Beautiful flowers have been carved inside and outside the Taj Mahal and are decorated with Onyx and Suryakant stones. The 4 transparent reservoirs built in the large garden of the Taj Mahal create an outward effect. The Taj has a mosque, a guest house, and many other buildings on its extensive land.

After the 18th century, the city was again occupied by the Jats, Marathas and the Mughals again. In 1803, the British made it the capital of Agra (North Western) province. It is now a crowded and polluted industrial city but still remains a popular tourist destination.

 

Agra: The City of Architectural Wonders

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