India has always carried thousands of years of rich cultural and natural heritage, 86 national parks, 448 wildlife reserves, more than 2.4 million temples, mosques and churches, majestic forts and palaces, the Great Himalayas, vast coastline and many attractions including, one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. Step into a world of splendid colors, wide-open spaces and exotic cultural treasures. We want to invite you to a dream vacation in India.
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Agra, the former capital of Hindustan, is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is 363 kilometres west of the state capital, Lucknow, and 200 kilometres south of the national capital New Delhi. Though Agra's history is largely recognised with Mughal Emperor, the place was established much before it and has linkages since Mahabharat period and Mahirshi Angira in 1000 BC. It is generally accepted that Sultan Sikandar Lodi the Ruler of the Delhi Sultanate founded Agra in the year 1504. Agra city is known for leather goods, carpets, handicrafts, Zari Zardozi, Marvel and stone carving and inlay work. Agra is also known for its sweets (Petha and Gajak) and snacks (Dalmoth), garment manufacturers and exporters and an automobile industry.
Agra Fort, is a monument in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. Akbar, the greatest empire-builder of the Mughals, commissioned the Agra Fort in 1565. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city. The main point of entry for tourists to the Agra Fort is the Amar Singh Gate; the main entrance, the Delhi Gate, is now closed. Once past the gate, some of the fort's most splendid architectural structures are on view.
Founded by the great Mughal emperor Akbar, in the year 1569, Fatehpur Sikri served as the capital of the Mughal Empire during the years 1571-1585. Named as Fateh (meaning victory) in the beginning, it was later known as Fatehpur Sikri. It was home for the birth of navaratnas (9 jewels). It stands as a representation of the infamous Mughal architecture with unique designs and artworks. The building was made of red stones and Akbar intended to revive the Persian court splendors made by his ancestor Timur, but eventually it came through as the classic Indian embellishments. The Fatehpur Sikkim was deserted after its completion due to natural calamities of insufficient water further triggered by the proximity of the Rajputana areas. The city is a piece of art that surrounds brilliant works by great minds of the strong Mughal period influenced by the emperors.
Jama Masjid in Agra is opposite the Agra fort and overlooking the Agra Fort Railway Station. The Jama Masjid is also popularly known as the Jami Masjid or "Friday Mosque". It is one of the larger mosques in India. Built in the 1648s, by Shah Jahan, in dedication to his favorite daughter, Jahanara. The prayer chamber is decorated with slender turrets with alternate kiosks. The archway of the central portal has Persian inscriptions on white marble inland with black stones, in praise of Shah Jahan and his daughter. Made of red sandstone and marble, took 5,000 workers a period of 6 years to complete the magnificent building. It stands on a high plinth and has 5 arched entrances leading to the courtyard.
The Taj Mahal "crown of palaces"; also "the Taj" is a white marble mausoleum in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage. It is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal arcitechture, a style that combines elements from lslamic, Parsian, Turkish and Indain architectural styles.
The tomb is the central focus of the entire complex of the Taj Mahal. This large, white marble structure stands on a square plinth and consists of a symmetrical building with an iwan (an arch-shaped doorway) topped by a large dome and finial. The exterior decorations of the Taj Mahal are among the finest in Mughal architecture. As the surface area changes the decorations are refined proportionally. The decorative elements were created by applying paint, stucco, stone inlays, or carvings. In line with the Islamic prohibition against the use of anthropomorphic forms, the decorative elements can be grouped into either calligraphy, abstract forms or vegetative motifs.
The interior chamber of the Taj Mahal steps far beyond traditional decorative elements. Here, the inlay work is not pietra dura, but a lapidary of precious and semiprecious gemstones. The inner chamber is an octagon with the design allowing for entry from each face, although only the door facing the garden to the south is used.
The Garden complex is set around a large 300-metre (980 ft) square charbagh or Mughal garden. The garden uses raised pathways that divide each of the four quarters of the garden into 16 sunken parterres or flowerbeds. A raised marble water tank at the center of the garden, halfway between the tomb and gateway with a reflecting pool on a north-south axis, reflects the image of the mausoleum.