Tourist Places in Tajmahal India
Taj Mahal, beyond doubt, is the most precious architectural heritage of the wonder that was India. As Fergusson remarked, “it is the combination of so many beauties, and the perfect manner in which each is subordinated to the other that makes up a whole, which the word can not match and which never fails to impress even those who are most indifferent to the effects produced by architectural objects in general”.
Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his consort Mumtaz Mahal at Agra ( UP ), is perhaps most enduring symbol of human love. Arguably, it is still India’s most popular tourist attraction. Infact, for many outsiders visiting India, it is the most irresistible spot. This perfectly symmetrical edifice is set amidst landscaped gardens on the banks of Yamuna river. Built under the supervision of persian architect Ustad Isa, the building in white marble has the verses of the holy Quran inscribed on it, with the gate being crowned by 22 small doves. Constructed between 1631 ( when Mumtaz Mahal died ) and 1653, Shah Jahan had called experts from Europe, too namely Austin of Bordeaux and Veroneo of Venice. The two had a hand in the Taj Mahal’s decoration.
The Taj Mahal has been constructed on a 313 square feet marble platform, enclosed within a high boundary wall with broad octagonal pavilions at the corners the most elegant dome has a diameter of 60 feet and a height of 80 feet. Pietra dura, semi precious stones inlaid into the marble in beautiful patterns, is perhaps at its best here. The jewel inlaid cenotaph of the queen lies within the dome. Set against the plain across the river Yamuna, that works its magic of colours that, through their reflection, change the view of the Taj Mahal, the tomb especially appreciated for its perfect proportions and exquisite workmanship. As they say about the Mughals in general, it has been “designed like giants and finished like jewellers”.
Though, later critics saw a sentimental strain in the construction, built avowedly on a concept which makes death an almost nostalgic aspiration to the onlooker, the Taj Mahal is all its timeless beauty is still the inspiration to poets and painters, writers and photographers. So much so, that it offers a challenge to the poetic imagination, as does the best in the so – called Indo – Islamic ‘baroque’ style.
Although the Taj Mahal, also noted for its features like finely cut marble screens and use of gems, is amazingly graceful from almost any angle, its close – up is really astounding. Hence, travelmasti suggests, whenever you are in Agra, rise at dawn and allow yourself some time to visit the Taj Mahal’s chameleon – like guises in different light. If Agra, whose origins are recounted in the epic Mahabharata as ‘Agrabana’, is paradise, then the Taj is arguably its heart core! .
Tourist Places Near Taj Mahal
One of the famous tourist places near Taj Mahal, India, is the Agra Fort. Situated near Taj Mahal, it was constructed by the Emperor Akbar in the year 1565. However, numerous additions were carried on in this fort, till the time of Shah Jahan. A beautiful example of Mughal architecture made up of entirely of red sandstone, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Akbar’s Tomb, Sikandra
The tomb of Akbar, situated at Sikandra, is the last resting place of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great and is only 13 km from the Agra Fort. The architectural style of this tomb is quite different from almost all the other tombs of the Mughals. This pyramidal tomb was completed by Akbar’s son Jahangir in the year 1613 and has the 99 names of Allah inscribed on it.
The deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri is situated near Agra. Constructed by Mughal Emperor Akbar, it was completed in the year 1584. Located 35 Km from Agra, it is one – of – its – kind city and is counted amongst the most majestic cities of the Mughal Empire. It’s also one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites situated in Agra, other two being Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
Itmad – ud – Daulah Tomb
Noor Jahan, the wife of Jahangir, got the Itmad – ud – Daulah’s tomb constructed in between 1622 and 1628 AD. It was constructed in the memory of her father Ghiyas – ud – Din Beg. Located on the left bank of river Yamuna, the tomb is an opulent structure and is considered to be an antecedent of the Taj Mahal because of its intricate carvings and inlay work.
About 2.5 km from Taj Mahal and less than 1 km away from Agra Fort is located one of the four ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva that stand on each corner of the Agra city. It is surrounded by the markets of the Mughal era gone by.
Build by Babur in 1528, Ram Bagh is the oldest Mughal garden in India. Located on the banks of river Yamuna, less than 3 km away from Taj Mahal, it was designed so that the wind from the river coupled with greenery would help maintain cool during the peak summer days. The original name of this garden was Aram Bagh or the Garden of Relaxation.
Swami Bagh Samadhi
Swami Bagh Samadhi, the construction of which started more than a century ago in 1904, continues till date. It is often touted as the next Taj Mahal, as a colorful combination of marbles and carvings in stone that are believed to be not seen anywhere in India. The monument holds the ashes of Huzur Swamiji Maharaj or Sri Shiv Dayal Singh Seth.
The holy city of Vrindavan, situated near Agra, is one of the most revered pilgrimages in India of the Hindus. The city is very closely associated with Lord Krishna and is said to house as many as 4,000 temples, dedicated to Him.
Other popular nearby attractions include Jama Masjid, built for Shah Jahan’s daughter; Guru ka Tal, a holy place of worship for Sikhs; Chini Ka Rauza, dedicated to Prime Minister of Shah Jahan; Mariam’s Tomb, wife of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great; Mehtab Bagh, a moonlit garden; and Keetham Lake.
Open from sunrise to 19 hours. Entry fee for those above 12 years : Rs. 15.00. Free entry on Fridays.
Best time to visit
From November to February
Places to visit
Agra Fort, Itmad – ud – daulah Tomb, Sikandara, Tomb of Sheikh Salim chisti, Bharatpur, Diwan – i – Aam, Diwan – i – Khas, Musamman Burj or Jasmine Tower, Jahangir’s Palace, Jama Masjid, Chini Ka Ranza, Babur’s Ram Bath.
Application Form Submission 16 Dec 2020 to 16 Jan 2021.