Agra is known for its rich heritage, which is beautifully reflected in the historical monuments spread across the city. The most important reason for the popularity of this region is the famous Taj Mahal, which is located in the heart of the city. Though holidaymakers who have opted for Agra tour packages can visit its other renowned places of interest, such as Chini ka Rauza, Mehtab Bagh, Sikandra Fort and Dayal Bagh, this mausoleum receives the maximum footfall round the year. Apart from this, Agra Fort also reflects the impressive history of this city, and these places have been declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. A visit to these globally acclaimed masterpieces, form a part of most holiday packages offered by travel agencies and websites to this destination. Apart from Indian tour planners, international organizers plan trips to these places while on a tour to India. This is the reason why these attractions witness a high footfall from foreigners, apart from Indians.
World Heritage Sites – Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
This city has earned the sobriquet of the City of Taj due to the famous Taj Mahal. This white marble mausoleum was built by Shah Jahan who was the fifth Mughal emperor. This structure is dedicated to Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Shah Jahan. Situated on the bank of the Yamuna River, this complex comprises a guest house, mosque, outer courtyard with cloisters, and the main entrance to its south. A unique fact about this mausoleum is that masons, carvers, stone-cutters, dome builders, painters and calligraphers were invited from far-off locations like Persia and Italy to carve out this masterpiece. Looking the same from all the four sides, this tribute is so dexterously carved that it has earned a place among the seven wonders of the world. The four entrances of Taj Mahal have Quranic verses inscribed on them. Contrary to its contemporaries and other monuments of the same generation, there is a specialty in the way the inscriptions have been carved. In spite of the shape of its entrance, the inscriptions appear to be exactly of the same size. This has been deftly done by gradually increasing the size of the letters. Employing nearly 20000 workers, it took almost 22 years to build this gem of a monument.
Akbar, arguably the greatest of the Mughal rulers in India, deputed the construction of Agra Fort but the construction works were added till the reign of Shah Jahan. The exteriors of this monument is so constructed that it does not divulge the intricacies of the architecture hidden in its interiors and appears to be a fortified castle. Moti Masjid, a mosque built with immense expertise in white marble, is one among the many buildings, which have been erected inside this fort. Other important buildings inside the structure is Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-I-Khas and Musamman Burj, which give a vivid detail of the Muslim-Persian architecture prevalent in those days. Tourists planning to tour this city must visit all these attractions and get a glimpse of the architectural expertise of the people from the Mughal era.