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Category Archives: U.P. Heritage Sites

Information about Heritage Sites, Monuments, Forts & Palaces, Tourism Attractions, Travel Destinations of Uttar Pradesh in India

A Mausoleum Dedicated to Love – Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is such a popular monument that almost everyone in the world knows about it. It is located in the Agra city of Uttar Pradesh, India and is a major tourist destination. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and an iconic structure of India. Due to its beautiful architecture, it is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its beauty is unmatched and has never been surpassed by any other building. This timeless monument was built by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved life Mumtaz Mahal. It is made-up entirely of white marble. Its dazzling architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and dusk. It glows more in the light of the full moon and in the foggy morning, it looks pure white structure, which is placed among the clouds.

Taj_Mahal_Agra_Uttar_Pradesh-India

The timeless beauty – Taj Mahal

This monument is referred as “elegy in marble”. It is a mausoleum that houses the grave of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Later, the grave of Shah Jahan was added up to it. This marvel of India took twenty-two years to complete its construction with the help of twenty thousand workers. More than 1,000 elephants were employed in transportation of the construction material. In 1648 C.E. the whole structure completed perfectly. Total cost of 32 Million rupees was used for the construction purpose. The master architect of the mausoleum was Ustad Isa. He was the renowned architect of his time. Expert craftsmen from several places of India like Delhi, Qannauj, Lahore and Multan were employed. Also, renowned Muslim craftsmen from Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara worked on specialized tasks to build it perfectly.

Graves_inside_Taj_Mahal

Graves inside Taj Mahal

Interior of Taj Mahal

Interior of Taj Mahal

The monument stands on a raised and a square platform with its four corners truncated that forms an unequal octagon. The architectural design uses the interlocking arabesque concept in which the each element erects on its own and integrates perfectly with the main structure. Its central dome is 58 feet in diameter and 213 feet in height. It is encompassed by four subsidiary domed chambers. The four graceful, slender minarets outside the main chamber are about 162.5 feet high. The entire mausoleum is decorated with veneer design of flowers and calligraphy using precious gems namely agate and jasper. Main archways are chiseled with passages from the holy Quran and the engrossing work of flowery pattern that captivate charm to its beauty.

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Reflection of Taj Mahal in Yamuna River

The Taj Mahal complex is vast and full of several other palatial buildings like mosques, garden, gateway, reflecting pool, etc. Behind the complex, there is the Yamuna River that reflects the beauty of this marvelous wonder throughout the day. Many replicas are modeled on the Taj Mahal like the Taj Mahal of Bangladesh, Bibi Ka Maqbara in Maharashtra, Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and the Tripoli Shrine Temple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But, none of them were able to get even close to the beauty of Taj Mahal.

Bibi-ka-Maqbara

Bibi ka Maqbara in Maharashtra
It was created by Azam Shah, son of Aurangzeb and grandson of Shah Jahan, to rival the beauty of Taj Mahal

Thus, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of mixed Indian and Muslim art and architecture as it combines the elements of both Persian and Indian architectural elements. A large number of visitors choose the Taj Mahal tour only to see this white marvel. Some tourists across the globe come to India only to visit this elegy in marble. So, a curiosity to visit this marvel of India only makes the Golden Triangle tour popular in India.

 

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The Deserted Mughal City – Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri is an added attraction among the popular destinations of the Golden triangle circuit tour in northern India. This city lies just outside Agra and is a major tourist attraction while traveling from Jaipur to Agra or visa versa. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar during the second half of the 16th century. Emperor Akbar built many buildings during his empire and his unique architecture renowned even now by the people due to which it is in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

Panoramic view of Fahpur Sikri

Panoramic view of Fahpur Sikri Palace

This historic site was founded by the Akbar who was searching for a new capital for his empire. He took a keen interest in the designs and construction of the buildings. Red sandstone was extensively used in the construction of this city because of its easy availability in the nearby areas of Fatehpur Sikri. The resulting city after fifteen years of hard work was a grand beauty in red stone but was soon deserted due to the lack of water system. It remained untouched for more than 400 years and remains of Mughal heritage are available there even now.

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri – Image by Siva Vasanth on flickr.com

Some of the important buildings located in Fatehpur Sikri that are worth visiting sites are as follows:-

Buland Darwaja: – It is the largest gateway 550 meters high in the world. It is sometimes called the Gate of Magnificence. The central portico comprises of arched entrances and the largest arch is placed in the center, so known by the local people as the Horseshoe Gate. Outside the Darwaja, there is deep well. It is an astounding piece of architecture of Mughal Empire.

Buland Darwaja

Buland Darwaja

Tomb of Salim Chisti: – It is a white marble tomb located within the Jama mosque’s courtyard. This single storey structure was built around a central square chamber and within which there is the grave of the saint.

Tomb of Salim Chishti

Tomb of Salim Chishti

Naubat Khana: – Naubat Khana is basically a drum house located near the entry point where significant arrivals are announced.

Naubat Khana - Fatehpur Sikri

Naubat Khana – Image by Glee Bean on flickr.com

Diwan-e-Aam: – It is a famous hall of public audience where the rulers meet the general public and resolve their problems.

Diwan-e-Aam

Diwan-e-Aam – Image by SuprateekaHegde on flickr.com

Diwan-e-Khaas: – It is a hall of private audience and popular for its huge central pillar as it has thirty-six volute brackets supporting a circular platform. It is said that here Akbar had different representatives of different religions who discuss their faiths over there.

Diwan-e-Khaas

Diwan-e-Khaas

Raja Birbal’s House: – Birbal’s house is the house of Akbar’s favorite minister who was a Hindu and a wise man. The building has a unique architecture, the horizontal sloping sunshades or chajjas give it a unique look.

House of Raja Birbal

Raja Birbal’s Palace – Image by rustyproof on flickr.com

Mariam-uz-Zamani’s Palace: – This building shows Gujarati influence and is built around a courtyard and special care is being taken to ensure privacy.

Mariam-uz-Zamani's Palace

Mariam-uz-Zamani’s Palace – Image by octopuzz on flickr.com

Panch Mahal: – It is a five storied structure consists of intricately carved columns especially on the bottom floor. On the ground floor, it has 176 carved columns that make it a unique structure.

Panch Mahal

Panch Mahal – Image by Walwyn on flickr.com

Jama Masjid: – It is a mosque which is the first building that built in the whole complex of Fatehpur Sikri. A notable feature of the mosque is the row of chariot located there for over the centuries.

Jama Masjid in Fatehpur Sikri

Jama Masjid – Image by xiquinhosilva on flickr.com

Other buildings of the city include Taksal, Daftar Khana, Karkhanas, Khazana, Turkic styled Baths, Darogha’s Quarters, Stables, Caravan Sarai, etc. So, visiting this city give you the feeling that it’s a ghost city as it is totally deserted and nobody lives here. After visiting that you will never forget the city’s architecture that is famous all over India and visited by a large number of people.

 

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