While the Indian city Agra is best known for being home to Taj Mahal, billed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it is also home to several other historical monuments that are no less charming and captivating. Take a look at some of them!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Agra Fort is one of the most important Mughal forts in India built by the Emperor Akbar in 1573. Located about 2.5 km northwest of the Taj Mahal, this fort of red sandstone is home to many fairy-tale palaces, mosques, towers, public and private audience halls and courtyards. It is believed that about 4000 builders worked for nearly eight years (1565-1573) to complete this fort.
Also known as the Gate of Magnificence, Buland Darwaza is one of the largest gateways in the world with a height of 54 metres. Built by Akbar in 1601 A.D., it is made up of red and buff sandstone, decked by black and white marble. Representing Akbar’s secular outlook, the gate displays verses from the Quran and inscriptions from Hindu and Christian texts. This 15-storey grand entrance in Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best places to explore during a visit to Agra.
A 17th century mosque in the World Heritage Site of Fatehpur Sikri, Jama Mosque is one of the largest mosques in India. This mosque was built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in 1648. The beautiful Iranian architecture of the mosque makes it one of the most visited tourist destinations in Agra. Constructed of red sandstone with intricate white marble designs, it is a sight to behold and a must-visit in Agra.
A grand chamber in Fatehpur Sikri, Diwan-I-Khas was built by Shah Jahan in 1635 and is also known as the hall of Private Audience. It is an interesting red sandstone building in Fatehpur Sikri which was used by the Emperor Akbar as a reception to have discussions with kings, nobles and ambassadors in private. Reflecting Persian architecture, this square shaped structure has four chhatris and is well-known for its intricately carved central pillar presenting a peek into the Mughal Era.
Commissioned by the Mughal Queen Nur Jahan as a tribute to her father Itimad-ud-Daulah, the tomb, Itmad-ud-Daulah must be visited during a trip to Agra. Situated on the eastern bank of the Yamuna River, it is called “Baby Taj” and regarded as a sort of draft of the Taj Mahal. Its intricately-carved white marble construction with a number of semi-precious stone decorations and some Persian styled gardens around make it one of the most beautiful spots in the city.