Across the railway tracks from the Delhi Gate of Agra Fort, the Jama Masjid
was built by Shah Jahan in 1648. An inscription over the main gate indicates
that it was bulit in the name of Jahanara, Shah Jahan's daughter, who was
imprisoned with Shah Jahan by Aurangzeb.
There are several interesting sights on the opposite bank of the Yamuna and
north of the fort. The first place of interest is the exquisite
Itimad-ul-daulah-the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg. This Persian gentleman was
Jahangir's Wazir, or Chief
and his beautiful daughter later married the emperor. She then became known
as Nur Jahan, the Light of the World, and her niece was Mumtaj Mahal, Chosen
of the Palace. The tomb was constructed by Nur Jahan between 1622 and 1628
and is very similar to the tomb she constructed for her husband, Jehangir,
near Lahore in Pakistan.
The tomb is of particular interest since many of its design elements
foreshadow the Taj, construction of which started only a few years later.
The Itimad-ud-Daulah was the first Mughal structure totally built from
marble and the first to make extensive use of pietra dura, the inlay work of
marble, which is so characteristic of the Taj. The mausoleum is small and
squat compared to the soaring Taj, but the smaller, more human scale somehow
makes it attractive, and the beautifully patterned surface of the Tomb is
superb. Extremely fine marble latticework passages admit light to the
interior. It's well worth a visit.
Chini Ka Rauza
The Chini Tomb is 1 km north of the Itimad-ul-daulah. The squat, square
tomb. Surmounted by a single huge dome, was constructed by Afzal Khan, who
died at Lahore in 1639. He was a high official in the court of Shah Jahan.
The exterior was covered in brightly coloured enameled tiles and the whole
building clearly displayed its Persian Influence. Today it is much decayed
and neglected, and the remaining tile work only hints at the building's
Laid out in 1528 by Babur, first of the Mughal emperors, this is the
earliest Mughal garden. It is said that Babur was temporarily buried here
before being permanently interred at Kabul in Afghanistan. The Ram Bagh is 2
km north of the Chini Ka Rauza on the riverside and is open from sunrise to
Dayal Bagh Temple
In Dayal Bagh, the white marble samadhi (or temple) of the Radah Soami
religion is currently under construction. It was started in 1904. You can
also see pietra dura inlaid marble work actually being worked on.
Sikandra, 10 km north-west of Agra, the tomb of Akbar lies in the centre of
a large peaceful garden. Akbar started its construction himself but it was
completed by his son, Jahangir. The building has three-storey minarets at
each corner and is built of red sandstone somewhat cluttered architectural
lines of the tomb inlaid with white marble polygonal patterns. Four red
sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex; one is Muslim, one Hindu, one
Christian, and one is Akbar's patent mixture. Like Humayun's Tomb in Delhi,
it is an interesting place to study the gradual evolution in design that
culminated in the Taj Mahal. Akbar's mausoleum is open from sunrise to
Built by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar this red sandstone city Fatehpur Sikri
is located 37 kms from Agra. Fatehpur Sikri was built during 1571 and 1585.
Fatehpur Sikri exhibits one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural
splendor. The rich amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim architecture has be seen
retained many of the old structures. Fatehpur Sikri Mosque is said to be a
copy of the mosque in Mecca. Its designs are derived from the Persian &