Agra, or the city of the Taj, as it is
known all over the world, forms the first destination on the itinerary of
most travellers coming into India. Forming part of the famous 'Golden
Triangle' (Delhi-Jaipur-Agra), it is placed on the western bank of the
Yamuna. The Palace-On-Wheels takes you to the amazing city of Agra where the
Taj Mahal is the perfect finale to your royal sojourn.
There are very few cities in the world that can match the history and
heritage of Agra - the city of Taj Mahal. Located at a distance of 204 km
south of Delhi, Agra is the single most famous tourist destination of India.
Situated on the west bank of River Yamuna, Agra is a part of the great
Norther Indian plains.Travel to the great historical city of Agra and
understand why Taj Mahal is considered as the "Love of a Man Epitomized
in Stone". Visit Agra through Palace on Wheels and discover the fact
that Agra is not only Taj Mahal but much more.
Attractions of Agra
There is no other monument in the world, which can match the beauty and
grandeur of the Taj Mahal. Set amongst the serene ambience of a well laid
out garden the massive marble structure of the Taj Mahal is awe-inspiring.
It is more than 350 years since TajMahal was built, but it has not lost its
romantic aura, which attracts millions of visitors towards it. It is because
of this everlasting charm that the Taj Mahal can boast of being one of the
most popular world heritage monuments on earth. The world is divided between
those who have seen the Taj Mahal and those who have not.
Tajmahal acquires a different hue at different time of the day. One might
have seen might have seen Taj 15 times but when you return back to see it
16th times, you will find it something different from the earlier visit. The
Taj at noon, the Taj Mahal at sunset, under the full moon, against the
setting sun, and against the rising ball of fire, each time the mausoleum
acquires a different accent and tells a different story. It was a reminder
of the love of a king for his queen Mumtaz Mahal who could inspire such a
monument and also of the king himself who could sign his love across the
At a stone throw away from the city of the Taj Mahal is the fantabulous
city of Fatehpur Sikri. The short distance of forty kilometres from Agra
makes it the first choice from the tourists. The city was built way back in
the 16th century by the Mughal emperor Akbar. Once abandoned by the emperor
in 1585 the city could never again regain its lost glory. Fatehpur Sikri has
the enchanting examples of architectural excellence. The entire city carries
the aura of the magnificent monuments.
though the splendid life of Fatehpur Sikri was short it was stupendous
enough to make it attract tourists for ages to come. The ghost city will
always boast of its magic and the marvellous works of art. Amongst the must
visit are the Diwan-I-Khas, the Diwan-I-Aam and the tomb of Sheikh Salim
Chisti. The life and times of Akbar seem to greet you at all the corners of
the city. Talking of Sheikh Salim Chisti it is worth mentioning that
Fatehpur Sikri was a tribute by Emperor Akbar to his patron saint Sheikh
Salim Chisti. The tomb of the saint is in red sandstone though later
Jehangir got the edifice covered in white marble. It is believed that owing
to the blessings of the saint, Akbar was blessed with three sons. Till date
the faith is retained and childless women seek the blessings of Sheikh Salim
Chisti and tie a coloured thread and return whenever their wish is
The Fort in Agra is one of the earliest surviving Mughal buildings in the
city. Agra Fort also represents the first major building project of Emperor
Akbar, though remains of only a few buildings built by him now survive.
Agra Fort was built on an earlier castle site in AD 1565-75, apart from
other important units the massive fortress contains 'Jahangiri Mahal',
'Khass Mahal', 'Diwan-i-Khass', 'Diwan-i-Am', 'Machchhi Bhawan' and the
breathtaking Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque. Many extant buildings were erected
later on by Shah Jahan (AD 1630-55).
Irregularly triangular on plan, Agra Fort is enclosed by a double
battlemented 70-foot high wall of red sandstone, which is about 2-km in
perimeter and interrupted by graceful curves and lofty bastions. Of its four
gates, the most impressive is the Delhi Gate on the west.