Apart from the iconic Taj Mahal that the city of Agra houses, there are other underrated forts too which are must visit for any tourist. It is the city situated on the banks of the river Yamuna and is one of the most populous cities in the country. It has grown much popularity in the past decade because of its Mughal era buildings. The city was first mentioned in the epic of Mahabharata under the name of Agravena.
This historical monument of not just the city but the entire world. It is first of the Seven Wonders of the World. And every year it attracts around 4 million visitors annually. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 in the memory of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. It rightly took 21 years for Taj Mahal to get completed.
Agra Red Fort
Situated at a distance of 2.5 km from Taj Mahal, the fort is one of the prime forts to visit in the city. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. It was initially known as Badalgarh which was held under the name of Raja Badal Singh. It was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar after he defeated the Afghans at Panipat in 1556.
Tomb Of Itimad-Ud-Daulah
It is a Mughal mausoleum situated at a distance of 8 km from the railway station of Agra. It is popularly known as Baby Taj as it looks like the smaller version of Taj Mahal. It is said that this was this tomb was the inspiration behind Taj Mahal. It is the first monument in India which is entirely built with white marble. It was built between 1622 and 1628 by the Queen of Jahangir, Nur Jahan as a memorial to her father.
Akbar’s Tomb – Sikandra
This tomb of Akbar is an important Mughal architectural piece which was built 1603-1613. As the name justifies, it houses the remains of the greatest Mughal Emperor Akbar. The construction was started by Emperor Akbar and was completed by his son Emperor Jahangir. The tomb consists of 5 stories where the top story is made up of white marble.
It is the most noteworthy building in Agra Fort. The fact that makes it different from others is that it becomes visible as soon as a visitor enters the fort from Amar Singh Gate. It was built by Akbar during 1565-69. It was the principal zenana Mahal which was meant for the Rajput wives of Akbar. Mughal impress Nur Jahan used to stay here.
Khas Mahal which is also called Aramgah-i-Mualla is situated inside the Agra Fort. The interior of the Mahal is adorned with gold work, mural paintings, ornamental designs and floral designs which gives it the grace it has. Opposite to the Khas Mahal is the Anguri Bagh or Grape garden which was built by Shah Jahan in 1637 AD.
This place is where the Mughal emperors Shah Jahan and his successors met general public and heard their complaints. This massive hall has a flat roof and is divided into three sections. In this hall the emperor and the courtiers were divided by a gold plaited railing. The beautiful Mahal will make you come across the traditions and cultures of the Mughal Empire.
Diwan-i-Khas was the hall of private audience situated on the back side of Macchi Bhawan in Agra Fort. Inside the hall, the marble pillars are inlaid with semi-precious stones and colored petals. The hall is popularly known for the presence of the peacock throne which was made in 1634 AD. Later it was shifted to Delhi after the construction of Red Fort.
Nagina Masjid is also known as gem mosque. It is probably the smallest masjid in the country. It was used for the prayers of the royal ladies. Entirely built in marble, Shah Jahan got it constructed by the year 1635. It is situated very close to Musamman Burj and Diwan-I-Khas. It is an architectural example but entry to the mosque is restricted.
Jama Masjid which is also known as Jami Masjid or Friday Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the country. The mosque was built by Shah Jahan for his favorite daughter Jahanara Begum in the year 1648. The main attraction of the mosque is the three large sandstone domes that crown the mosque. Tourists that visit this mosque can also see Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti within the complex. The decoration of the mosque comprises of geometric designs, colored tiles, and calligraphic inscriptions.