A medieval city located on the banks of the Yamuna River in India, Agra was founded by Sultan Sikandar Lodi in 1506. Boasting three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, Agra also impresses tourists with many other attractions which reflect the rich heritage of the city.
Taj Mahal is marked as a part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is one of the most majestic and famous buildings in the world. With its beautiful setting overlooking the River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is a charming sight visible from Agra Fort. A symbol of love and dedication, it is the mausoleum of Shah Jahan’s favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to her 14th child in 1631. If you plan to visit this spectacular site, make sure you are here at dawn or in the evening when you can see the reflection of the sun that changes the color of the dome from white to pink.
Agra Fort is another major landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Agra. As the fort was built with red sandstone, it is also known as the Red Fort. During Shah Jahan’s period, this fort was renovated into a palace boasting exquisite marble and pietra dura inlay. There are several buildings in the fort including the Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-e-Am and Diwan-e-Khas (halls of public and private audience), Jehangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal (mirrored palace), and Musalman Burj.
Fatehpur Sikri is located about 40 kilometers west of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is a well-reserved, deserted city with a fascinating history. It was the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1570 and 1585, built by the order of the Emperor of Akbar. The emperor was childless and he asked Sheikh Salim Chishti, a Sufi saint, for help. When the son was born, the emperor built Fatehpur Sikri over the site where he met the saint. However, there was a severe shortage of water in the city so the city was abandoned after 15 years after its completion.