Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri

Pure architectural genius makes this monument one of the wonders of the world.One has to personally visit the monument to actually experience its magnificent architecture and learn the story behind it.It is the symbol of the great love story between Mughal emperor Shah Jehan and  his wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Shah Jehan was a member of Mughal Dynasty who ruled Northern India between 1628 to 1658. Mumtaz Mahal was his favorite wife as she was the only one who gave him children.She died after giving birth to couple’s 14th child.Mumtaz Mahal took couple of promises from the emperor one being to construct a mausoleum in her remembrance.The grieving  emperor, already popular for commissioning a number of  impressive structure throughout his reign,ordered to build a grand mausoleum across the Yamuna river.It took 22 years to complete the structure.There are many interesting facts which makes the tomb one of the wonders of the world.

  1. First being its symmetry.No matter from which direction you look Taj Mahal, it looks same.Even small details on the walls are symmetrical.
  2. Many varieties of semi precious gem stones are etched on the marble wall.Many precious stones were ripped off by Britishers when they invaded India.The remaining ones still retains their colour,texture and shine.
  3. Taj Mahal appears to change colour depending on the time of the day.
  4. Inside the mausoleum, octagonal marble chamber is a false tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. The actual remains lie beneath the ground.
  5. Shah Jehan wanted to make a black mausoleum across Yamuna river in front of Taj Mahal to bury his own remains after his death.But, Aurangzeb, his son arrested his father, took the throne and stopped all the constructions in the city.Shah Jehan was under house arrest during his final years.He was kept in Agra fort from where he had direct view of Taj Mahal from his window.
  6. Taj Mahal was neglected after Shah Jehan’s death until Lord Curzon from British empire decided to restore the monument which reflects India’s cultural heritage.
  7. 20,000 people from India,Europe,Persia and Ottoman empire worked for 22 years to complete the monument.

Its a good place to visit if you are around Delhi region and want to see how much money our ancestors had:-) .

The other architectural brilliance is a Fatehpur Sikri palace which is 36 Km from Agra. Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 16th century.The city was capital of Mughal Empire for 10 years.It was first planned city created by Mughal Empire with gardens,courts,palaces,drainage systems,mosques etc.The major monuments in Fatehpur Sikri are:-

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Diwan-i-Aam – Place where Akbar met general public
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Central pillar at Diwan-i-Khas where Akbar conducted all his private meeting
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Panch Mahal – Shelter of Royal ladies and mistresses
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Buland Darwaza – Largest gateway in the world built to celebrate Akbar’s success in conquering Gujarat.
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Anup Talao – The platform in the middle was used for singing competitions.
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Jama Masjid – Mosque in the city
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Pachisi Court – A large board game where Akbar played “pachisi” with his wives.
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Jodha Bai Palace – The roof is made of real turquoise.

Fatehpur Sikri became difficult to manage due to scarcity of water because of which Mughals decided to move their capital to Agra.

You can cover both Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri on the same day if you start your day early from Delhi.We started at 7am from Delhi, covered both the places and returned back to hotel in Delhi at 10pm.

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