Agra Journals

The Taj Mahal and Beyond

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A January 2006 trip to Agra by Koentje3000

Taj Mahal Photo, Agra, India More Photos
Quote: Home to India's most famous building and one of its most beautiful forts, Agra is an overcrowded tourist trap and an attack on the nerves.

The Taj Mahal and Beyond

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Overview

Agra Fort Photo, Agra, India
Quote:
Agra is relatively small for Indian standards. With its 1.3 million inhabitants it is only the third city in the state of Uttar Pradesh after Kanpur and the provincial capital of Lucknow and ten times smaller than India's largest city Mumbai. Nevertheless it is probably the most visited place in the whole country due to the presence of one of the most beautiful buildings of the world, the Taj Mahal, and no visit of Northern India, be it to Rajasthan, Varanasi or the Himalayan provinces, is complete without a visit to Agra.The city is located on the banks of the Yamuna river that also runs in Delhi. The river is now heavily polluted with industrial and domestic waste but Agra owes its prosp...Read More

Taj Mahal

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Attraction | "Taj Mahal part I"

Taj Mahal Photo, Agra, India
Quote:
Open a box of superlatives and you can be sure that the Taj Mahal (in Hindi ताज महल) has been named it. The most beautiful architectural masterpiece of all times, the world's most famous building, the greatest Islamic monument or the most loved structure in Asia are a few of its ambitious nicknames. And indeed, these names are not something an over-enthusiastic tourist office made up, but they are perhaps even an understatement as the beauty of the Taj cannot possibly be caught in words.Built by Moghul emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a mausoleum for his favourite wife Arjumand Banu Begum, nicknamed Mumtaz Mahal or "beautiful ornament of the palace", the Taj Mahal is considered by...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2006

Taj Mahal

Agra, India

Taj Mahal

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Attraction | "Taj Mahal part II"

Taj Mahal Photo, Agra, India
Quote:
(continued from part I)The entrance ticket to the Taj Mahal must be bought at the entrance gate in the west of the complex. There is one booth for Indians, who pay Rs 20, and one for foreigners paying a whopping Rs 750. When you have bought your entrance ticket you can enter the complex after a thorough security check. A number of items are forbidden on the Taj Grounds, like knives, lighters, or mobile phones, but they can be checked in for a small fee. Behind the huge entrance gate lays ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2006

Taj Mahal

Agra, India

Taj Mahal

Attraction | "Taj Ganj Tourist Area"

Taj Mahal Photo, Agra, India
Quote:
The Taj Ganj quarter is located immediately south of the Taj Mahal. It may thus come as no surprise that it is Agra's tourist mecca. The village was established as a residence for the workforce, supposedly 20.000 people strong, which built the Taj Mahal for almost 20 years long. Originally it was called "Mumtazabad", after the deceased wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal, for whom the white marble mausoleum was built.Nowadays, the area caters solely to tourism, mostly geared towards the budget minded people. The narrow and dirty streets are lined with souvenir shops and small hotels. The ma...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 13, 2006

Taj Mahal

Agra, India

Itmad Ud Daula Tomb

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Attraction | "Itmad-ud-Daulah Mausoleum"

Itmad Ud Daula Tomb Photo, Agra, India
Quote:
To start this article, a little family story is in the right place. Itmad-ud-Daulah is the nickname of Mirza Giyas Beg, an important official in the Moghul empire of the 16th and 17th century. It means "pillar of the state." The daughter of his son, Arjumand Banu Begum or later known as Mumtaz Mahal, was the favourite wife of Shah Jahan. Upon her death, the Shah constructed a mausoleum for here, known as the Taj Mahal.Itmad's daughter Mehrunissa married in 1594 with Persian nobleman Sher Afghan Ali Quli Khan, who fled from Persia after the murder of the Shah over there. Ali Quli was kill...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 14, 2006

Itmad Ud Daula Tomb
Left Bank of the Yamuna River
Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Agra Fort

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Attraction | "Agra Fort Part I"

Agra Fort Photo, Agra, India
Quote:
The Red Fort (Hindi: लाल किला or Lal Qila) of Agra is slightly smaller than its counterpart in Delhi but at least as interesting and beautiful. It is Agra's second sight to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage list, next to the city's main claim to fame, the Taj Mahal. Although the beauty of the white marble mausoleum is unrivalled, the fort is definitely an edifice that should not be missed when you are visiting Agra, even if you are only here for a day.The probable founder of Agra, the Afghan ruler Sikander Lodhi, built a mud and bric...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 23, 2006

Agra Fort

Agra, India

Agra Fort

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Attraction | "Agra Fort Part II"

Agra Fort Photo, Agra, India
Quote:
(continued from part I)When you are nearing the fort, you will notice its massive 2.5km long red sandstone walls, extending next to the Yamuna river. To see the size of the fort, Google maps features a satellite view of it. There are two entrance gates in the walls, the grand Delhi gate and the smaller but still magnificent red sandstone Lahore gate, facing toward...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 23, 2006

Agra Fort

Agra, India