Overview Agra

Visiting Agra

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Stories and Tips Agra


Written by kharkhuwa on 27 May, 2003

Set atop a rocky outlier of the upper Vindhyan range, barely thirty-seven kilometres to the west of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is a dramatic, deserted and ghost-ridden landscape. This imperial city was built by Akbar as a sign of gratitude to the sufi saint Shaikh Salim…Read More

The Tomb

Written by kharkhuwa on 27 May, 2003

The tomb that Nur Jahan’s built for her father Mirza Ghiyas (Itmad-ud-daulah) after his death in 1622 is, unlike her own, a symphony in white marble inlaid with coloured stones and enhanced with gold paint. The tomb, which stands on the left bank of the…Read More

The Light of the World

Written by kharkhuwa on 27 May, 2003

When Mihr-un-nissa met her second husband Salim, who had taken the name Jahangir after his ascension to the throne in 1611, she was already a widow of 35 years and ‘burdened’ with a daughter from her first husband—Ali Quli, entitled Sher Afkun (also Sher Afghan).…Read More

The Forsaken Daughter

Written by kharkhuwa on 27 May, 2003

Nur Jahan’s Persian grandfather, Khwaja Muhammad Sharif, was the vazir (prime minister) of Khurasan and then of Yazd under the Safayid rulers of Persia. However, after his death, the family fell upon hard times so much so that Muhammad Sharif’s son, Mirza Ghiyas, had to…Read More


Written by kharkhuwa on 27 May, 2003

As is often the case with children of famous parents, Jahangir’s life from the beginning was eclipsed by the achievements of his famous father, Akbar. He grew up resentful of his father and the latter’s coterie of nobles and courtiers, and there were frequent tiffs…Read More

Postscript: The Second Taj

Written by kharkhuwa on 27 May, 2003

Well begun is half done, or so the saying goes. It now appears that the Taj that Shah Jahan built at Agra was only a half of what the emperor had envisaged. The other half, it seems, was to be a replica of the present…Read More

Shah Jahan’s Last Days

Written by kharkhuwa on 27 May, 2003

In 1648 Shah Jahan had shifted capital to Shahjahanabad. He already had the Peacock Throne and the Kohinoor. He never remarried but his lust for life continued unabated. Bernier, Tavernier and Niccola Manucci provide salacious details about the Mughal emperor’s private indulgences, excesses defying age…Read More

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The Taj vis-à-vis Islamic Architecture

Written by kharkhuwa on 27 May, 2003

The dome is crucial to Islamic architecture, cosmologically uniting heaven and earth. The square of the edifice represents the material universe, the dome symbolizes the vault of heaven. The octagon stands for the transitional phase. Above the finial is the region of transcendence. The whole…Read More


Written by kharkhuwa on 27 May, 2003

Described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love, this poignant Mughal mausoleum has become the de facto tourist emblem of India. To India’s first Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the Taj was a "teardrop on the face of humanity," an edifice that echoes the…Read More

Mughal Architecture

Written by kharkhuwa on 26 May, 2003

The term Mughal architecture is generally used to denote the building style that flourished in northern and central India under the patronage of the Mughal emperors from the mid-16th to the late 17th century. The monuments and gardens constructed by the Mughals saw strong influences…Read More

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