(Unit of Immense Holiday Travels )
History of Taj Mahal
The origin of the name "Taj Mahal" is not clear. Court histories from Shah Jehan's reign only call it the rauza (tomb) of Mumtaz Mahal. It is generally believed that "Taj Mahal" (usually translated as either "Crown Palace" or "Crown of the Palace") is an abbreviated version of her name, Mumtaz Mahal. The construction of this marble masterpiece is credited to the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who erected this mausoleum in the memory of his beloved wife, Arjumand Bano Begum, popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal, who died in AH 1040 (AD 1630). Her last wish to her husband was "to build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before". Thus emperor Shah Jahan set about building this fairytale like marvel.
The construction of Taj Mahal was started in AD 1631 and completed at the end of 1648 AD. For seventeen years, twenty thousand workmen are said to be employed on it daily, for their accommodation a small town, named after the deceased empress-'Mumtazabad, now known as Taj Ganj, was built adjacent to it. Amanat Khan Shirazi was the calligrapher of Taj Mahal, his name occurs at the end of an inscription on one of the gates of the Taj. Poet Ghyasuddin had designed the verses on the tombstone, while Ismail Khan Afridi of Turkey was the dome maker. Muhammad Hanif was the superintendent of Masons. The designer of Taj Mahal was Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. The material was brought in from all over India and central Asia and it took a fleet of 1000 elephants to transport it to the site. The central dome is 187 feet high at the centre. Red sandstone was brought from Fatehpur Sikri, Jasper from Punjab, Jade and Crystal from China, Turquoise from Tibet, Lapis Lazuli and Sapphire from Sri Lanka, Coal and Cornelian from Arabia and diamonds from Panna. In all 28 kind of rare, semi precious and precious stones were used for inlay work in the Taj Mahal. Thechief building material, the white marble was brought from the quarries of Makrana, in distt. Nagaur, Rajasthan
Day 1 : Delhi - Agra - DelhiAfter Breakfast Pickup from Hotel and drive to Agra , En route visit Sikandra , visit Taj Mahal, Agra Fort. and evening back to Delhi, and Transfer to Hotel/ Airport.
Taj MahalThe most beautiful building in the world. In 1631 the emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz, who died in childbirth. The white marble mausoleum at Agra has become the monument of a man's love for a woman. Shah Jahan came to power in 1622 when he seized the throne from his father, while murdering his brothers to ensure his claim to rule. He was known as an extravagant and cruel leader. But he redeemed himself by his generosity to his friends and the poor, by his passion in adorning India with some of its most beautiful architecture, and by his devotion to his wife Mumtaz Mahal -"Ornament of the Palace." He had married her when he was 21, when he already had two children by an earlier consort. Mumtaz gave her husband 14 children in eighteen years, and died at the age of 39 during the birth of the final child. Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a monument to her memory and her fertility, but then relapsed into a life of scandalous behavior. This tomb was only one of hundreds of beautiful buildings that Shah Jahan erected, mostly at Agra and in the new Dehli that came into being under his planning.
Agra FortAgra Fort is among the finest examples of the fusion architecture that hasdominatedthe Mogul period. The assimilation of these different styles has giventhe buildings within the fort a distinctive look. To name a few, for example, the Jahangir Palace built by Akbar is the most magnificent blend of Persian andlocal style where as Divan-e-Aam mixes subtleness of Turkish exteriors with the complex pattern of Persian architecture. Other buildings within the premises of Agra Fort either have a mixed style or conform predominantly to the Islamic style. Some of the important buildings inside the Agra Fort include Jahangir Mahal, Divan-e-Aam, Divan-e-Khash, Khas Mahal, Anguri Bagh, Musamman Burj, Moti Masjid, Mina Masjid and Shish Mahal among others.
Akbar's Tomb at Sikandra4 kilometers from Agra is Akbar's tomb at Sikandra which is an excellent example of assimilation of different styles of architecture and it represents a significant departure from the earlier Mughal buildings. The tomb carries the characteristic flavor of the airy tiered pavilions of the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar started building the magnificent edifice at Sikandra, which was later completed by his son Jahangir after his fathers death in 1605,. The tomb, as it stands today, is in a large walled garden on the Delhi-Agra road. The tomb can be entered through an elegant southern gateway, which leads into the huge enclosed garden. This magnificent gateway is covered with floral and geometrical arabesque decoration in white and colored marble is crowned with four elegant minarets in white marble.