This travel experience is shared by Jessica from India.
The pleasure and experiences that I derived during my last visit to the erstwhile capital of the Mughal Empire was awesome. Wondering which city I am referring to? If you have guessed Agra in India then you are absolutely right. My desire to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World and an epitome of true love came true last year when I travelled to Agra. Located in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Agra was one of the most powerful cities with mythological significance during the Mughal rule.
Referred to as Akbarabad, during the Mughal emperor’s rule, this city has turned out to be one of the most popular and favourite tourist destination spots. Located by the side of holy river Yamuna, the monument is worth seeing after dawn especially on a full moon day. With the beauty of this white monument being reflected in the water along with the blooming full moon, this site is undoubtedly a feast to the eyes. Besides being a monument with historical significance, Taj Mahal is a true example of the craftsmanship of Indian artisans.
Taj Mahal includes a beautiful mosque, guest house and a mausoleum that has tombs of both Shah Jahan and Mumtaz. Another spectacular thing about this place is the four waterways dividing the gardens in front of this beautiful monument. Although Taj Mahal is the first thing that struck my mind when I planned my trip, there are many other sites and tourist destinations which I visited during my travel. Those included:
• Agra fort – Constructed by Emperor Akbar sometime during the year 1565, this fort is very close to Taj Mahal and worth a visit. The uniqueness of this fort lies in the stones that were used in its making. Made of red stone, this fort has now been recognised by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage sites.
• The tomb of Akbar – Located just 13 kms away from Taj Mahal is a place called Sikandra where Emperor Akbar breathed his last. In his memory a pyramidal shaped tomb has been constructed by his son Jahangir sometime during the year 1613. The historical significance of this place is that all the 99 names of Allah are encrypted on it.
• Vrindavan – Considered holy due to the association of Lord Krishna, Vrindavan is one of the most revered pilgrim spots of Indians. Another great thing about this place is it houses nearly 4,000 temples constructed in his honour.
• The other popular attractions near Taj Mahal are Jama Masjid, built for Shah Jahan’s daughter; Guru ka Tal, a holy place of worship for Sikhs; Chini Ka Rauza, dedicated to the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan; Mariam’s Tomb, wife of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great; Mehtab Bagh, a moonlit garden; and Keetham Lake. All these are full of historical significance.
Just like any other traveller, one of my major concerns was with food. However, the numerous eateries, food joints and dabhas located all along the way to Agra from Delhi sufficed my requirements. Besides being tasty and lip smacking they were friendly on my pocket too.