A white marble tomb built in 1631-48 in Agra, seat of the Mugal Empire, by Shah Jehan for his wife, Arjuman Banu Begum, the monument sums up many of the formal themes that have played through Islamic architecture. Its refined elegance is a conspicuous contrast both to the Hindu architecture of pre-Islamic India, with its thick walls, corbeled arches, and heavy lintels, and to the Indo-Islamic styles, in which Hindu elements are combined with an eclectic assortment of motifs from Persian and Turkish sources.
37 kms from Agra is built a city predominantly in Red Sandstone and is called Fatehpur Sikri. This town was built by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar.
He had planned this city as his capital but shortage of water compelled him to abandon the city. After this within 20 years, the capital of Mughals was shifted to Lahore.
Fatehpur Sikri was built during 1571 and 1585. Today this ghost city has a population of about 30,000. This deserted city has retained many of the old structures, because of the efforts of the Archaeological department .
Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height. Though the city is in ruins, it is a place to visit if one comes to Agra.But in real terms Fatehpur Sikri is a place where one should spend some time. The sunset over the ruins is sight to cherish.
Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Fatehpur Sikri Mosque is said to be a copy of the mosque in Mecca and has designs, derived from the Persian & Hindu architecture.
Construction of the massive red sandstone Agra Fort on the bank of the Yamuna River was begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565, though additions were made up until the rule of his grandson, Shah Jahan. In Akbar's time the fort was principally a military structure, but during Shah Jaha regin it had partially become Palace. It is an imposing strcture with walls of red sandstone almost three kilometers long. Entered through the Amar Singh Gate, the eastern part of the fort contain palace, audience hall and mosques built by three emperors. The fort presents a good sampling of their favoured architectural styles. Akbar drew on Islamic and Hindu traditions and the result is eclectic. By Shah Jahan's time the style had become so homogenized that it is impossible to seprate the Hindu and Muslim strands. The Diwan-i-Am (public audience hall), the beautiful Diwan-i-Khas (private audience hall) and the magnificent Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) were also added by Shah Jahan.
Six miles north of Agra, is a glorious introduction to the city of Mughal wonders, Sikandra. The site of Akbar's mausoleum, Sikandra was begun by Akbar and completed by his son Jehangir in 1613 AD. It reflects the fusion of Hindu and Muslim art and architecture which characterised the era. The tomb is situated in the centre of a large garden and four identical red sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex. The building, with three-storey minarets at each corner, is built of red sandstone with white marble polygonal patterns inlaid. Sikandra is named after Sikandra Lodi, the Delhi ruler who was in power from 1488 to 1517.
Also known as the Chhota, or Small Imambara, This was built by Mohammed Ali Shah in 1837 as his own mausoleum. Thousands of labourers worked on the project to gain famine relief. The large courtyard encloses a raised rectangular tank with small imitations of the Taj Mahal on each side. one of them is the tomb of Mohammed Ali Shah daughter, the other that of her husband. The main building of the imambara, topped by a golden dome, contains the tombs of ali Shah and his mother. Opposite the Hussainnabad Imambara is Satkhanda and also known as Sven Storey Tower. A 67m-high defunct clock tower, overlooks the Hussainabad Tank nearby. West of the Hussainnabad Imambara is the Jama Masjid which was started by Mohammed Ali Shah and Completed after his Death.
Built in 1800 for the British Resident, this group of buildings became the stage for the the most dramatic events of the 1857 Uprising the Siege of Lucknow. The red-brick ruins are peaceful now a days, surrounded by lawns and flowerbeds, but thousands died during the months-long siege. The Residency has been maintaind as it was at the time of the final relief, and the shattered walls are still scarred by cannon shot. Even since Independence, little has changed. The only major work done on the place was the unveiling of an Indian Martyrs Memorial directely opposite. you can see cellars in the main Residency building where many of the women and children lived throughout the siege. The cemetery at the nearby ruined church has the graves of 2000 men, women and children, including that of Sir Henry Lawrence, 'who tried to do his duty' according to the famous inscription on his weathered gravestone.
On the opposite bank of river, this 17th century fort is the home of the former maharaja of Benaras. It looks most impressive from the river, though the decrepit planking of the pantoon bridge you cross to reach it is somewhat of a distraction. During the mansoon access is by ferry. The intresting museum here contains old silver & brocade palanquins for the ladies of the court, gold-plated elephant howdahs, an astrological clock, marcabre elephant traps and an armoury of swords and old guns.
The Vishwanath temple, or Golden Temple, is the most sacred temple in Varanasi and is dedicated to Vishveswara-Shiva as lord of the universe. The original temple was destroyed by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, and the present temple was built in 1776 by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore . 800kg of gold plating on the towers, which gives the temple its colloquial name, was provided by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore some 50 years later.
The name brings to our mind superb monuments including the magnificent Taj which is one of the seven wonders of the world. Famous for Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Chisti's Tomb, Jahangir Mahal.
Other Tourist Destination in Uttar Pradesh
Allahabada , Mathura , Lucknow , Varanasi.