The immortal monument of love, Taj Mahal is one of the most visited medieval buildings of the world. Such is the importance of this eternal monument that it has almost become a symbol of India. Most foreigners who visit India are lured by the Taj and it is one of the first things that they want to visit in the country. The Taj Mahal tours take tourists on the fascinating journeys of the city of Agra and its surrounding locates, all of which still smell of history. With the numerous historic monuments that a tour of Agra promises, the erstwhile capital of the mighty Mughuls is one of the highlights of tourism in North India.
The star attraction of the Taj Mahal tours is of course, the Taj itself. Built by the fifth Mughul emperor Shahjahan (1628 – 1658), this monument has immortalized the name of Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved wife of Shahjahan, in whose memory he built this marvelous tomb. The Taj is characterized by highly stylized calligraphy, intricate carvings in marble, delicate arrangement of precious stones, and the famous pietra dura inlay work. The sheer size of the Taj is enough to mesmerize the observer, and indeed, many distinguished visitors from all over the world have been captivated by its ethereal beauty.
Agra is known as the city of Mughuls, and rightly so. Before the Mughuls, there were rulers here, but it is the Mughuls who gave Agra worldwide fame as one of the most magnificent cities of its times. The other Mughul monuments have given Agra the status of one of the premier tourist destinations in India. The Taj Mahal tours also cover these amazing medieval monuments that have witnessed dramatic moments in the history of India.
The chief among these is the Agra fort, which remained the center of Mughul power till the capital was shifted to Delhi. Fatehpur Sikri is yet another famous place, known for the lavish fortified palace of Emperor Akbar. It is located 37 kms west of Agra, and is among the most important destinations to be visited on an excursion from Agra. The massive gate called Buland Darwaza and the revered tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti are the chief attractions of this place, apart from the magnificent red sandstone palace itself. Both the Agra fort and the palace complex at Fatehpur Sikri are among the best known Indian monuments. They also signify a great blend of Indian, Islamic and European architectural traditions that were allowed to fuse together under the patronage of the Mughuls.
Besides the above, the Taj Mahal tours also cover some other monuments which have been outfamed by the Taj and the imposing Agra fort. These include the tomb of Nurjahan's father, given the title Itmad-ud-daulat, Chini ka Rauza, which is a tomb of one of Shahjahan's ministers, and is known for its brilliant glazed tiles. The city also has a few beautifully laid out gardens, whose origins date back to the times of Babur, the founder of the Mughul dynasty. The tomb of Akbar at Sikandara is located about 5 kms from Agra and is among the city's major attractions.
Last but not the least, the Taj Mahal tours let you visit the nooks and corners of the city that are still deep rooted in its history. The bazaars, the handicrafts, the fabrics, and even the sights and sounds, all make up the city of Agra.