Thursday, August 18, 2011

Places to See in Agra - Day 1: Akbar's Tomb and Agra Fort

This was a long weekend and we decided to drive down to Agra. I had seen the Taj Mahal, but that was long ago! I could barely remember anything. So it was time to refresh some memories.

The 190 km drive was to Agra was not too bad, but definitely not the best one. The weather was by our side thankfully, it was cloudy and pleasant. We reached our destination in about 5 hours. On our way, we made two haults at a Dhaba and then at Akbar's tomb. I have always been very excited about eating at road-side dhabas, they serve you the tastiest and truly authentic food.

Akbar's tomb was on the way and not really planned. It was a nice and peaceful monument, not overly crowded.

After checking in our 'Grand Hotel', we headed to see the Taj Mahal. Agra as a city is not very appealing. It's not very clean, and the 'guides' really really get on your nerves'. They would almost run after you everywhere. Unfortunately we went there in one of the busiest possible days and all the tourist places were super-crowded! We actually stood in the ticket queue for Taj Mahal for an hour, while they had shut the counters to control crowd. The queue to enter the Taj Mahal was more than a kilometre long. It was sad how they could mismanage a world heritage site like that! We and many others gave up and went to the Agra Fort.

Anyway, a bit of my usual History lessons (Courtsey: Wiki) before we proceed to the photos!

Akbar's Tomb
The Tomb of Akbar the Great is an important Mughal architectural masterpiece, built 1605-1613, set in 119 acres of grounds in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Akbar himself commenced its construction in around 1600, according to a tradition to commence the construction of one's tomb during one's lifetime. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it, after his death, Akbar's son Jahangir completed the construction in 1605-1613.

Agra Fort
This is located on the bank of Yamuna, 2.5 Km from the Taj Mahal.  It is one of the most important and robustly built stronghold of the Mughals, re-constructed by Akbar on the remains of an ancient site known as Badalgarh when he he made this his capital in 1558.

It was only during the reign of Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan, who built Taj Mahal, that the site took on its current state. Unlike his grandfather, Shah Jahan tended to have buildings made from white marble. At the end of his life, Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb, in the fort. It is rumored that Shah Jahan died in Musamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with a view of the Taj Mahal.

And now some pics..

Break for Breakfast @ Milan Dhaba

Gate: Akbar's Tomb

Inside the Site

A Tomb

Deer Posing for a Snap

Agra Red Fort


Red Fort: Diwan-e-Aam (Hall of Public Audience)

Red Fort: Diwan-e-Aam (Hall of Public Audience)

Red Fort: The Other Side

And, he was on top of the world!!

Finally made it to the Taj at 8:30 the next morning! I will post the pictures soon!


FashionPhD said...

i want that deer!

Hungover on Fashion said...

you'll have to go all the way to agra then :)

shuchita said...

the weather seems perfect
why aren't you in the pics??

SinFoodie said...

such nice photos again !!

Hungover on Fashion said...

@Shuchita: My photos on fb :)

@SinFoodie: Thanks :) More to come..

Ayushya said...

It took 4 hours and not 5 hours

Asta said...

wow..i love it..keep them coming.

Ik said...

Really niceee!!!:D

MakeupbyEesha said...

your pictures make them even more beautiful :)