A travel trip to India, is an adventure of it's own kind, where you can have as many thrilling and surprising elements in your itinerary, as peaceful and luxurious ones. No matter where you go and what you prefer, every place in the country has its beautiful sights, its exciting moments and its comfortable facilities.
If you want to have a trip which could introduce you to the history of the country along with the right amount of travel adventure, you can plan a visit to the city of Agra, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. It is no matter of surprise that the city of Agra, is one of the top 10 tourist attractions of the country, as the beautiful monument, the symbol of love and one of the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal, is located in Agra. The structure, in itself, is capable to draw all the tourist attention to Agra.
No matter how beautiful the building is, you cannot forget the fact that it is a tomb. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan got the Taj made, in the memories of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, his third wife. The white marble structure has the tombs of both the king and his queen, in the innermost parts , where tourists are not allowed.
The inscriptions and design
With exquisite art works of stucco, stone inlays, paints, carvings; many features could be observed, with beautiful patterns of flowers, abstract forms, and calligraphy of Islamic quotes. Passages and phrases from Quran are also written on the marble walls. Stylish paintings, Persian words and tiles are used in the external decorations of the building.
The internal structures
Precious and semiprecious gems and stones have been used in the inside of the structure. The tombs of both the king and his wife are in the most inner parts of the Mahal, with the graves facing the direction of mecca. On many places you will find patterned walls and ceilings and beautiful jali screens are placed at every other place, including the surrounds of cenotaphs.
The splendid Mughal beauty can be seen through their royal gardens as well. With properly trimmed trees and bushes and a clean pathway, with reflective water pool, all give a perfectly beautiful surrounding to such a beautiful monument. You can also see fountains here amidst trees, a perfect blend of natural forms, and variety of flowers. This amazingly beautiful things collectively have provided Agra, with a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Taj Mahal.
On an Agra trip, Taj Mahal is the best place you should take a first visit to. With the beauty of the monument, you can also enjoy a quiet picnic in the garden areas. You can also click pictures of the monument, and keep it for memories while small knick knacks and snacks could be bought from the vendors and hawkers.
In the month of February, a major festival called Taj Mahotsav, is celebrated in Shilpgram, near the Taj itself. A 10 day long festival, 18th to 27th February, this provide a perfect display of Agra's art, craft, culture and many other things.
The city of Mughals is very popular for its snacks and typical Indian delicacies. You can try the Indian chaat here, a spicy delicacy with lots of ingredients, and in many varieties including, bhallas, panipuri, samosa, kachori, aloo tikki, paneer tikka, etc. In Agra you must try the special berahi and jalebis, but the most popular item of the city is its specialized pethas, a sweet item, which you can eat as well as buy. The restaurants and dhabas will offer some finger licking food for the tourists, and give them a flavor of their city.
Shopping around Taj:
Since the city has been influenced by Mughal art in its buildings and monuments, you can also find various articles in the market, reflecting the same inspiration. The delicate work, the jewels, stones, gems, inscriptions, all are present in the handicrafts, jewelery and souvenirs as well. In Agra you can buy beautiful stone work for decoration and interior purposes, and jewelery and leather goods as well. And one of the most important things to buy in Agra markets is a small miniature figure of Taj Mahal.
An Agra trip, Taj Mahal, Mughal art, cultural glimpse and traditional values, all together will give you a wonderful vacation in India.