TAJ MAHAL: Agra has a magnificent fort and also the building which many people come to India solely to see-the Taj Mahal. The main entrance to Taj is a high red sandstone gate which is inscribed with verses from Koran in Arabic.The Taj Mahal stands on a raised marble platform.Tall,purely decorative white 'minarets' grace each corner of the platform.The centre Taj structure has 4 small domes surrounding the huge, bulbous,central dome.The tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan are in a basement room. AGRA FORT: There are many fascinating buildings inside the massive walls surrounded by a moat.Some of the important buildings within the fort are: Moti Masjid-It is a marble mosque.A Persian inscription inside the building compares it to a perfect pearl. Diwan-i-Am- The Hall of Public Audiences was built by Shah Jahan.The throne is inlaid with marble work.Nearby there is the Nagina Masjid or Gem Mosque. Diwan-i-Khas- The Hall of Private Audiences was built by Shah Jahan. Octagonal Tower(Musamman Burj or Saman Burj)- It was built by Shah Jahan for Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the finely designed buildings. Jehangir's Palace- It is the largest private residence in the fort built by Akbar for his son.It reflects Hindu and central Asian architectural styles. Other Buildings- Khas Mahal,Shish Mahal,Anguri Bagh,Hauz-i-Jehangri,the Amar Singh Gate,Itimad-ud-daulah,Ram Bagh. Chini Ka Rauza- The squat,square tomb was built by Afzal Khan. Jami Masjid-It was built by Shahjahan in the name of his daughter,Jahanara. Other attractions-Kinari Bazaar,Loha Mandi,Sabji Mandi,Nai Ki Mandi.



Agra is well known for leather goods, jewellery and marble items inlaid like the pietra dura work on the Taj. The Sadar and Taj Ganj areas are the main tourist shopping centres. Around Pratapur there are many jewellery shops.About one km. along the road running from the east gate of the Taj is Shilpgram,a crafts village and open-air emporium. At festival times there are live performances by dancers and musicians; the rest of the time there are displays of crafts from all over the country. The quality is very good.



GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR Agra is on the popular daily tourist route Delhi/Agra/Khajuraho/Varanasi and return. It is only a 40 minute flight from Delhi to Agra. BUS Most buses leave from the Idgah bus station. There are deluxe between Agra and Jaipur. They leave from a small booth right outside the Seetal Lodge on Ajmer Rd, very close to the Idgah bus station. TRAIN Agra is on the main Delhi to Bombay broad-gauge railway line, so there are plenty of trains coming through. Agra is 200 km from Delhi and 1344 km from Bombay. The fastest train between Delhi and Agra is the daily air-con Shatabdi Express. There is also the daily Taj Express to and from Delhi. There are also direct trains to Goa, Madras and Thiruvananthapuram. Agra Fort Station is on the metre-gauge system, and this links Agra with Rajasthan. The daily Agra-Jaipur Express does the 208 km trip in 5 hours. The line also passes thruough Bharatpur. There are daily connections with Ajmer and Jodhpur.

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