There are few states more quintessentially Indian than Uttar Pradesh. The subcontinent’s historic and religious roots – Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and secular – intertwine in this land of sacred rivers and vast plains, manifesting in sights of profound importance. [Lonely Planet]
Uttar Pradesh is a state in northern India. Its city of Agra is home to the iconic Taj Mahal monument, a colossal, domed, white-marble mausoleum honouring the wife of 17th-century Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Nearby are the red-brick walls of Agra Fort, a fortified palace dating to the 16th and 17th centuries. Capital Lucknow has Muslim memorial shrines Bara Imambara and calligraphy-adorned Chota Imambara.
Southwest of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is the abandoned 16th-century capital of Mughal emperor Akbar. Its grounds include the monumental Buland Darwaza gate and marble-screened Tomb of Salim Chishti, a Sufi saint. In southeastern city Varanasi, Hindu pilgrims bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. A highlight among its approximately 2,000 temples is the 18th-century Kashi Vishwanath, crowned with gold-plated spires. Outside Varanasi, pilgrimage town Sarnath is the site of 40m Dhamekh Stupa, said to mark the site of Buddha’s first sermon.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is an awesome inspiration and symbol of love that stands high at solitary river Yamuna. It is an aspiring result of exotic architecture and scientific research. The Taj Mahal is considered as finest piece of architecture with varied styles that combines different styles like Mughal, Indian Persian etc. In 1983 it was declared as world heritage by UNESCO and cited as the ‘Jewels of Muslim art in India’. The Taj Mahal is amongst the Seven Wonders of the World. It is a world renowned monument that represents symbol love for Mumtaz. The Taj Mahal is built with the white marble which was excavated from Makrana in Rajasthan, India. Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of her wife Mumtaz in year 1630 where Shah Jahan had enshrined the mortal remains of her wife Mumtaz. Time Required: Taj Mahal is a very huge monument it would take around 3 hours time to explore.
The Agra Fort
The Agra Fort is located at the bank of Yamuna River in Agra and it was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar erected this fort to make his capital and as a strong citadel for protection. It took years to build this monument and it involved huge amount of money. The fort represents an entire city which has beautiful mosques like – Nagina Masjid, Meena Masjid, Sheesh Mahal, Khas Mahal and Meena Bazar. It is a belief that the fort existed during the time of Ashoka the Great. It is also strengthen by some discoveries of the remains of a wall close to the Jahangiri Mahal. There is another belief that the fort belonged to a period prior to Akbar’s coming to power. The Agra Fort has also been declared as World Heritage site by UNESCO and it is one of the important forts in India.
Fatehpur Sikri a town by Akbar which he made with utmost planning and care in the honor of a Saint Salim Chishti. The place faced scarcity of water and was abandoned just after 15 years of its construction. The town was originally named as Sikri after the village where it was made. Another town Fatehpur was erected to celebrate Akbar’s victory over Gujrat. Hence the place got famous as Fatehpur Sikri. Saint Salim Chishti was a Sufi saint who bless Akbar with his fist son who was named as Salim and later known as Jahangir.