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Discuss the architectural features of the monuments of Agra. | UPPSC General Studies-V (5) Mains Solutions 2023


Discuss the architectural features of the monuments of Agra.

 (UPPSC Mains General Studies-V/GS-5 2023 Solutions)


Agra was the capital of Mughal between 1526 to 1571 and between 1598 to 1648.

Agra is home to many monuments and structures that showcase a blend of architectural styles spanning several centuries.

Important monuments of Agra are:

  • Taj Mahal
  • Agra Fort
  • Fatehpur Sikri ( Buland Darwaza)
  • Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb

Taj Mahal:

The Taj Mahal is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture.

It was built by Shah Jahan in the 17th century in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Its symmetrical layout, white marble construction, inlay work ( pietra dura), and exquisite calligraphy characterize it.

Agra Fort:

Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It was built by Akbar in the 16th century. 

Red sandstones were mainly used for construction.

It reflects a blend of Mughal, Persian, and Hindu architectural styles, with features such as massive gates and battlements.

It is about 2.5 km in length and 70 feet high.

Fatehpur Sikri:

Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is in Agra district.

It was the capital of the Mughal Empire during Akbar's reign.

The city was originally rectangular with a grid pattern of roads and canals.

Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, and Panch Mahal are important monuments in the city.

Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb:

Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb is also known as "Baby Taj".

It was commissioned by Nur Jahan, the wife of Emperor Jahangir. 

This Tomb was the first to use pietra dura-style decoration with semi-precious stones and later its design was incorporated into the Taj Mahal.

The above architectural treasures of Agra indicate the richness and diversity of India's culture, which attracts tourists.

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