I recently travelled to Agra on a school trip and I visited two of Agra’s famous sites Taj Mahal and the Agra fort.

The Taj Mahal

It goes without saying that the Taj Mahal can easily be one of the most beautiful and famous Indian monument. Its beauty and grandness are something that can make anyone gasp with wonder, but what made me the most interested was the story behind this building. This monument is not a palace or castle, but a tomb built by the Mughal king Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. The queen, when alive, had been given many names but the one that stuck was Mumtaz mahal meaning “beloved ornament of the palace”.  She was his chief queen as she gave the king 14 children out of which Aurangzeb became the king. Her dying wish was to have a unique structure to be built-in her memory and thus the Taj Mahal was made.  This story was a familiar one to me as I had been told this story many times as a child and it remains one of the best stories I have ever heard of.

The Agra fort.

The Agra fort was built by Akbar the great, the most famous Mughal king. This for has many sections with rooms that were used by four generation of Mughal kings. Each room has been preserved and kept clean for tourists to visit and each room has grand chandeliers preserved and thousands of painting put up for display. My favourite room was king Shah Jahan’s prison. Now if you haven’t heard of the tale behind this room let me tell. Aurangzeb was very eager to become king and soon after the Taj was built he couldn’t wait till his father died to become king, so he went to war with his older brothers, killed them all, imprisoned his father and became king. Shah Jahan’s prison was much grander than any average prison. He was after all, of royal blood. His “prison” consisted of a bedroom with a balcony facing the Taj, a bathroom, a garden with a fountain, a room full of glass mirrors and a large part of the fort where he could roam around freely. Then nearly eight years after Shah Jahan was imprisoned, the king passed away looking at his beloved Taj Mahal.

My trip to Agra was an eye-opening experience. I saw and learnt things I will never forget. Hope you liked my short write-up!

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