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Trip Start Nov 06, 2010
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Trip End Mar 18, 2011


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Flag of India  , Uttar Pradesh,
Friday, December 3, 2010

Today we made our way with our guide to other famous sites of the city. The first which is called in the guide books the “Baby Taj” because of its many similarities. Some of the detail work of the marble is fantastic, but it does not have the size or scope of the Taj. Then we went to the Agra Fort and to see (and I found out after do) stone work.

Below is a quick history of them:

I'timād-Ud-Daulah

The Empress Nūr Jahān built I'timād-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, sometimes called the 'Baby Tāj', for her father, Mirzā Ghiyās Beg, the Chief Minister of the Emperor Jahāngīr. Located on the left bank of the Yamuna river, the mausoleum is set in a large cruciform garden chris-crossed by water courses and walkways. The mausoleum itself covers about 23 square meters (250 sq ft), and is built on a base about fifty meters square and about one meter high. On each corner are hexagonal towers, about thirteen meters tall.

Small in comparison to many other Mughal-era tombs, it is sometimes described as a jewel box. Its garden layout and use of white marble, inlay designs and latticework presage many elements of the Tāj Mahal.

The walls are white marble from Rajasthan encrusted with semi-precious stone decorations - cornelian, jasper, lapis lazuli, onyx, and topaz in images of cypress trees and wine bottles, or more elaborate decorations like cut fruit or vases containing bouquets. Light penetrates to the interior through delicate jālī screens of intricately carved white marble. Many of Nūr Jahān's relatives are interred in the mausoleum. The only asymmetrical element of the entire complex is that the tombs of her father and mother have been set side-by-side, a formation replicated in the Taj Mahal.

Agra Fort

Agra Fort (sometimes called the Red Fort), was commissioned by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565, and is another of Agra's World Heritage Sites. The forbidding exteriors of this fort conceal an inner paradise. The fort is crescent shaped, flattened on the east with a long, nearly straight wall facing the river. It has a total perimeter of 2.4 kilometers (1.5 mi), and is ringed by double castellated ramparts of red sandstone punctuated at regular intervals by bastions. A 9 meters (30 ft) wide and 10 meters (33 ft) deep moat surrounds the outer wall.

Stone Cutting Tour

On our way back to the hotel we stopped a stone cutting arts shop which I got a chance to sit down and try my hand at doing the hand work. This skill set which is taught from father to son takes many years to perfect, as I learned trying to do it!
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Comments

Donna/Tom Mazzola on

Here in Chicago, we got over 5" of the white stuff. Maybe you should stay in India so you're not subjected to winter!!! Enjoy!!

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