Sikandra   ||   Fatehpur Sikri   ||   Radha Swami   ||   Marble Work Of Agra   

                                                                                        

The greatest of the Mughal emperors, Akbar was quite right in the head. His contributions to Agra city and the nation are par excellence. Akbar during his life time planned and carried out many important projects that covered broad institutions like arts, literature, religion, architecture and statesmanship. Sikandra Fort is one example that roughly gives an idea of the emperors foresight. The tomb of Sikandra Fort was built by Akbar himself during his life time. Emperor Jehangir, Akbar's son, continued the project which ultimately led to the foundation of the Sikandra Fort complex.

Sikandra Fort is located in the western periphery of the city at a distance of about 10 kms from the city center. The fort is provided in a prodigal garden. The garden is enclosed within the walls in a typical charbagh fashion. The garden houses water channels running through it, fountains and paved causeways.

The tomb built in red sandstone and beautifully carved reflects the persona of the great emperor. The tomb which stands as a graduated pyramid has been built as a five storeyed structure. The main tomb is square in shape and is unlike the rest of mughal buildings. The tomb is beautified with inlay marble work and pattern work. The structure has numerous bays and massive piers and arches.

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37 kms from Agra is built a city predominantly in Red Sandstone and is called Fatehpur Sikri. This town was built by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. He had planned this city as his capital but shortage of water compelled him to abandon the city. After this within 20 years, the capital of Mughals was shifted to Lahore.

Fatehpur SikriFatehpur Sikri was built during 1571 and 1585. Today this ghost city has a population of about 30,000. This deserted city has retained many of the old structures, because of the efforts of the Archaeological department .

Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height. Though the city is in ruins, it is a place to visit if one comes to Agra.But in real terms Fatehpur Sikri is a place where one should spend some time. The sunset over the ruins is sight to cherish.

Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Fatehpur Sikri Mosque is said to be a copy of the mosque in Mecca and has designs, derived from the Persian & Hindu architecture.

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The Radhaswami trust is one of the oldest residents of Agra. They own probably hundreds of acres of land in the Dayalbagh area of northern Agra. According to some sources, when the founder Swamiji Maharaj died, it was decided that a Samadhi in the form of a temple be constructed in the memory of Swamiji Maharaj. The trust wanted the marble temple to be more beautiful than the Taj Mahal. Work started on the temple in early 1900s. The construction is still going on.



The head quarter of the Radha Soami sect. On the sprawing lawns here, is a beautiful marble temple with beautiful carving of fruits, flowers, leaves and plants which have been reduced in to stone true to nature, and are distinctive specimens of the plastic art
 

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Agra, the city of Taj is also popular for its arts and crafts industry such as leather, Zardozi and marble. Among these, Marble work naturally has an edge over all of them. It is in fact not be an aberration to say that the marble rules and signifies the city of Agra. From mausoleums to smaller fine artifices, marble has left deep impressions on the city of Agra. The secret behind the success of these crafts is the continuous contribution and improvement from the time of Mughal rulers till this time. The craft is sort of hereditary in nature and has passed from generations to generations. These wonderful works of craftsmen are displayed and merchandised in showrooms all over the Agra.

The most popular item of the marble is the replicas of Taj Mahal that have been produced and sold in Agra for years. In fact, this miniature is the lifeline of the city of Taj and has kept the ancient craft thriving in the region. Apart from that, the marble inlay work is also very popular. Good artisans are invited all over the world and places as far as Italy to show their talent. In this art various floral and geometric patterns are created with the help of precious and semi precious stones. The stones are inlaid in Indian marble, black marble and Indian Jade.

Artifacts of different shapes are very popular among both domestic as well as foreign tourists in Agra. These artifacts such as vases, plates, trays, coaster sets, ornamental boxes, decorative pieces and tabletops etc. can be found in numerous showrooms located in the markets around the Taj such as Sadar Bazar, Munro Road and Kinari Bazar. Apart from the artifacts, the most prominent decorative items are the statues and busts of Indian Gods and Goddesses with finely carved facial expressions.
 
 
 
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