No less than three World Heritage Sites can be found in the area of one of India’s most famous cities Agra. It is home to breathtaking Taj Mahal, magnificent Red Fort and the neighbouring ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. Taj Mahal is famous all over the world for its spectacular white-marble architecture and is one of India’s most visited landmarks. This magnificent mausoleum was commissioned by the grief-stricken Emperor Shah Jahan, as a particularly grand memorial to this beloved third wife Mumtaz Mhal, who died during the birth of their 14th child. Construction of Taj Mahal started in 1632 and was completed after 25 years, with help of more than 20,000 workers, including architects from Europe. Not far from Taj Mahal, on the other side of the River Yamuna stands splendid Red Fort. It is said that in one of the octagonal towers of the fort, with a fine view of the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son and spent his last days gazing at the tomb of his beloved wife. The third of Agras Heritage Sites also has very interesting history. Legend has it that Emperor Akbar despite having harem of nearly 800 hundred women and several wives, was without a male heir. With the hope to get a son he longed for so long, he made a pilgrimage to Fatehpur Sikri to meet the Muslim Saint Shaikh Salim Chisti. At last by the blessings of the Salim Chisti, Jodha Bai, one of the queens of Akbar, bore him a son. Out of the gratitude of the Saint Emperor moved his capital to Fatehpur and named his son Salim.
Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri