Each year, millions of visitors are drawn to Agra, India, home of the famed Taj Mahal, as well as the Agra Fort and the abandoned ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri.
Emperor Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal built in honor of his wife, Mumtaz, whom he loved passionately and mourned deeply. For this reason it is recognized as a symbol of love, but it is also renowned for its spectacular architecture — glistening white marble accentuated with Islamic calligraphy and inlaid precious and semiprecious stones more than 50 stories high. Nearby is the massive and ornate Agra Fort, the government seat of India at one time, and also where Shah Jahan was imprisoned at the end of his life and is rumored to have gazed upon the Taj Mahal and his beloved Mumtaz’s grave until his death.
Lesser known is the ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri, which houses the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, who accurately predicted the Emperor Akbar would have three sons. Pilgrims flock to the tomb to perform a ritual in which they tie colored strings to the latticed walls while making wishes, in the hope that Sheikh Salim Chishti will bless them as he blessed Emperor Akbar.
Agra India is a cultural epicenter for those traveling to India, and is a common destination for Asian travelers wishing to see some of the most grand sights of India.
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