Agra was once the erstwhile seat of Mughal Empire in sixteenth Century that is now a city of Taj Mahal located 200 km south of national capital of India, New Delhi. Agra is the most visited city in Uttara Pradesh due to Taj Mahal is located here, which is world’s most attractive marble building built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan with the help of 20000 workers labored for 22 years to complete the mausoleum. Taj Mahal is often referred as Symbol of Love or Epitome of Love because Emperor Shah Johan built Taj in the memory of his wife late Mumtaj that reflects the love Emperor had for his wife.
Agra is home to three UNESCO world heritage sites namely Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Taj Mahal is prime attraction in North India and also crowned as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In Agra, one can enjoy piece of Mughal architecture and craftsmanship in monuments like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Sikandara and Fatehpur Sikri. Agra attracts millions of tourists every year due to having such monuments with great history behind them.
Agra has beautiful markets dotted with marble factories and carpet shops that keep the travelers mesmerized. Hotels are easily available in Agra ranging from budget to five stars. Agra city is considered in every tour itinerary of India whether for first time travelers or repeaters.
Coming on to architecture of Taj Mahal, Pietra dura had been extensively used as decorative patterns into the marble of Taj. The Florentine technique of Pietra dura is said to have been imported from Italy and later developed in Agra as Pachikari. Minute silvers of precious and semi-precious stones such as carnelian, turquoise and malachite were arranged in floral designs into the marble base. Emperor Shah Jahan called upon artisans and architects from different parts of the world and asked them to share their ideas of making this wonders a possible.
Arranging semi precious stones with the help of mysterious glue after carving on the best of marble is a rare art. There was no mentioning of artisans in the history who contributed their skills to make it possible. Some artisans from nearby villages can still be seen working to save their ancestral art from the danger. Few artisans are left who know this art can be found working in same passion at various marble factories in Agra.