A Handbook to Agra and the Taj eBook

Ernest Binfield Havel
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 82 pages of information about A Handbook to Agra and the Taj.

SURAJ-BHAN-KA BAGH.—­This is another two-storied building of about the same period, but not quite so fine in style, facing the Agra road, at a little distance from the Kanch Mahal.

MARIAM ZAMANI’S TOMB.—­A short distance further on, in the direction of Muttra, is the building supposed to have been originally the garden house of Sikandar Lodi, in which Mariam Zamani, one of Akbar’s wives, is said to have been buried.  It has been used for many years as a printing establishment for a Mission Orphanage.

Other Buildings and Tombs at or near Agra

The tomb of Feroz Khan, opposite to the third milestone on the Gwalior road, is an interesting building of Akbar’s time, richly carved and decorated with tile-work.  Close by is the tomb of the Pahalwari, where a celebrated wrestler of Shah Jahan’s time is buried.  There are a considerable number of buildings and numerous ruins in Agra, and round about, which possess only historical or archaeological interest.  In the town are the following:—­

The KALI MASJID, or Black Mosque, otherwise called the Kalan Masjid, or Grand Mosque, is of the early Akbar style.  It was built by the father of Shah Jahan’s first wife, the Kandahari Begum.  This is near to the Government dispensary.

In the Nai-ki-Mundi quarter is the mosque of Shah Ala-ud-din Majzub, commonly known as ALAWAL BILAWAL, a saint who lived at the time of Shere Shah.  He established a school of Muhammadan law, and founded a monastery besides the mosque.  The accumulations round the mosque have reached up to the springing of the arches, and tradition accounts for this by the following story:  A camel-driver in Shere Shah’s service stabled his beasts in the mosque, in spite of the protests of the saint Thereupon the building began to sink into the ground, and did not cease descending until the camels and their driver were crushed to death.

The HAMMAN, or Baths of Ali Verdi Khan, in Chipitolla Street, built in the time of Jahangir.  An inscription over the gateway gives the date, 1620 A.D.  They cannot be compared in interest with the splendid “Hakim’s Baths,” at Fatehpur Sikri.

The ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY, in the quarter known as Padritollah, near the Law Courts, is one of the most ancient Christian cemeteries in India.  The ground was granted to the mission by the Emperor Akbar.  There are a number of Portuguese and Armenian tombs dating from early in the seventeenth century.  It also contains the tomb of the notorious Walter Reinhardt, or Samru, as he was called, the founder of the principality of Sirdhana, whose history is given at p. 38.  The Dutch General Messing, who held Agra Fort for the Mahrattas in 1794, has a very florid mausoleum of red sandstone, more curious than beautiful; the design of which is in imitation of the Taj.

Fatehpur Sikri

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A Handbook to Agra and the Taj from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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