a) Taj Mahal at Agra
I had to put this one first only cause it is the most famous monument known world over principally as a symbol of great love. Shahjahan commissioned the Taj Mahal project in 1632 after the death of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It’s actually a Mughal tomb built as memorial for his wife. He never married after Mumtaz Mahals death. This love affair has been fictionalized in many ways and perhaps has some truth to it.. atleast that’s what we want to believe in. Nevertheless the project took 17 years to complete made of white marble. Legend has it after the completion of the Taj Mahal, Shahjahan cut off the hands of the chief architect so that he couldn’t build another. That aside Taj Mahal is most beautiful of all monuments ever built in Indian history, the best view is on a full moon night when it glistens off the white marble making it look like a divine pearl.
Delhi’s 6th city was founded by Shahjahan and called after his own name. He built this in order to shift the Mughal throne from Agra to Delhi. Shahjanabad stayed the capital of the empire till the time the British took over. Today it is famously known as Old Delhi that still bears a faint Mughal charm.
c) Red Fort
Made of red sandstone, the red fort was built along the bank of the Yamuna river. This was to be his seat of rule , his royal palace, when he shifted base to Delhi. The fort is complete with Diwan-i-Aam which is the hall for all Public meetings, the Diwan-i-Khas- the hall for private audiences (which housed the famed peacock throne), Moti Masjid- The Mosque, Rang Mahal- private chambers and The Royal Bath. The fort also housed the famous Meena Bazaar where the Royal women would come out to shop.
It used to be a magnificent palace however only till the time of Aurangzebs rule. After the sack of Delhi by Nadir Shah in 18th century the fort was looted and plundered, all the jewels were stolen and taken away. Next major haul happened during the 1857 Mutiny where part of the palace was used as barracks and rest a prison cell for the Royal family. After the decline of the Mughal empire much of the fort was left in ruins, still thousands of people throng the majestic fort till date. It’s one of the iconic structures of India that has stood the test of time.
d) Peacock Throne
Inside the Diwan-i-Khas one would find Shahjahan seated on a glorious throne made with solid gold and adorned pearls, sapphires, rubys and the highlight- The Koh-i-noor diamond such was his marvelous Peacock throne. Known to be a true wonder and envy of many, this throne was looted and stripped of its jewels including the Koh-i-noor diamond in the 18th century.
e) Agra Fort
Originally built by Akbar in red sandstone, Shahajahan fortified and erected most of the buildings inside the fort. Aurangzeb imprisoned Shahjahan here when he assumed power after the coup.