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Lesser Known Monuments of Agra

Brief History

Chausat khambha : Chausath Khamba monument was initially built as a hall in an innovative eclectic architectural style of the Mughal period. It was later converted into a tomb. It is a square structure constructed entirely of white marble. The structure (pictured with facades) has 64 columns that support twenty five bays. Each bay supports a dome. The domes are not visible externally since they are reverse domes (picture). The roof is flat. Each wall has five arches that are held by square pilasters. In each face, between each of five pilasters, marble trellised screens have been fixed.




Roman Catholic Cemetery : The Red Taj Mahal or John William Hessing’s Tomb was built by his wife in the memory of her husband. If Taj Mahal is known for the love of a husband for his wife, then on the other hand, the Red Taj Mahal is known for the love of a wife for her husband. It was built by Ann Hessing, wife the Dutch Soldier after his death in 1803 A.D. Who was Colonel John William Hessing? Colonel John William Hessing was in military services working with various rulers in India. He was hailed from Utrecht, Holland. He came to Ceylon for military services of Dutch E.I. Company in 1752 A.D. He was part of troops capturing Candia. He returned Holland after five years of war.


Chini ka Rauza : Maulana Shukrullah Shirazi was the Prime Minister of Mughal emperor Shah Jehah and also a famous poet. He composed poetry under the pseudonym of 'Allami'. He took fancy to building his own mausoleum in 1639 with elaborate ornamentation. He chose glazed tiles as his medium to create the masterpiece that would enshrine his tomb forever. Every portion of this unique monument is profusely adorned with bright color schemes, known as 'Chini ka Rauza'. Here, we discuss the general plan and layout of the building and the ornamentation techniques used in the monument in detail.



Mariam's Tomb : Mariam’s tomb is located on the left side of Agra-Mathura road, to the west of Akbar’s tomb, Sikandara. The tomb houses the mortal remains of Mariam Zamani, a Rajpt Princess of Amber (Jaipur) and the wife of Emperor Akbar and mother of Jahangir (Salim). The structure was originally a pleasure pavilion under Sikander Lodi who built it in AD 1495. Additions and renovations were made in 1623 AD when this baradari was converted into a tomb. The ground floor consists of some forty chambers built by Sikander Lodi, which bear faint traces of paintings on plastered walls. The centre of the ground floor houses the cenotaph of Mariam. The facades of the baradari had been veneered with red sandstone, which is cut into numerous panels and adorned with geometrical patterns carved in bas-relief. Each quoin of the structure is added with an ornamental octagonal tower. The tower is crowned by a pavilion supported by slender pillars. The upper storey contains the marble cenotaph, which is open to sky.

Chhatri of Raja Jaswant Singh : Chhatris are elevated, dome-shaped pavilions used as an element in Indian architecture, or funerary sites in India which have such structures built over them. Chhatris are basic element of Hindu as well as Mughal architecture. The term "chhatri" means umbrella or canopy. In the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, chhatris are built on the cremation sites of wealthy or distinguished individuals. Chhatris in Shekhawati may consist of a simple structure of one dome raised by four pillars to a building containing many domes and a basement with several rooms. In some places, the interior of the chhatris is painted in the same manner as the Havelis.

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