Near the gardens of the Taj Mahal stands the important 16th-century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques.
This gi-normous mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is the epitome of Muslim art in India and universally praised as one of the most magnificent masterpieces of the world's heritage.
GROUP OF MONUMENTS AT MAHABALIPURAM
This group of 7th & 8th century sanctuaries was carved out of rock along the Coromandel and is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs of which the 'Descent of the Ganges is possible the most renowned.
Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri, nicknamed the City of Victory, was the capital of the Mughal Empire for about 14 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid.
GREAT LIVING CHOLA TEMPLES
The Great Living Chola Temples were built by kings of the Chola Empire, which stretched over all of south India and the neighbouring islands. The site includes three great 11th- and 12th-century Temples: the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram.
This tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal. The was respected throughout history and thus retained its original form.
QUTB MINAR AND ITS MONUMENTS
Just a few kilometres south of Delhi, the 13th C red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar stands proud. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art built in 1311, and two mosques, including the Quwwatu'l-Islam, the oldest in northern India.
RED FORT COMPLEX
The Red Fort complex consists of the Red Fort (1638) and the adjacent older fort, Salimgarth (1546). The fort was built as a palace fort for Shahjahanabad, the new capital of the fifth Mughal emperor of India. The fort derived its name from the massive walls of red sandstone. The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity and architecture.
HILL FORTS OF RAJASTHAN
The six majestic forts of Chittorgarh; Kumbhalgarh; Sawai Madhopur; Jhalawar; Jaipur, and Jaisalmer together make up this World Heritage Site. The eclectic architecture of the forts, some up to 20 kilometres in circumference, bears testimony to the power of the Rajput princely states that flourished in the region from the 8th to the 18th centuries.
THE JANTAR MANTAR
The Jantar Mantar, in Jaipur, is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. It includes a set of some 20 monumental examples in masonry of known instruments designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye and embody several architectural and instrumental innovations. This is the most significant, most comprehensive, and the best preserved of India's historic observatories. It is an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period.