Exploring the trail of a Mughal Kinari Bazar in erstwhile Capital of India
The Heritage Walk of Agra has been designed to unveil “The Pristine Glory of Mughals to the Discerning Travelers”. The Heritage Walk, is conducted to explore the architectural & socio – urban Character of Agra – The erstwhile Mughal Capital of India.
The Heritage Walk of Agra is a Guided Walk of one & a half hour, which is designed in consultation of prominent Historians & Academicians of Agra. The Walk traces the birth of Mughal Capital Agra or Akbarabad till its present times.
The Walk begins from the gigantic Jama Maszid, where you are brought in a Decorated Horse Cart (Tonga) from the parking area of the Agra Fort. You are requested to disembark from your Tonga at the Jama Maszid, so that you can mingle in the crowds & begin to experience down town Agra, further to the Silver Lingam of Mankameshwar Mahadev (The Shiva Temple), proceeding into narrow lanes selling articles used for adornment of images of Gods & Goddesses, looking at Ornamental & Decorated Facades in the Spice Market of Rawat Para, the walk enters into the famous Khoya Gali of Chitti Khana. Our walk proceeds into the Namak Ki Mandi, where artisans beat Gold & Silver to make Foils of Gold & Silver for medicinal use in Aurveda & brings us in front of Akbari Mosque to connect to the 16th Century stone paved Street of Kinari Bazaar.
One wonders that how heritage has become the soul of Agra as one walks through these lively streets. Finally, the walk culminates in front of Jama Maszid and Bicycle Rickshaws pull the travelers back to the destination. The important point points while undertaking the Heritage Walk have been mentioned here below:-
The Jami Mosque was built by Princess Jahanara Begum in the year 1648 & is the main Friday Mosque of Agra since Mughal times. It was once connected to the Delhi Gate of Agra Fort through an octagonal enclosure, which survived as a market once the Agra Fort Railway Station was introduced by the British. The main entrance of the Jami Maszid was demolished by British during uprisings of 1857.
This old lane of Agra is dedicated to the memory of Vaidya Ramdutt Sharma, who used the knowledge of traditional herbal medicines & pulse reading of Ayurveda for treating chronic ailments of human body. Today his family descendants live & practice the ancestral knowledge for the service of the humanity in the same fashion.
3. Mankameshwar Temple: -
This Age old Shiva Temple with silver Lingam is said to have established by Lord Shiva himself, when he stopped here on the way to Mathura to seek darshan of Lord Krishna when Vishnu incarnated as Lord Krishna. The temple is called “Mankameshwar” because here the wish of Lord Shiva of getting darshan of Lord Krishna was granted and fulfilled. Today it is the main sitting deity of Agra & is visited by thousands of devotees every day.
Temple of Bihari Ji, which is another form of Lord Krishna was built by Mohanlal Ji Gotewale in the year 1880 and is commonly known as “Gotewalon ka Mandir” as the family is still involved in the traditional business of brocade borders for Saaris, dresses & Hand bags continuing the traditional family business. The temple is famous for its most beautifully ornately carved balcony.
Temple of Lord Shri Ram was built by Marwari family of Maheshwaris from Indore in the year 1931. The temple is also called a “Chidiyawala Mandir” as at one time it had many Gooseberry Trees in the courtyard & hundreds of birds used to perch there. Once an English police commander came patrolling there & his uniform got spoiled because of bird droppings while he stood under a tree. When he tried to find out what it was using torchlight, he saw hundreds of birds on the trees, since than it’s known as Chidiyawala Mandir dedicated to Lord Rama & Sita.
This beautiful House in dilapidated state was built in the year 1914 by Shri Gulab Chand Dhanna Lal Surana, who were a family of Gold & Silver Brocade merchants. The family still continues the tradition & their building shows the patronage of the British Empire as they even made an image of King George the Vth on the building which can still be seen. This building even today has beautiful intricate carvings & fine work of glazed tiles.
This beautiful Mosque was built by Akbar & was later renovated by Shahjahan’s third wife Begum Isrul ul Jahan Akbari, who carried the nickname of “Akbari” & since than it’s known as Akbari Mosque. This mosque was renovated in late 19th Century. The façade of this mosque consists of a row of identical cusped arches leading into the prayer hall. There is a large courtyard in front of the mosque overlooking kinari bazaar.
The Temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman “The Monkey God” is known as patal Hanuman or Human of nether world, who rescued Lord Rama & his brother Lakshamana from the prison of demon king “Ahiravan” as the myth goes. The temple attracts thousands of devotees every day.
This Mughal styled building is said to be Shahejhans’s son Dara Shikoh’s library. The building had fallen into private possession during early British times but later was taken over by British to be the Town Hall in the year 1886. This building now houses a municipal school but speaks of the hey days of Golden Era it has seen.
The most beautiful Fort built by Mughals in Agra which had witnessed the architectural style of three great mughal rulers i.e. Akbar, Jahangir & Shahjehan. The Agra Fort today is a prominent world heritage site other than Taj Mahal & Agra Fort in Agra.
Amar Singh Gate of Agra Fort is dedicated to the memory of Amar Singh Rathor of Nagaur, who was offended by Salawat Khan while attending the court of Shahjehan. Salawat Khan was killed in front of Shajejhan, who had ordered immediate execution of Amar Singh Rathor. Amar Singh fled but to be captured later at the gate after a fierce battle & was executed to be cremated on the banks of Yamuna river in Agra.
Mode of Transportation: Traditional Mughal Tongas or Bicycle Rickshaws adorned with seasonal flowers are to be used to bring the participants to & fro from the starting & terminating stations. The actual walk is about 45 minutes to 01 Hour excluding transportation.
Do’s & Don’ts: Participants are requested to stay in-group & always follow the instructions of your Tour Guide.
Kindly do not take photographs wherever you think you may offend the local residents. Participants are requested to maintain the sanctity of religious places and abide by the rules of archaeological monuments.
Kindly be careful of pickpockets & keep paying attention to your valuables, wallets, purses & Photographic Equipments, while undertaking the walk.
Kindly avoid the hawkers & peddlers while on walk.
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