This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip India • Rajasthan and Varanasi (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Uttar Pradesh in India. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Chapters: 

01:04 • Agra fort

04:14 • Taj Mahal

The Moghols in India.

While Europe was emerging from the Middle Ages and was going to sink into fratricidal religious wars, India was experiencing a period of cultural boom like few countries did at that time.

All of northern India fell in a few decades into the hands of Mughal emperors, of Muslim religion and distant descendants of Mongolian leaders Genghis Khan and Amin Timur (known in French as Tamerlan). These outstanding warriors had developed combat techniques, in particular using artillery, which would give them a rapid victory over the Afghans who were then masters of northern India and had based their military doctrine on the number of engaged soldiers and elephants.

Once the sultanates of Delhi, Agra and the entire Ganges valley were conquered, the successive emperors, Akbar, Jahângîr, Shâh Jahân and Aurangzeb made India a huge empire and built magnificent forts and palaces to demonstrate their power and inspire respect for conquered populations.

The Silkroad

Caravans along the Silk Roads passed through northern India and most of the large cities on their way were equipped with forts to protect merchants from highway robbers, and to tax them as they passed.

Among these forts, the magnificent Agra Fort.

The Taj Mahal

Emperor Shâh Jahân built an extraordinary mausoleum to honor the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631 and ended in 1648.

Mumtaz Mahal was not the first woman in her family to be given a magnificent grave. In the same city of Agra, his grandparents Mirza Ghiyas Beg and Asmat Beghum rest in this other monument named Tomb of I'Timad-ud-Dauah, nicknamed mini-Taj. This mausoleum would have been one of the main sources of inspiration for the architects of the Taj Mahal.

Shâh Jahân appointed Aurangzeb to succeed him on the throne, but he was not determined to wait for the death of his father to seize power and place him under residence in the fort of Agra, with a view on the tomb of his wife, the Taj Mahal.

Shâh Jahân was a warrior with a very strong artistic streak.

His son Aurangzeb (who gave his name to the city of Aurangabad) had mostly inherited his military qualities. He was however inspired by the architectural work of his father to erect in turn a mausoleum in honor of his wife. This mausoleum is called Bibi Ka Maqbara in Aurangabad.

Agra fort

Agra Fort is significantly older than the Taj Mahal. Its first construction seems to date back to the 11th century. It was a brick fort intended to accommodate the Rajput Sultan Sikandar Lodi who wanted to move the capital of his state from Delhi to Agra.

The fort has undergone many transformations, destruction and expansion over the centuries. After falling into ruins, Agra Fort was rebuilt in the 16th century and was clearly of Hindu architecture. Shâh Jahân gave it its Mughal character.

Agra Fort is the largest fort in India.

 

about the place, Agra:

Agra is a city of 1.5 million people located approximately 200 kilometers southeast of Delhi. The ancient name of the city is Akbarabad and it was one of the most important cities during the Mughal era to which it owes its multitude of architectural gems.

Among the best known, the Taj Mahal and the Agra fort.

 

Taj Mahal Agra Uttar Pradesh India

What's the weather like in Agra?

Comments in the film: 

The Agra Fort is the largest fort in India with its walls 23 meters high and 2.5 kilometers long. This fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The origin of the fort dates back to the 11th century. It has been enlarged many times since that time. The last reconstruction was completed in 1573 after 8 years of hard work for more than 4000 men. Red sandstone from neighboring Rajasthan was used while the fort was originally brick.

 

The Taj Mahal is certainly the most famous monument in all of India. This white marble mausoleum was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Arjumand Banu Begam, who died in childbirth while giving birth to their fourteenth child. The construction of the monument lasted more than 20 years and mobilized 20,000 people on the site. Among these craftsmen, some came from Europe and Central Asia. The monument was completed in 1654.

 

Musique:

 - Suresh Prajapati (Inde)  - Indian Classical Instrumental - Flute Tabla Raga 1, Suresh Prajapati

 (Inde)  - Musik Fur Vina - Krti: Samkari Niv'ani, Museum Collection Berlin (MC 8)

 - Lakshmi Shankar (Inde)  - Inde du Nord (North India) - Season and Time - Raga Khafi, Ocora

entrance to Agra fort, Agra • India • Uttar Pradesh
entrance to Agra fort
one of the terraces of the Agra fort, Agra • India • Uttar Pradesh
one of the terraces of the Agra fort
The Taj Mahal, Agra • India • Uttar Pradesh
The Taj Mahal
gate at the entrance to the Taj Mahal, Agra • India • Uttar Pradesh
gate at the entrance to the Taj Mahal

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India