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A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood   By: (1861-1934)

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In "A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood" by E. B. Havell, readers are taken on a fascinating journey through the historical city of Agra, India. The author combines rich historical context with detailed descriptions, making it an essential guide for anyone visiting the area.

Havell's meticulous research is evident throughout the book, as he effortlessly delves into the vibrant history of Agra and its surroundings. The inclusion of lesser-known sites like Sikandra and Fatehpur-Sikri adds depth to the handbook, allowing readers to fully explore the area's cultural highlights.

One of the book's strengths lies in Havell's ability to craft a vivid picture of the Taj Mahal. His descriptions are breathtakingly detailed, emphasizing the exquisite beauty of this iconic monument. Havell's passion for the subject matter is palpable, making it impossible not to feel captivated by his words.

Moreover, the author goes beyond mere historical information, providing practical advice and carefully crafted itineraries for visitors. From where to stay to the best local eateries, Havell leaves no stone unturned when it comes to ensuring a memorable trip to Agra.

One small drawback of the handbook is its occasionally outdated information. Given that it was published several years ago, some details may have changed. However, this can easily be overlooked by using the book as a starting point for further research upon arrival.

The inclusion of detailed maps further enhances the handbook's value, allowing readers to navigate the city and its surrounding areas with ease. Havell's guidance ensures that visitors can make the most of their time in Agra, maximizing their experience and avoiding any unnecessary stress.

In conclusion, "A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood" by E. B. Havell is an indispensable travel companion for anyone exploring this historically significant region of India. With its comprehensive historical background, mesmerizing descriptions, and practical advice, the author successfully captures the essence of Agra, leaving readers eager to embark on their own adventure.

First Page:

A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur Sikri and the Neighbourhood

by E.B. Havell, ARCA.



This little book is not intended for a history or arch├Žological treatise, but to assist those who visit, or have visited, Agra, to an intelligent understanding of one of the greatest epochs of Indian Art. In the historical part of it, I have omitted unimportant names and dates, and only attempted to give such a sketch of the personality of the greatest of the Great Moguls, and of the times in which they lived, as is necessary for an appreciation of the wonderful monuments they left behind them. India is the only part of the British Empire where art is still a living reality, a portion of the people's spiritual possessions. We, in our ignorance and affectation of superiority, make efforts to improve it with Western ideas; but, so far, have only succeeded in doing it incalculable harm. It would be wiser if we would first attempt to understand it.

Among many works to which I owe valuable information, I should name especially Erskine's translation of Babar's "Memoirs;" Muhammad Latifs "Agra, Historical and Descriptive;" and Edmund Smith's "Fatehpur Sikri." My acknowledgments are due to Babu Abanindro Nath Tagore, Mr. A. Polwhele, Executive Engineer, Agra, and to Mr... Continue reading book >>

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