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MUSAMMAN BURJ

Musamman Burj is one of the most beautiful and significant monuments of Agra. Also referred to as the Octagonal Tower, the monument was built by Shah Jehan as a beautiful and dedicated palace for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. The place also served as a resort for emperor to spend his last days. main wall of the fort takes a turn towards the east. According to a legend, a small marble palace was present at the site. It was demolished to erect new buildings by Jehangir. Later on, emperor Shah Jahan constructed a multi-storied marble tower inlaid with beautiful precious stones for his beloved Mumtaz Mahal. Constructed between years 1631-40, Musamman Burj offers enchanting views of the world renowned Taj. The crown of dome comprises of gilded copper. Flooring available on the lower storey of this monument is paved with pure marble with an aim to resemble a traditional board for playing pachchisi. Hence, it s also referred to as the Pachchisi Court. It is believed that the emperor used to play the game of Pachchisi here. An eye catching jharokha is projected on easternmost side of monument and makes for a graceful marble screen located beautifully on the riverfront side. Some of the other notable elements of this monument are the meticulously planned and built vertical pillars and the horizontal chhajja. These are intelligently supported on picturesque brackets. Shah Burj, a small pavilion is the most beautiful and embellished part of this fort. Tourists can have a close look at the lotus tank stylized for the pavilion. It is the major highlight of pavilion. The tank has a beautiful fountain right in the centre, exquisitely carved and inlaid with beautiful semi-precious stones. The beauty of Musamman Burj lies in its vaulted marble roof. It is said that the pavilion was painted beautifully and royally with different hues and gold. Musamman Burj is a self-contained structure in itself and comprises of distinct courtyards and baths. Imperial baths and Diwan-i-Khas can be accessed through a meticulously built passage here. It is said that the place was integrated with a small marble paved room. The room was kept very cool during summers using a channel and a waterfall. Pillars and dado panels had inlay works depicting elegant and very stylish borders and intricately carved plants in the centre. It also have beautiful Chinese cloud forms and traditional floral patterns.

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