Agra, April 22 (IANS) Tourism industry leaders in Agra have demanded inclusion of two Mughal monuments, Sikandra and Etmauddaula, in the list of world heritage monuments.
Presently the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri are recognized as world heritage monuments in Agra.
The Superintending archaeologist of Agra circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Bhuvan Vikram, told IANS that this was an old demand and the Culture Ministry and the ASI head office would take a call on this.
Informed sources said steps had been initiated to include Sikandra and Etmauddaula in the UNESCO list of world heritage monuments. Both are older than the iconic Taj Mahal, India’s most popular tourist draw.
K.C. Jain, Secretary, Agra Development Foundation, told IANS: “We had petitioned the Prime Minister requesting steps for recognition of these two buildings as heritage monuments, for their architectural grandeur, landscaping and historical significance.”
Etmauddaula, also called Baby Taj and a jewel box, was built between 1622 and 1628, by Noor Jahan, for her father Mirza Giyas Beg, who was grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan’s wife.
The construction of Sikandra, where emperor Akbar was buried, was completed by Jahangir between 1605 and 1613. The tomb is believed to have suffered extensive damage when the Jats rose in rebellion against the Mughals.