Introduction Agra is well-known as being home to the wonderful Taj Mahal - one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The gracefully designed mausoleums, the fort and the palaces reminds of the Mughal architectural brilliance. Besides the Taj Mahal, other popular tourist spots in Agra are the Agra Fort, Jama Masjid, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, Chini Ka Rauza, Rambagh Gardens, Fatehpur Sikri, etc. One such tourist attraction in Agra is the Buland Darwaza , a grand gateway located in Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. Background The Buland Darwaza is the entrance gateway to the Jama Masjid mosque in Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. It is situated on a hill where the Mosque is located. The grand recessed central arch is the most magnificent of its kind in the entire range of Mughal architecture in India. This triumphal arch was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1575 on the southern wall of the courtyard, after he defeated the King of Khandesh or Gujarat in 1573. Description The name Buland Darwaza means High Door and this victory arch has the height of 176 feet from ground level and 134 feet over the top step. Very striking even from quite a distance, Buland Darwaza is a magnificent structure built in red sandstone with ornamentation in white marble. The calligraphic inscriptions from the Quran on its front and pillars and chattris on its height make the arch an impressive sight. The Buland Darwaza is also indication of the religious tolerance of Akbar the Great, evident from the inscription upon it attributed to Jesus Christ - "The World is but a bridge, pass over but build no houses on it."
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