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Taj city’s century-plus educational institutions rich in heritage

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Agra: Educational institutions in this Taj city have enriched India’s intellectual legacy. Many may dispute Agra’s claim to modernity, but when it comes to great and grand educational – infrastructure more than a century old – the city’s record remains unchallenged till date.

It’s not just the medical college which started as the Thompson School of Medicine or the Mental Asylum now called Mansik Arogyashala, that came up in the 1850s. Agra boasts of a dozen other educational institutions that have sent out streams of talented people who have promoted the country’s intellectual heritage.

The oldest convent in Asia, started in 1842 by six nuns of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary founded by Claudine Thevnet, continues to groom homemakers with highly cherished traits in great demand in the matrimonial market. St Joseph’s Inter-College in the neighbourhood also boasts of a hoary history. In 1846 was founded the St Peter’s College by the then Agra Archdiocese that had its sway over half of India right from Tibet to the southern end of what is now called Madhya Pradesh.

The Protestants, the Baptists, the Methodists and other denominations too had their own educational institutions, all more than a century old. St John’s degree and Inter Colleges stand tall even today. The magnificent red sand-stoned edifice of St John’s College attracts notice and inspires awe with its imposing look on the MG Road.

In fact, the grandiose and often experimental architectural features of some of these institutions continue to fascinate locals.

“When people from other towns, our relatives visit us, we never fail to take them around to our schools and always the reaction is a wide-open mouth: ‘Oh my god, how much space and what grandeur, something to be really proud of, especially when you compare them with modern-day match-box like structures of schools’,” said Mukta Gupta, a former student of St Patrick’s College, told IANS.

“Educational temples should automatically inspire awe and respect, the right academic ambiance comes from the structures.” A teacher of Baptist College said: “Our class-rooms are big and spacious with high ceilings, big verandahs, long corridors and open spaces all around unlike some of the modern schools which look like kabootarkhanas.”

The St John’s College on Mahatma Gandhi Road is often mistaken by foreigners as the Red Fort.

Then, the Rajput and Maratha-styled Agra College and the spacious RBS College are massive architectural delights. These buildings inculcate a sense of pride in students and connect them with history. It’s little wonder that many of the older students boast to their grandchildren about the grandeur of their alma mater, said ex-St Johnian Sudheir Gupta of Vijay Nagar Colony.

Does the building of an academic institution have any relationship with the quality of output or standards of excellence?

“Oh it does a lot to the confidence of the students, their grooming as healthy and mentally sharp human beings. Schools must have open, neat, well-ventilated classrooms for the healthy development of students,” said Rajan Kishore, an ex-student of St Peter’s College.

The SN Medical College and the RBS College have made notable contributions by sending out competent faculty.

As the mother institution, the RBS Agriculture College provided trained hands for both the Pusa centre of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in New Delhi and later the Pant Nagar University – both centres of excellence in the sector.

Among others who passed out of RBS are former ICAR head Mangla Rai, Ex-BHU vice chancellor Punjab Singh, Nehru Agricultural University vice chancellor Dhyaan Pal Singh and popular Hindi radio commentator on cricket SVS Chauhan.

Former president Shankar Dayal Sharma, former governor SMH Burney, former foreign secretary S.K. Singh, security chief during Indira Gandhi’s time Ram Krishan Khandelwal, former P&T head Neepesh Talukdar and celebrated British author Reginald Massey, to name a few, are ex-St Johnians.

Both Agra College and St John’s College have the privilege of producing eminent jurists, politicians and professionals.

(IANS)

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Famous Indian Forts You Must Visit At Least Once

Indian forts like Agra Fort and Red Fort are even recognised by  UNESCO as World Heritage Sites

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India is one of the countries in the world which is famous for its architecture especially forts.
India is one of the countries in the world which is famous for its architecture especially forts. Pixabay

By Ruchika Verma

  • India is famous for its architecture, especially forts
  • Indian forts are some of the most famous forts in the world
  • Indian forts are a great way of learning about Indian history and culture

India is the land of history and culture. The Indian architecture is one of the best in the world. Indian palaces and forts are some of the most admired architectural structures in the world who people come to see and visit from all around the globe. India has some of the biggest forts in the world.

India is famous for its forts and architectures.
India is famous for its forts and architectures. Wikimedia Commons

Indian forts like Agra Fort and Red Fort are even recognised by  UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. India, especially Rajasthan is famous for its forts. It is not unfair to say that most part of India’s tourism thrives on these forts. Here is the list of Indian forts you must visit at least once.

Red Fort

Red Fort in Delhi is one of the most famous forts in India. Th red-stoned fort in Delhi is very central to the Mughal architecture. The Red Fort is a must visit because of its rich culture and history. There are two museums in the fort where one can look at the old arms and clothes of the Mughal rulers.

Also Read: 7 Forts in India you must visit: Glorious Empires of Incredible India

Red Fort in Delhi is one of the apex of Mughal architecture . Pixabay
Red Fort in Delhi is one of the apexes of Mughal architecture. Pixabay

Amer Fort

Amer Fort or the Amber Fort is one of the most explored travelling destinations in Jaipur. It is one of the most well-maintained forts in India and attracts lakhs of tourists towards it every year. One can also enjoy elephant rides in the fort. The Ganesh Pol is one of the most beautifully carved place in the fort.

Famous Forts in India
Amer fort in Jaipur one of the most well-maintained forts in India. (Pic Credits: Elene Machaidze)

Chittorgarh Fort

Chittorgarh Fort is in Rajasthan and is the biggest fort in India. It is spread over in the area of 400 acres. The two pillars called Kirti Stambh and Vijay Stambh are famous for beautiful carvings on them. The fort has water body, temples, complexes and memorials which definitely deserve more exploration by more people.

Chittorgarh Fort is the biggest Indian form and a national heritage site. Wikimedia Commons
Chittorgarh Fort is the biggest Indian form and a national heritage site. Wikimedia Commons

Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh is one of the most majestic forts of central India. The fort for its military architecture and beautifully painted fortress wall. The Fort brings together religions like Buddhism and Jainism and is definitely a treat for the eyes.

Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh is one of the most important forts in Central india. Wikimedia Commons
Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh is one of the most important forts in Central India. Wikimedia Commons

Agra Fort

One of the biggest forts in India, Agra Fort is also referred as a walled city because of its massive expansion in 94 acres of area. The fort has special significance because it was here that the Kohinoor diamond was snatched away by the Mughal ruler Babur and it is also the very place where Shah Jahan died.

Famous Forts in India
Agra Fort can easily be called a small city in itself because of its huge size.Wikimedia Commons

Jaisalmer Fort 

Jaisalmer Fort is one of the biggest forts in the world. Jaisalmer fort is built on the Trikuta Hill in the Thar Desert with a very strong fortification. The fort is full of historical significance and is famous for the various battles and the bloodshed it has witnessed. This is also one of those India forts which are famous for witnessing Jauhar.

Also Read: Jaipur Forts: All You Need To Know

City Palace

City Palace in Udaipur is one of the most beautiful Indian palaces with a history of more than 400 years. It is a beautiful example of Rajasthani and Mughlai architecture fusion, located on the banks of Lake Pichola. The palace is definitely worth a visit for its magnificence.

City Palace Jaipur clicked by Shaurya Ritwik
City Palace is famous for its magnificence. (Pic Credits: Shaurya Ritwik)

Panhala fort

Panhala fort in Kolhapur is the largest and most important fort in Maharashtra, looking over the Sahyadri mountain range. This is one the Indian forts which perfectly describe the Marathi architectural style. This fort will neither disappoint the history buffs nor the people who have just come for sightseeing.