Counted as one of the famous international holiday destinations, Agra, placed on the banks of river Yamuna in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, boasts of a glorious past and rich history.
A haven of Mughal architecture, art and culture, Agra is home to a number of tourist attractions, three of which are World Heritage Sites (Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort).
A bit of History !
Agra was established by Badal Singh in 1475 and was later made his capital by Sikandar Lodhi. The golden age of the city began with the Mughals. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of river Yamuna. The garden is called the Ram Bagh or the Garden of Relaxation. His grandson Akbar the great raised the towering ramparts of the Great Red Fort, besides making Agra a center for learning, arts, commerce and religion. Akbar also built a new city on the outskirts of Agra called Fatehpur Sikri. This city was built in the form of a Mughal military camp in stone.
His son Jahangir had a love of flora and fauna and laid many gardens inside the Red Fort or Agra Fort. Shah Jahan, known for his keen interest in architecture, gave Agra its most prized monument, the Taj Mahal. Built in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the mausoleum was completed in 1653.
Shah Jahan later shifted the capital to Delhi during his reign, but his son Aurangzeb moved the capital back to Agra, usurping his father and imprisoning him in the Fort there. Agra remained the capital of India during the rule of Aurangzeb until he shifted it to Aurangabad in the Deccan in 1653.
- Best time to visit the city is between November to March.
- Agra is well connected to many cities through road and rail transport. It has also got its domestic airport called as Agra Civil Enclave which is five kilometers away from the city.
- Beware of the Monkeys!