Agra Situated on the bank of River-Yamuna in the North-Indian State of Uttar Pradesh, this city was chosen by Mughal Emperor Akbar as his Capital. To be in this city is like taking a walk through India's Mughal period history.
Agra is widely known around the world for its beauty as it's the home for world famous Taj Mahal which is amongst the seven wonders of the world. Its magical allure draws tourists to Agra like moths to wondrous flame.
But the Taj is not a stand-alone attraction. the legacy of Mughal Empire has left many other attractions such as Agra Fort (Red Fort) and Sikandra which makes it one of the most artistically inspiring cities globally.
While visiting Agra, one can see a beautiful amalgamation of the bygone Mughal era and modernity exemplified through different industries, shopping malls, plazas and high-rise building.
The city has been referred as 'Agraban' by Hindu epic Mahabharata. It was established by a local king in the year 1475. it started to develop into an important power centre in the year 1504 when Sikandara Lodi shifted his capital from Delhi to Agra. Agra has acquired an important position under Mughal period, when Babur acquired control over it in 1526. Under the reign of Akbar (Successor of Babar), Agra became an important centre of Art, Culture, Commerce and learning. It was only Mughals who constructed a number of dazzling monuments n this city such as Taj Mahal and Red Fort. Mughals love towards art and architecture can be easily seen in their fascinating and alluring monuments. Mughal cuisine and the skilled craftsmen can still be seen in the narrow lanes of the city as an evocative of the lost time.
Being considered as a colourful place, this city still holds the essence of medieval period. Its narrow lanes, modern era hustle and bustle, traditional and colourful markets attract tourists.
With Agra being an important seat of Mughal Empire, there exists many works of art and architecture of the Mughal period. This includes the famous Taj Mahal which is considered as the symbol of external love as it was built in memory of Shah Jahan's third wife Mumtaz Mahal. Every year lacs of people around the world visit Taj Mahal in order to catch a glimpse of this epitome of love. While visiting Taj Mahal, you will be stunned by its immeasurable beauty. The very sight of this monument will leave you mesmerised. Apart from Taj Mahal, this city has one of the finest Mughal forts in India which is the Agra Fort (Red Fort). Empror Akbar built this fort with red sandstone but later his grandson (Shah Jahan) modified it by building palaces of white marble inside the fort itself. The mighty sandstone walls of Red Fort enclose the beautiful white marble pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains. Along with Taj Mahal, the Red Fort is also amongst the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Another monuments which adds glory to Agra is Sikandra. Sikandra was named after Sikandra Lodi who ruled in Delhi from 1488-1517. Its construction was started by Akbar and it later became his own mausoleum. Anyone visiting Agra must visit this beautiful fort as one can experience an ambience of ultimate serenity and peace at this place.
The City of Taj Mahal is not only known for its historical monuments but also for its rich art and crafts. Stones of Agra have been appreciated World Wide. Also, it is famous for its world wide pure-silk fabric, daris carpets and leather works. Beautifully designed models if Taj Mahal in Marble are also in huge demand around the world.
The Climate of Agra is semi-arid. The city experiences mild winters, hot and dry summers and a monsoon season. The city is considered as one of the hottest towns of India. The temperature in summer rises to 45-50 degree Celsius during daytime whereas the temperature is comparatively low at night, reaching upto 30 degree Celsius. Whereas the winter are a bit cooler and is considered as the best time to visit Agra. The temperature generally reaches 6-8 degree Celsius in winters. The city also experiences a brief period of Monsoons from June to September but the rains are not as heavy as in other parts of India. The average rainfall during June to September is 628.6 millimetres.
HOW TO REACH AGRA
Agra is well-connected to most cities across India. There are regular trains to Agra from cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior and Jhansi. And also from cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. The main station of Agra is Agra Cantt. Station.
Agra is also well-connected with bus service from major cities like Delhi, Gwalior, Lucknow and Kanpur.
WHAT TO DO IN AGRA
• Visit the mesmeric Taj Mahal
• Visit the majestic monuments of Agra Fort.
• Explore the traditional market of Kinnari Bazaar. One can find anything from traditional lehengas, duppattas, salwar-kameez, sherwani, kurtas to turbans. Furthermore, there are embroidery items such as thread work, borders, stonework, lace etc.
• Taste the authentic Mughlai cuisine.