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This city guide presents all the information related to the travel and tourism of Agra, the city of Taj.


Taj Mahal Agra, IndiaThe city of Taj, Agra is undoubtedly, India's topmost tourist attraction. White marble Taj Mahal, the mausoleum of the beloved queen of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, is the ultimate crown of this former Capital of Mughals. Agra was found in 1475 during the reign of Raja Badal Singh but it was during the Mughal period that the city was in its prime. During that period, it became the centre of art, culture, learning and commerce and massive and majestic buildings and monuments graced the land. Even today, the leatherwork and pietra dura marble-inlay work of Agra is famous and the exotic Mughal cuisine tickles the taste buds of many.

One of the cities of famous golden triangle of India along with Delhi and Jaipur, Agra has witnessed the golden period of Mughal architecture and is a land of many beautiful monuments such as Agra Fort and Itmad-ud-daulah. From the time of Babar, who laid down the first formal Persian garden in India here, this city situated on the banks of the River Yamuna remained the chosen city of Moghuls, who found it even more suitable because of its proximity to Felhi, the centre of political power in India. Sikandra, the garden mausoleum of Akbar and Fatehpur Sikri are the most talked-about excursions of the city.

Agra's Prime Attractions

Agra Fort, IndiaTaj Mahal
The crown of Agra, the elegy in white marble, the poem of love, Taj Mahal was built by Shahjahan to fulfill the promise he had given to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, to build the most magnificent monument for her as the mausoleum. Mumtaz died while giving birth to Shah Jahan's 14th child and the love between the couple was legendary. Standing serenely on a raised marble platform on the shores of River Yamuna, it took twenty years to complete the monument and the skilled workers and artisans were hired from all over the world, mostly Central Asia to contribute to its beauty. It is said that about 20,000 people labored to make Taj, who worked diligently under the main architect Isa Khan, who came to India from Shiraz in Iran.

The tomb of Emperor Jehangir's father-in-law Mirza Ghiyas Beg, who was awarded the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah (the pillar of the state), it is a garden mausoleum set in the centre of a luxurious Persian garden. Said to be the precursor of Taj, it was the first Mughal structure made only in marble and used pietra dura, the inlay marble work for the first time. The architectural gem was the brain child of Empress Noorjehan that she built between 1622 and 1628 and is quite similar to the Jehangir's tomb built by her near Lahore in Pakistan.

Agra Fort
Agra Fort was first built y Akbar in 1565. Later Jehangir and Shah Jehan made many additions to it. Its huge double walls with four massive gateways encircled a number of palaces, courts, mosques, baths and fabulous gardens with fountains and pavilions that were designed to give the most magnificent luxurious lifestyle and utmost security to its inhabitants. The most remarkable monments in its premises are Diwan-i- Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Khas Mahal, Palace of Mirrors, Pearl Mosque, Nagina Masjid, Angoori Bagh and Fish Pavilion along with the red sandstone Jehangiri Mahal built by Akbar for his Hindu queen Jodhabai.

10 km from the city centre, Sikandra is the mausoleum of Akbar that was started by Akbar and finished by his son Jehangir. It presents an eclectic mix of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Jain architectural styles and it was named after Sikander Lodhi. The tomb sports three-storey-minarets built in red sand stone on all its four corners that have inlay work of marble on them.

Fatehpur Sikri
40 km from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri was designed by Akbar to be the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1570 and 1586 in the honor of the Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chisti, who blessed him with a son whom he called Salim after the saint and an heir to his throne. This new city was focus point of the monument complex. It is designed to be the focus of the complex too. Other notable and interesting monuments of this complex are Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Panch Mahal, Jama Masjid, and Buland Darwaza.

Agra City Facts

Location: In Uttar Pradesh in North India. Agra is 204 km south from Delhi and 232 km from Jaipur.
Climate: Agra has extreme and tropical climate, very hot in summers and chilly in winters. Monsoon season is characterized heavy rains and high humidity.

How to Reach:
By Air: One can fly to Agra from Delhi and reach there in just 30 minutes. The nearest airport is known as 'Kheria' airport and is 6 km from the city center.
By Train: There are some excellent trains from New Delhi to Agra Cantonment railway station such as Shatabdi Express, Taj Express and Inter-city Express from Delhi that take about 2-3 hours to reach Agra.
By Road: The main bus terminal in Agra is 'Idgah'. Agra is well-connected with all the major Indian cities via National Highways and express and air-conditioned bus services such as Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gwalior and Jhansi.

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