The Mughal City of Agra, fondly referred to as the city of the Taj, is one of the most well-known tourist destinations, all around the globe. One of the destinations of the sought-after ‘Golden Triangle’ (Delhi-Jaipur-Agra), it is placed on the western banks of the Yamuna. The Palace On Wheels takes you to the amazing city of Agra where the Taj Mahal is the perfect finale to your royal sojourn. Agra, the medieval city, is home to a number of tourist attractions including UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Area-1, 880.40 km2
Founded By – Raja Badal Singh, a Sikarwar Rajput king
Location – On the banks River Yamuna towards the southwest corner of Uttar Pradesh state
How to Reach
By Train- Agra has 4 railway stations - Agra Cantt, Raja-ki-Mandi, Agra Fort and Idgah Agra Junction.
By Air- Kheria Airport
By Bus- Delhi (239 km), Kanpur (280 km), Lucknow (330 km), Mathura (59 km), Hathras (51.9 km), Bharatpur (58 km), Gwalior (119 km)
Best time to Visit – October to March
Language Spoken – Hindi, English and Urdu
Famous delicacies – Chaat, Dal Moth, Petha, Biryani, Korma, Naan, Kachori, Paranthaa
The great Hindu epic Mahabharata mentions Agra, as Agraban, a forest near Mathura. However, Agra was founded by 1475 by Raja Badal Singh, a Sikarwar Rajput king. Sultan Sikander Lodi made Agra his capital in 1501 but he was defeated in battle of Panipat in 1526 by Emperor Babur. Between the mid of 16th and the 17th century, Agra’s popularity was at its zenith when it was under the rule of Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. This period was the time of construction of Taj Mahal also.
In the year 1761, Agra came into the hands of Jat rulers who also looted some of the most beautiful temples of the city. While in 1770, it was under the reign of the Marathas, the British took over in 1803. After the revolt of 1857, Allahabad became the administrative province of the British and Agra was left on its own. This is when; it developed as a hub of heavy industry. Today Agra is a must-visit destination for all.
The Agra city is inhabited by people of all religions and cultures and so one can witness a mix of various cultures here. Agra is an amalgamation of traditional and modern way of living. Being close to Lord Krishna’s land Mathura, a touch of Brij culture can be seen here on the language of the locals. However, the influence of Mughal culture can be seen in everything, mannerisms, food, language and buildings.
The people of Agra celebrate all the major festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Taj Mahoysav, Muharrum, Id-ul-Fitr, Id-ul-Adha with great zeal Taj Mahotsav, an annual extravaganza, is a great show of classical dance and music, folk performances, poetry, camel and elephant rides, a food festival, a Craft Mela and more.
Agra has a lot to offer if you are one of those who love to indulge in shopping. You can get your hands on mini Taj replicas, as keepsakes and souvenirs. Another item which is a must-buy in Agra is its leather goods such as decorative stuff, bags, purses, sandals and much more. Be careful that you buy only original goods. The handicraft emporiums of Agra sell an array of rosewood and sandalwood items, stone-carved images and decorative pieces, made in brass.
One of the most sought-after items, which you can buy in Agra markets, is beautiful pieces of exquisite Zari work. You also get good-quality carpets and durries here as well. However, the most popular amidst the tourists are the local renditions of Dal Moth (salty) and Peetha (sweet). Some of the famous markets in Agra are Sadar Bazaar, The Taj Complex, Loha Mandi, Raja Mandi, Kinari Bazaar, and Fuhaara.