Agra is famous for the Taj Mahal and millions of tourists from all over the world come here every year to appreciate this architectural wonder.
Located on the banks of the River Yamuna, Agra is probably the most visited city in India. A visit to India is incomplete without a visit to this historical city situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Agra has always been a bustling city right from the ancient times. Agra is mentioned in the Mahabharata as the forest of Agraban close to Mathura. History books say that it was Badal Singh who founded Agra in 1475.
Sikandar Lodhi captured Agra and made it his capital city, later only to be defeated by Babur. Agra then became the seat of the great Mughal rulers for many years, and there are a number of historical monuments in and around Agra, dating back to the 16th and 17th century built in the contemporary Mughal style.
The Mughals loved symmetry and all their architecture has been converted into beautiful monuments such as Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and Sikandra. Agra was at its Zenith during the time in power of Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan.
Akbar made it the center of art, culture, commerce and learning and he laid the foundation of Agra which was known as Akbarabad, then.
A lot of hotels and tour operators offer special Agra packages to the visitors who come to this city. An Agra package would include a day itinerary, followed by the majority of tourists who come in to Agra. This day trip would include a mandatory visit to the Taj Mahal, followed by one to Agra Fort, Sikandra and then on to Fatehpur Sikri, on the outskirts of the city. Taj Mahal was built as a mark of remembrance for Shah Jahans beautiful queen, Mumtaz Mahal; he spent 22 years to erect this marble marvel. Agra Fort is where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by Aurangazeb while Sikandra is where Emperor Akbar was laid to rest.
Agra has one of the largest leather industry is India. The small alley ways of Agras market is lined with numerous shops dealing with leather products ranging from footwear, bags and jackets. The other important item to shop for in Agra is the artefacts made of marble. Also to take back is the souvenir of the citys premier icon, the Taj Mahal. Miniature models made of marble can be bought all over Agras markets. Do not forget to buy the famous Agra Petha, a sweet made with sugar and ash gourd.
The summers can be extremely hot and the winters quite cold.
Agra is well-connected and easily accessible by road, rail and air.
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