Agra City India

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Think Taj Mahal! Think Agra! The monument of ever lasting love. The Taj Mahal undeniably takes center stage but there is a lot more to Agra. It is about the grandeur, the splendour and the legendary people who crafted Agra as it stands today. The relics of the bygone era, when the Moghuls ruled over this city. Come join us as we take you on a date with the past. With luxury hotels, shopping malls and plazas, wide avenues and a superb choice of venues for recreation, business, sports, pleasure, education and the arts, the city aptly emanates shades of modernity along with historicity. In short, it is an architect's and historian's delight.

Taj Mahal Agra India

Agra has a rich historical background, which is amply evident from the numerous historical monuments in and around the city. Though the heritage of Agra city is linked with the Mughal dynasty, numerous other rulers also contributed to the rich past of this city. Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodhi (Lodhi dynasty; Delhi Sultanate) in the 16th century. Babur (founder of the Mughal dynasty) also stayed for sometime in Agra and introduced the concept of square Persian-styled gardens here. Emperor Akbar built the Agra fort; Jahangir beautified it with palaces and gardens. Shahjahan marked the zenith of Mughal architecture, when he built the Taj Mahal. The post-Mughal era of Agra saw the rule of the Jats, Marathas and finally the British taking over the city.

What to see
Taj Mahal
The huge white marble monument built by Emperor Shah Jahan is in memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. It stands on the bank of river Yamuna. 20,000 workers have laboured for 17 years to build the mausoleum in 1633. The most skilled architects, inlay craftsmen, calligraphers, stone-carvers and masons came from all across India and lands as distant as Persia and Turkey. The master mason was from Baghdad, an expert in building the double dome from Persia, and an inlay specialist from Delhi.

The resulting work of architecture can be witnessed in its symmetry, balance and exquisite inlay work

The beauty of the structure changes with the time of the day. Open 6 am to 7.30 pm from Saturday to Thursday

Agra Fort
Agra Fort, built under the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565, contains numerous palaces and a whitemarble mosque. A sound and light show is conducted at Agra Fort everyday after sundown. Open Sunrise to Sunset.Itmad Ud Daulah Agra

The monument in white marble standing across the river was built by empress Noorjahan for her father Mirza Giyas Beg. Pietra dura inlay on marble was first used here and the monument is believed to be a model for Taj Mahal. Open sunrise to sunset.

The mausoleum of Emperor Akbar on the outskirts of the city (towards Delhi) manifests his philosophy, piety and secular character. Open Sunrise to sunset

Chini Ka Rauza
Decorated with glazed tiles, it is an ideal example of influence of Persian architecture on Mughal style. It is dedicated to poet-scholar and later the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan, Allama Afzal Khal Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz. Chini Ka Rauza is a creation by Afzal Khan, who was a high official in the court of Shah Jahan. Open sunrise to sunset.

Jama Masjid
Across the railway tracks from the Delhi Gate of Agra Fort, the Jama Masjid was built by Shah Jahan in 1648. An inscription over the main gate indicates that it was built in the name of Jahanara, Shah Jahan's daughter, who was eventually imprisoned with Shah Jahan by Aurangzeb.

Ram Bagh
The Mughal love for nature can be seen at Agra in the form of Ram Bagh, one of the earliest gardens, laid by the Mughal ruler Babur, in 1528 AD. It is said to have been the resting-place of his body before it was taken away for a final burial in Kabul. It is 2 to 3 km further north of the Chini Ka rauza on the riverside and is open from sunrise to sunset.

Mehtab Bagh
Situated on the left bank of River Yamuna opposite Taj Mahal, it is basically a garden to visit especially at Night. Central to the garden was an octagonal pool that held the reflection of the Taj Mahal on a clear moonlit night, thus originating the name.

Fatepur Sikri
37 Kms from Agra
Fatehpur Sikri was the imperial city of the Mughal dynasty in the 14th century. The deserted city has magnificent edifices and architectural grandeur. The buildings within Fatehpur Sikri are a unique blend of different architectural traditions reflecting the period of prosperity and social tolerance during Emperor Akbar's administration.

There are a number of buildings within the Fatehpur Sikri complex. Each of the small palaces in Fatehpur Sikri has a specific purpose and generally faces a courtyard. The most intriguing building in Fatehpur Sikri is the Panch Mahal (five-tiered palace), which is a five-storied pavilion of winds. The Turkish Sultan’s palace is known for exquisitely carved panels depicting wildlife-lions, birds, and foliage. Near the Diwan-I-Aam, one can see a tank called the Anup Talao. Four bridges link the central platform at the Anup Talao. Here the famous court musician Tansen played music. Akbar’s private apartments stand close to the tank.Temple in Mathura

57 Kms from Agra
Vrindavan is a sacred destination of the Hindus and is revered for of its association with the life of Lord Krishna. There are as many as 4,000 temples in Vrindavan, most of them dedicated to Lord Krishna, apart from the numerous bathing ghats (long steps along the banks of sacred rivers, used by Hindus for ritual bathing). Most of the temples in Vrindavan were constructed after AD 1000, while some of them are of very recent origin.

Bharatpur (The Keoladeo Ghana National Park)
56 Kms from Agra
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park or the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary lies between Agra and Jaipur, in the state of Rajasthan.

Bharatpur hosts a variety of bird species from across the globe. Close to 380 species of birds are found in this 29 sq km stretch, approximately 10 sq km of which comprises of marshes and bogs. Rest of the area comprises of scrublands, grasslands and more than 44,000 trees that are used for nesting by birds each year.

Birds popularly spotted here include Siberian crane, Dalmatian pelicans, Siberian leaf warbler, several other species of cranes-corcomorants, egrets, darters, herons, storks, geese, ducks, eagles, hawks, shanks, stints, wagtails, wheatears, flycatchers, buntings, larks, spoonbills, kingfishers, owls and pipits.

47 Kms northwest of Agra
Mathura is famous as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, an important deity in the Hindu religious pantheon. It is an important pilgrim place of the Hindus and one of the seven sacred cities in India. Mathura is also an important craft center.

The Sati Burj, Kans Qila, Jama Masjid and Dwarkadheesh temple are other places to see in Mathura

34 kms south
The 11 century seat of a princely state on the banks of Chambal River. The palace is now a luxury hotel and has a beautiful landscape. National highway passes through the town and many express trains have a brief halt at the station

Agra is not only a famous tourist destination but is a shopper’s paradise too. There are plenty of shopping areas and shopping malls where one can buy the specialities including handicrafts and fine arts traditions. You can shop to your hearts content in the markets of the city and you will never get bored. The old part of the city that includes the main marketplace (Kinari Bazar) is northwest to the Agra fort. It has several distinct areas whose names are attached with the Mughal period, although they don't always bear relation to what is being sold here today. Like the Loha Mandi (Iron Market) and Sabzi Mandi (Vegetable Market) are still operational, however the Nai ki Mandi (Barber's Market) has attained the new role of a market famous for textiles.

The city is famous for its marble work. Hereditary craftsmen who are descendants of the marble carvers, who worked on the 'Wonder in Marble' the Taj Mahal, offer their wares in the crafts emporia and marble showrooms. A miniature marble replica of the Taj Mahal, is a very popular souvenir, besides vases, ornamental boxes, tabletops, decorative objects, utility items such as ashtrays and table lamps. However, be cautious about the quality of stone. From shoes, slippers, sandals, purses, wallets, bags, belts, clothing, lampshades, furniture, beanbags, you name a craft in leather and the city has it for you. A leading center of the footwear industry, you can find leather gloves, coats, jackets and dresses, tanned in various colors and fashions to suit designer tastes. When it comes to leather items , the city never fails to surprise the buyers with its variety and quality. The rugs and carpets, woven by master craftsmen who retain the secrets of carpet weaving taught generations ago by Persian rug makers. The main markets for shopping for rugs and carpets are near the Taj Mahal complex. These areas include Sadar Bazaar, Kinari Bazaar and Munro Road. Brassware is another specialty of the city . It includes artifacts such as hookah bases, for those who wish to acquire an oriental souvenir.

For quality buys visit: The U.P State Emporium called Gangotri at the Taj Mahal Complex, offers a range of marble handicrafts.

The Shilpagram crafts village is another venue where marble items are on sale, directly by the artisans themselves.

Agra can be visited throughout the year, but one must avoid the extreme hot summers (April-June) and rainy season (July-Sept). The most suitable time to visit Agra is From Nov till March.

Tourist Offices
There are two tourist offices, one of UP tourism near Clarks Shiraz Hotel (64 Taj Road, Ph: (0562) 360517) and the other of the Government of India (191 The Mall, Ph: (0562) 363377). The government of India office has more information on other destinations as well. There is also a tourist information counter at the Agra Cantonment station.

How to get there
Air :Agra airport is 7 km from the city center and 3 km from Idgah bus stand. Indian airlines operates daily tourist shuttle flights to Agra, Khajuraho, Varanasi and back. It only takes 40 minutes from Delhi to Agra.

Rail Agra is well connected by railroad. The main railway station is the Agra Cantonment station. Agra is well connected by rail to Delhi, Varanasi and cities of Rajasthan.

Road Agra is 203 Km from Delhi Its 03 Hrs Drive away from Delhi.

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