The City Of Taj Mahal
The city of Agra is synonymous with the Taj Mahal. What most people do not know is that this city of Uttar Pradesh, located on the banks of river Yamuna, was famous even before the Taj was built.
Agra has been referred to as “AryaGriha” or the abode of the Aryans. It also finds its mention in the Mahabharata as Agravana. It is said that Sultan Sikandar Lodi the Ruler of Delhi Sultanate founded Agra in the year 1504. After the Sultan’s death, the city passed on to his son Sultan Ibrahīm Lodī. He ruled his Sultanate from Agra until he fell fighting Babar, in the First battle of Panipat fought in 1526.
It was during the Mughal Empire that Agra (then was known as Akbarabad, after the famous king Akbar), began to develop. It was the capital city of the empire from where Jahangir, his son Akbar and grandson Shah Jahan ruled. The city holds the architectural stamp of those times even today.
Agra – The Heritage, Travel And Honeymoon Destination
It is to experience the rich cultural and architectural heritage and vast pool of knowledge about the history of India, that tourists make a beeline to this ancient city.
This is also an ideal locale for a honeymoon stopover on the way to Dharmashala or any place in the north. Travelers love the idea of visiting the Taj, which has since time immemorial been the epitome of love.
The city is also famous for its handicrafts, marble inlay work or the craft of Pietra Dura, used extensively in many of the architectures of the Mugal era.
Like most cities in India, the city of Agra has been in the past ruled by different rulers, who have influenced the culture and the religion in the city. Nonetheless, Agra has been mostly influenced by the Mughals and hence, people speak Hindi and Urdu. This city is an apt example of an Indian city where Hindus and Muslims live together in harmony.
One, the must-have sweet dish for all travelers is the “Agra ka Petha”, a very famous sweet made up of Pumpkin. You will find Panchi Petha outlets all around the city.
Agra is a perfect example of modernity amalgamated with the traditions and cultures of yesteryears. Today Agra is as much a modern destination as it is a heritage city. Good educational institutions, opportunities for trade, jobs, and industries can be seen in the city. Agra University is one of the Oldest Universities in India. With industrialization and proximity to Yamuna River, many small scale industries have cropped up in Agra. The government is taking the necessary steps to preserve the National Monuments by having strict control over pollution levels.
The tourism industry provides livelihood to most of the natives of Agra. Others have opened shops with beautiful Marble work and handicrafts. Taking advantage of this the government has even provided occupation to prison inmates, who earn an honest living by making the famous bamboo and banana fiber sarees and dress materials sold in all handloom houses of the city.
Climate And The Best Time To Visit
Summers are extremely hot and arid in the region, with mild rains during monsoons. Hence wintertime, between November to March, is ideal to visit Agra.
HOW TO REACH AGRA
AIR – The city of Agra has its air terminal, Kheria Airport. It was initially an installation by the Indian army and is now used by commercial travelers as well.
RAIL: Railway is the best means to arrive at Agra. The Indian Rail Network permits travelers from any side of the nation to arrive at the city through well-organized railway lines. Situated on Delhi – Mumbai and Delhi – Chennai course, Agra is connected with a wide range of cities.
ROAD: From Delhi, transport (both government and private) employ an ordinary span that permits one to arrive at Agra using NH2 and Yamuna Expressway. Likewise, Jaipur connected with Agra through daily transports using NH 11. In comparison, Gwalior is connected with NH 13. Kanpur and Lucknow’s urban areas also permit travelers to enter the city through NH 2.