Agra – The City On The Banks

It is one of the historically important cities in India. It is situated on the western banks of the river Yamuna. It is just a distance of 200 km from Delhi. It has religious importance. It is referred to as ‘Arabian’, part of Brij Bhoomi which happened to be the land of Lord Krishna. It virtually emerged as an important power center under the Delhi Sultan Sikandar Lodi. In 1504 he shifted his capital from Delhi to this city. In 1526, it was captured by Babur. However, Agra attained its full glory in the Mughal period. Agra is also popular for the Taj Mahal. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The history of this great monument dates back to the age of the Mughals. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his favorite Queen Mumtaz Mahal. It is an exquisite white marble mausoleum that has exceptional work of carvings. It is made of white marble. On the day of the full moon, its beauty is unmatched.

It has always evoked varying emotions from wonders to ecstasy and often times inspired poets to write poems on its beauty. Over the centuries, it has become the symbol of undying love. This monument was commissioned in 1631 and it took around 20,000 artisans who worked for 22 years to complete it. The entire area around the Taj Mahal has constituted the artisans who sell various wares of marble. People love to buy these replicas of the Taj. From the rule of the Jats to the early British period, Agra’s monuments were plundered and exquisitely crafted pieces were transported away. This city fell into decline till people rediscovered its historical importance and tremendous tourist potential.

Another attraction is the Agra Fort which is perhaps India’s second best-known monument. More often than not, this Fort is overshadowed by the pristine beauty of the Taj. The main point of entry for tourists in this fort is the Amar Singh gate. This fort is full of architectural structures. The first of these is the Diwan-e-Aam.

It is a pillared hall centered around a throne of marble with a delicate inlay of floral motifs. Diwan-e-Khas is also very special. It is the place where the emperor held an audience with visiting dignitaries. It was built in 1635. It had two thrones on the terrace. One is made of white marble and the other is made of black marble.

Apart from all these, Agra is well-developed in telecommunications and transport. During the winter months between November and March, various interesting festivals are held in Agra. This is the time when the weather is at its best. Another cultural festival is Sharadotsav. Various artists from all over the country come to take part in this festival. It is worth attending. Due to its immense beauty, Agra is a top tourist destination for travel enthusiasts; Agra is well connected to the rest of the country by air, rail, and road. Domestic flights link it to Delhi, Khajuraho, and Varanasi, while trains from a number of cities arrive at Agra’s six railway stations. For those coming from Delhi, the Shatabdi Express (which arrives in Agra at 9 am and returns at 8.15 pm) is very convenient. By road, Agra is linked to Mathura (56 km), Delhi (203 km), Gwalior (118 km), Jaipur (237 km), and several other major cities. UPSRTC and private buses ply to and from Agra and other cities, using the Idgah Bus Stand as the main terminus.