Agra, the erstwhile capital of the Mughal Emperors, is situated on the banks of the River Yamuna in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Located at an approximate distance of 363 kilometres to the west of state capital Lucknow and around 200 kilometres to the south of national capital New Delhi, Agra is popularly known as the city of Taj. It is one of the most populous as well as polluted city of the state.
One of the earliest mentions of Agra can be found in the great Epic, The Mahabharata. Agra was known as Agrevaṇa (which literally means border of the forest). Folklores credit Raja Badal Singh, a Sikarwar Rajput king, as the founder of the city of Agra, in the year 1475. It is also said that the Fort Badalgarh had stood on or near the location of the present Agra Fort.
On the other hand, the 11th century Persian poet Masood Sa’d Salman wrote about a frantic attack on the fortress of Agra (which was under the control of the Shahi King Jayapala at that time), by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. Sultan Sikandar Lodi of the Delhi Sultante was the first one to move his capital from Delhi to Agra in the year 1506. When he died in 1517, his son Ibrahim Lodi continued to be in power at Agra for around nine more years, before finally being defeated at the Battle of Panipat in 1526.
Agra reached its pinnacle of fame as the capital of the Mughal emperors from the year 1526 to 1658. Agra is today one of the major tourist destination, mainly because of its numerous Mughal-era buildings. Among them, the most notable are the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. All these three sites of Agra have been listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ list.
The major sightseeing attractions of Agra are the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Itimad-Ud-Daulah, Akbar’s Tomb (named Sikandra), Swami Bagh Samadhi, Mankameshwar Temple, Ankit ka Tal, Jama Masjid, Chini ka Rauza, Ram Bagh, Mariam’s Tomb, Mehtab Bagh, Keetham Lake, Mughal Heritage Walk and The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, to name a few.
Agra experiences a semiarid climate with characteristic features like mild winters, hot and dry summers and a monsoon season. Hence, the best time to visit Agra would be during the winter months extending from November to March.
Agra is well-connected and easily accessible from all parts of the world. Agra has an airport located just at the outskirts of the city. Agra is a major railhead that is connected to all parts of the country as well. Buses also ply from the nearby cities to Agra on a regular basis.
For more information on Agra Packages and popular Hotels in Agra visit HolidayIQ.