Agra, also known as The City of Taj, situated in Uttar Pradesh State of India. Agra is a railroad junction and a commercial and industrial center for the surrounding agricultural area. Agra city has an extensive trade in cotton, grain, tobacco, salt and sugar. Factories are engaged in food processing and the production of cotton textiles, carpets, iron steel and leather goods.
Agra is celebrated as the site of the Taj Mahal and of several other outstanding examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture, including the Jahangri Mahal, a palace of white marble constructed for the Mughal emperor Akbar, and the Moti Masjid, also known as the Pearl Mosque, built during the early part of the 17th century. At the time of the Moghuls, in the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of India and its superb monuments date from that era.
Agra is situated on the banks of the Yamuna River, with its crowded alleys and its predatory rickshaw riders, Agra is much like any other north Indian city, once you're away from these imposing reminders of Moghul splendour. There's an excellent train service making this eminently practicable. Actually Agra tour is worth more than a day, particularly if you also intend for agra tour, as you should, the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. In any case the Taj deserves more than a single visit if you are going to appreciate how its appearance changes under different light.
Taj Mahal:Taj Mahal is The most famous Moghul monument, constructed by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the "lady of the Taj". It took Shah Jahan 22 years and 20,000 labourers to complete his monument of love. Taj Mahal has been described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love for the emperor was heartbroken when Mumtaz, to whom he had been married for 17 years, died in 1629, in childbirth, after producing 14 children. Construction of the Taj Mahal commenced in 1632 and was not completed until 1653. Workers were recruited not only from all over India but also from Central Asia.
Agra Fort:Construction of the massive Agra Fort commenced with the Emperor in 1565 and additions were made right through to the time of his grandson, Shah Jahan. While in Akbar's time the agra fort was principally a military structure by the time of Shah Jahan the emphasis had shifted and the agra fort has become partially a palace. There are many fascinating buildings inside the massive walls, 20 metres high with a moat over 10 metres wide, which stretch for 2.5 km. The fort of Agra on the banks of the Yamuna River and only the Amar Singh Gate to the south is open. Inside the fort it is really a city within the city.
Moti Masjid also known as the 'Pearl Mosque' was built by Shah Jahan between 1646 and 1653. The marble mosque is considered to be perfectly proportioned and a Persian inscription inside the building compares it to a precious pearl. The mosque's courtyard is surrounded by arcaded cloisters and a marble tank stands in the centre.
Designed by Noorjahan for her father; the pietra dura, or inlay work, used extensively in the Taj was introduced here. Itmad-ud-daulah — the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg. This Persian gentleman's beautiful daughter married the Emperor Jehangir and became known as Nur Jahan, the light of the world. In turn her daughter was Mumtaz Mahal, the lady of the Taj. The tomb was constructed by Nur Jahan between 1622 and 1628 and is very similar to the tomb she also constructed for her husband Jehangir near Lahore in Pakistan.
At Sikandra, 10 km north of Agra, is the tomb of Akbar. The tomb is situated in the centre of a large garden and four identical red sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex. Akbar commenced the construction of his tomb himself but it was completed by his son, Jehangir, in 1613.
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