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The city of the majestic Taj is not a new name for most of the people in the world, as it has the famous and enchanting Taj Mahal. This monument symbolizes India in the World’s map of tourism and in India Agra is the city which has the privilege of being the home to Taj. Agra is a city located in the Uttar Pradesh state of India and is its tourism capital. Hence, one of the main sources of income and economy in Agra is the tour and travel industry.
History of Agra
As the location of Agra is very convenient, it was located near to Delhi, Lucknow and other prime kingdoms of India, the Mughals decided to make it their capital after Delhi. The Mughal Emperor Akbar was the one to shift capital to Agra and he built the famous Agra Fort during the 16th century. It was after a few years that he shifted his capital to the nearby city of Fatehpur Sikri, but returned 15 years later owing to the scarcity of water in the area. Later his grandson Shah Jahan who succeeded his son Jahangir built Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife. Shah Jahan was very fond of Mumtaz Mahal and her early death after giving birth to their baby was devastating for the emperor. Later he built the Taj Mahal where she lies besides the tomb of her husband. Taj Mahal took 20 years to build and later according to a gruesome story, the emperor cut the hands of the architect and the laborers so that they won’t be able to make another Taj.
Tourist Attractions in Agra
Agra, the tourism capital of Uttar Pradesh has some astonishing historical monument built during the Mughal rule. The monuments in Agra are-
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is the most attractive and sought after monument in India. Taj Mahal is a white marble tomb built by a Mughal Emperor in memory of his beloved wife. The monument is very famous due to its architecture and the giant building which engaged a lot of labor, wealth and time. But all this resulted in a truly flawless beauty called the Taj Mahal. The walls are decorated with Pietra Dura inlay works, at some places the marble is carved into delicate looking Jaali works and the verses from the Quran have been inscribed on them.
Agra houses a splendid fort famously known as the ‘Agra Fort’ which used to be the residence of the royal Mughal family. Although, a lot of the parts of this fort are now blemished and gone but the remains will still let you know how grand this place must have been in its prime times. This astonishing ancient monument of Agra, the Agra Fort is made of red stone and was a residence of the Mughal Empire and his family and was commenced by Mughal Emperor Akbar. The fort complex has several bewitching buildings like Pearl Mosque, Nagina Mosque, Shah Jahangiri Mahal, Akbari Mahal, etc.
This monument is although not as big as the Taj or the Agra Fort but has striking features and will surprise the lovers of art and architecture. It is the tomb of Noorjahan’s father, Ghias-ud-din Beg and is a must visit in Agra. Since, the tomb was built before the construction of Taj and it has the same kind of Pietra Dura inlay works and white marble as used in Taj, it is believed that it has inspired the decorative works of the Taj Mahal.
Languages Spoken in Agra
The languages that are spoken in Agra are Hindi, English and Urdu.
Cuisines of Agra
Agra is known for being the home to delicious Mughal cuisines which are the result of the Mughal rule in Agra dating back to the 16th century. Delicious Murg Mussallam, Tandoori Chicken, Samosas, Jalebis, Mughlai Seek and Boti Kabaabs and curries are specialty of Agra. Coming to the sweets, try Sohan Papdi, Malai Burfi and the Agra Pethas which are the most popular sweets from Agra.
Famous Festivals in Agra
Although all Indian festivals are celebrated in Agra, the major festivals here are the Taj Mahotsav, Rambarat, Janmashtami, Eid and Holi.
Climate in Agra
Agra has a typical humid sub tropical climate. It turns very hot during peak summers and cold during the winter nights. The best time to visit in Agra is from the months of August to March.