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Agra - The Destination

  
Agra Travel Destination

All the world loves a lover… This is the story of Arjmad Banu and the love she enthused. Niece of the beautiful Noor Jehan, wife of the Mogul Emperor Jehangir met Prince Khurram, Jehangir’s son, when she was just fourteen years old, in the Red Fort at Agra. Cupid struck the two young royals. They did get married in 1612 but soon after, the Prince rebelled against his father and left Agra. She supported her husband at every step and followed him in his self-imposed exile. Just before Jehangir’s death (1627), father and son reconciled. Prince Khurram was crowned Emperor with the name Shah Jehan (Ruler of the World) and

Arjmad Banu was named Mumtaz Mahal (Crown of the Palace). As was her custom, she continued to accompany her husband everywhere, even during his military expeditions. During one such expedition against the rebellious Deccan governor in 1631, Mumtaz Mahal died in childbirth. The 39 years old Emperor was devastated. Unable to bear his loss, he decided to build a memorial for his beloved that was unparalleled. Construction began the very same year. Such was Shah Jehan’s passion to obtain ultimate perfection that 20,000 people worked night and day for 22 years to achieve it.

This eternal legacy remains to enchant every person who visits the monument. Graceful curves of marble domes and elegant minarets glow by the light of the moon, pearl-like. The Taj Mahal radiates an aura of mystical beauty on a full moon night. Inside the Taj Mahal, the elaborate inlay work, forming floral patterns like pressed flowers on marble, and large expanses of pure marble leave one astonished.

Shah Jehan had commenced the building of a Black Taj Mahal, but this stands incomplete. The Agra Fort on the banks of the Yamuna, is made
Taj Mahal Agra
of red sandstone. Emperor Akbar laid the foundation of this fort. It was Emperor Shah Jehan, however, who was responsible for completing it.

Agra is indeed rich in monuments that reflects the delicate fusion of Islamic and Hindu styles, known as Mogul architecture.
Facts at a Glance

State : Uttar Pradesh
Area : 62 sq kms
Altitude : 169 mts
Temperature : 30°C - 40°C (Summers)
10°C - 20°C (Winters)
Best Season : September to November. Other months are also favourable, but Since Agra is a temperate climatic zone it experiences extreme climatic variations.


History of Agra


This medieval city of Agra has a splendid historical background. This is evident by the number of historical monuments in and around the city. The earliest reference for Agra comes from the epical age, when Mahabharata refer Agra as Agravana. Prior to this, Agra has also been referred to as Arya Griha or the abode of the Aryans. The first person who referred Agra by its modern name was Ptolemy.

Though the legacy of Agra city is linked with the Mughal dynasty, numerous other rulers also contributed to the rich past of this city. Modern Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodhi (Lodhi dynasty; Delhi Sultanate) in the 16th century. Babar (founder of the Mughal dynasty) also stayed for sometime in Agra and introduced the concept of square Persian-styled gardens here. Emperor Akbar built the Agra fort and Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. Fatehpur Sikri remained his capital for around fifteen years after which the city was left isolated in mysterious circumstances. Jahangir revamped Agra with palaces and gardens despite spending most of his time in Kashmir with which he was passionately attached.

Agra came to its own when Shahjahan ascended to the throne of Mughal Empire. He marked the zenith of Mughal architecture, when he built the Taj in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. In his later years, Shahjahan shifted his capital to the new city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi and ruled from there. Shahjahan was dethroned in 1658 by his son, Aurangzeb who imprisoned him in the Agra Fort. Aurangzeb shifted the capital back to Agra till his death. Following Aurangzeb’s death, many regional kingdoms emerged. The post-Mughal era of Agra saw the rule of the Jats, Marathas and finally the British taking over the city.
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