|*Agra city Map showing roads, hotels, hospitals and other places of interest.|
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Located in Uttar pradesh, Agra lies on the banks of Yamuna river. According to a 2013 estimate, the city has a population of 1,686,993 people which makes it the 19th most populous state in India. Agra is one of the world's most visited city.
People from all over the world visit Agra mainly to view the majestic Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The other two prime attractions are the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Along with Delhi and Jaipur, Agra forms a part of the Golden Triangle tourist circuit as well as the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc.
Although popular due to Mughal architecture, Agra's history is said to date back to the times of the Mahabharata. However, it is generally believed that in modern times the city was founded in the year 1504 by the ruler of Delhi Sultanate, Sikandar Lodi. Following his son Ibrahim Lodi's defeat to Babur at Panipat, Agra passed under the rule of the Mughals.
The city's golden age began under the Mughals. It was the capital of the Mughal Empire under Akbar, Jahāngīr and Shāh Jahān. Each Mughal Emperor contributed to the development of the city. Babar created the Persian garden, Akbar created the Great Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, and Shah Jahan the much famed Taj Mahal. Following the decline of the Mughals, the city passed into the hands of the Marathas and finally the British, under whom it became the capital of the Agra Presidency.
Following the British reconquest of the city during the 1857 revolt, Agra remained a part of British India until 1947 when it became a part of independent India.
Mughal style architecture forms the attraction of the state and prime among these is the Taj Mahal. The monument was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the mid 17th century as a symbol of love for his wife Mumtaz who died in 1631 after giving birth to their 14th child.
Though not as spectacular as the Taj Mahal but Agra Fort is one sight to behold. The fort served as the residence of Mughal emperors till 1638 when Delhi became the capital. Another wonderful place to visit is Mehtab Bagh which was built by Babur. Many tourists also frequent the Diwan-i-Am where Shah Jahan used to listen petitions from the citizens. Other places worth visiting are Taj Museum, Akbar's Mausoleum, Itimad-ud-Daulah, and Kinari Bazaar, to name a few.
Agra is not only about monuments, it is also a wonderful shopping destination. Kinari Bazaar is famous for its jewellery shops as well as for bridal shopping. Visit the Subhash Emporium and get your hands on products made from Agra marble.
Other popular shopping centers are Unique Arts and Crafts, Sadar Bazaar, Agra Marble Emporium, Marble Krafts, Taj Leather World among others.
There are many popular places located near Agra. The prominent among these is Mathura, which is known as the birthplace of Lord Krishna and is located at a distance of 58 km from Agra. Located at a distance of 216 km from Agra is Delhi, the capital of India.
Delhi is also famous for its many monuments such as the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Qutb Minar, Rashtrapati Bhawan, among others. Other places near to Agra are Bharatpur, Jaipur and Ranthambore in Rajasthan, Nainital in Uttarakhand, and Orchha in Madhya Pradesh.
The best time to visit Agra is between the months of November and March. The weather is enjoyable during this period which makes it convenient for tourists to pay a visit to the various monuments as well as indulge in some shopping and sightseeing.
Located 13 kilometers away from Agra, Kheria Airport is well connected to Delhi by Air India flights. Regular bus services are available to Agra from the cities of Delhi, Lucknow, Jaipur, Gwalior and Kanpur.
The two main bus terminals located in the state include Idgah Bus Stand and ISBT. The city is also well connected by rail and regular trains to Agra are available from Gwalior, Jaipur, Delhi and Jhansi.