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Hidden Treasure of India


Taj Mahal - Agralocated on the western bank of Yamuna River, is one of the most frequented cities by tourists in India. Agra was founded by Badal Shah in 1475, but it came into prominence when the Lodhis made it their capital. Later, with Mughals invasion into the city, Agra entered an entirely new era - an era which was marked by prosperity and development of art and architecture. The Mughal period was a time when numerous structures were erected in Agra, and even today these structures reflect the glorious heritage of the great Mughal rulers.

Besides, Agra today is one of the most flourishing industrial cities of Uttar Pradesh India. Housing several industrial sector, Agra is not very far behind the major metros of India.

Places of Interest in Agra
Taj Mahal - The most important structure, that the Mughals built during their reign in Agra and which till date remains as beautiful as before is the ‘Taj Mahal’. Regarded as the eighth wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal stands near the banks of Yamuna River. Built by Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, this beautiful white marble mausoleum is an incredible beauty that draws tourists to Agra. About 20,000 labours were commissioned for 22 years (between 1631AD to 1653AD) to build this white marble beauty. This onion shaped edifice is set amidst an exquisitely manicured Persian garden, which in itself is no less than a paradise.

Agra Fort - Merely 2kms from the Taj Mahal is a massive Mughal structure - the Agra Fort. Built by the great Mughal emperors Akbar and Shah Jahan, Agra Fort is the place where Shah Jahan spent his last days after he was imprisoned by his own son Aurangzeb. Presently only part of the fort is opened for tourists as the other part is occupied by army. The Agra Fort house numerous attractions within its complex. The major highlights within the fort are - Diwan-e-Aam, Diwan-e-Khas, Nagina Masjid, Mina Masjid, Macchi Bhavan, Khas Mahal, Shish Mahal, Shah Jahani Mahal and the Zenana Mina Bazaar. From the fort one can have a magnificent view of the Taj Mahal.

Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb - Also very near to the Taj Mahal is the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah. This building houses the tomb Mirza Ghiyas Beg and his wife Asmat Begum. Mirza Ghiyas Beg was the Prime Minister during the reign of Mughal emperor Jahangir and was also the father of his wife queen Nur Jahan. This tomb is said to have inspired the structure of the Taj Mahal as it was built before.

Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb - Agra Fatehpur Sikri - The city of Fatehpur Sikri is located at a distance of forty kilometers from Agra. The city was built by Akbar in respect of the famous Sheikh Salim Chisti over a period of Fifteen years. The city boasts of magnificient structures like the the Panch Mahal, the Buland Darwaza, the tomb of Salim Chisti, the Jama Masjid Mosque and the life-size chessboard. These monuments represent a beautiful blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture and must be visited by tourists coming to Agra.

Shopping in Agra
Agra is a delight for shoppers. The city offers its tourists ample opportunity to buy goods of their choice in the city. However, there are items that have become the speciality of the city like marble work, leather work, brassware, jewellery and zari embroidery. For those tourists who love eating, petha and dalmoth of Agra is a special attraction.Tourists will not require to travel a lot in order to buy these items as all the major shops are located in and around the Taj Mahal complex itself.

Reaching Agra
Air - Agra also has a domestic airport of its own. Regular flights connect Agra to the major cities of India like Delhi, Khajuraho and Varanasi

Rail - Apart from road, trains also connect Delhi and Agra. Numerous trains including the luxury train ‘Palace on Wheels’ are available for tourists.

Road - Tourists from within India or abroad can come to Delhi and then travel to Agra by road. The distance between the two cities is just 204 kms and they are connected by the national highway. In about four hours, tourists can find themselves in the beautiful city of Agra.

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