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35 Fascinating Facts About Agra: The City Of Taj Mahal

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Read facts about Agra to learn more about the historical monuments and their architectural beauty.

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Agra is said to have derived its name from 'Agreva' which means hunter.

It was so named as it was a hunting ground for many kings and rulers. It is also said that the Mughal emperor Akbar gave the city its name after he was impressed by its strategic location.

It is also called the city of 'Imaraat' as it has witnessed so much history and has been witness to several events. It was earlier known as Akbarabad. The official language is Hindi and the city is an economic hub in Uttar Pradesh which is one of the wealthiest states in India. The literacy rate in Agra is 83.99% which is much higher than the national average (74.04%). Chhatrapati Shivaji grand statue is built in Agra Fort. Agra University is a well-known university of Agra. Agra is located near the Yamuna river and is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. The Agra Bear rescue facility is recognized as the world's biggest bear rescue facility. It has UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Facts About Agra

The city of Agra can be found along the Yamuna river. It covers an area of 25 sq mi (40 sq km) and has a population of over 1 million people.

  • Agra was once a part of the Mughal Dynasty and is now a part of Uttar Pradesh, which is also known as the 'Bread Basket'.
  • The city of Agra is located in the north of India, on the banks of the river Yamuna.
  • Agra, the city known for its rich history and magnificent monuments like the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, was once a part of the Mughal Empire.
  • Agra ranks second in tourism in India after Delhi.
  • There are a number of sites that attract tourists from all over the world. The major ones are Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, and Mehtab Bagh. Uttar Pradesh shares its border with the state of Rajasthan, while it touches Haryana in the south.
  • Agra is a part of the rich Ganga-Yamuna Doab region and is known for its opulent cuisine and fine carpets. It is popularly known as the City of Taj Mahal.
  • Agra was said to be founded in 1504 by Sikandar Lodi, the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, though some people believe that it was established by his son Ibrahim Lodi.

Agra's History

In the 16th century, Agra rose to prominence as the capital of the Mughals when Akbar made it his court and built several structures, including the fort now known as Agra Fort.

  • The ruler Jahangir commissioned many monuments in Agra, including the Jama Masjid, the Moti Masjid, the Shish Gumbad and the Taj Mahal.
  • Sikandar Lodi was the first Sultan of Delhi who shifted to Agra and lived in the Purana Qila. He governed from there, and Agra assumed the importance of the second capital.
  • After Sikandar Lodi's death in 1517, his son, Ibrahim Lodi, became the new emperor until Babur captured the throne by defeating him in the First Battle of Panipat in 1526. This was also one of the famous battles during the Mughal Rule.
  • The golden age of the city began with the Mughals, when it became the capital of North India.
  • Babur stayed in the city for a long time, and he himself was impressed by its beauty.
  • According to many historians, Akbar was crowned here at a glittering ceremony, but they are not sure whether it happened at the Purana Qila or at Agra Fort.
  • During the Mughal era, Agra flourished as an economic and artistic center of India.
  • The fifth ruler of the empire, Akbar made many palaces in the city, but perhaps his greatest contribution was to found Fatehpur Sikri in the vicinity of the city in 1569.
  • A major part of his biography, Akbar-Nama , was also written at Fatehpur Sikri.
Agra Fort is another monument which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh in north India.

Agra's Culture

Agra is well known for its rich cuisine, culture, and history in India.

  • With almost 22% of its population living below the poverty line, Agra has one of the highest concentrations of poverty in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The city was once known as the 'Red City' due to its legacy of being a battlefield since Mughal times.
  • Agra has India's largest free-air private park, the Taj Nature Walk. Agra is one of the best cities in India to learn music, dance, and art as it has some of the oldest institutions for these practices.
  • Agra falls on two tourist circuits—the Delhi circuit and the Mumbai circuit—which together contribute to almost 70% of all tourist visits to Uttar Pradesh. In the past few years, many foreigners have bought land and homes in Agra due to its closeness to Delhi and international airports.
  • The Taj Mahal was built on land granted by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan to the British East India Company in 1632 for trading purposes.
  • The tomb of the Taj Mahal was constructed in secrecy and even Shah Jahan, who commissioned it, did not get to see its construction.
  • The seventh wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal, is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and was been voted as one of the 'New Wonders of The World' in 2007.
  • In 1983 UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site which added further glory to the edifice of 'the jewel of Muslin art in India'.
  • In 2007, it was announced that Agra would be developing a riverfront similar to the one in Paris on the Yamuna River.
  • Agra is known for its fine fabrics, artwork, and leatherwork. It has a trading legacy that dates back to Mughal times. The city is known to be one of the largest exporters of handicrafts in India.
  • Agra is known as the 'shopping capital of Uttar Pradesh.' Agra is known for its delicious and mouth-watering street food including kachori, mathi, gajak and petha. Agra also has many delectable treats such as rose milk and peda.

Agra's Tourist Attractions

The places that are worth visiting in Agra include Ram Bagh, Mehtab Bagh, Akbar's tomb, Taj Museum, and many more.

  • One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is Agra's prime attraction located near Yamuna River.
  • The monument which is often regarded as the edifice of love was built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor, in 1631 as a memorial and tomb for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, it took approximately 22 years to build the mausoleum, and more than 20,000 people were employed to work on it.
  • Taj Nature Walk is spread over 50 acres of land built during the Mughal dynasty.
  • Taj Nature Walk includes a butterfly garden, a rose garden, and a fruit forest, among other features.
  • Fatehpur Sikri is an abandoned city built by the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great as his capital.
  • It was built based on Islamic law and architecture.
  • The majestic Agra Fort or brick fort was built in 1565 as a military structure by the Mughal emperor Akbar to serve as a palace and a military base.
  • It was built on the banks of the Yamuna river and consists of a series of palaces, halls, pavilions, and gardens.
  • Itmad-Ud-Daulah, popularly known as the Baby Taj built by the Mughal emperor's daughter in 1648 is also found in Agra. It houses several tombs, water fountains, and gardens.
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