Agra Travel Guide
Agra Travel Guide
Agra is a city which has witnessed many glorious chapters of the glorious reigns of the Emperors and their Empire.Agra is also a home to one of the most beautiful building in the world the Taj Mahal, which is also listed among the 7 wonders of the world.The city of Agra is also one of the Best Tourist Destinations in India. Along with Delhi and Jaipur, Agra completes the very famous Golden Triangle of tourism in India.This charming city is located on the bank of river Yamuna. UNESCO has declared Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and Taj Mahal as world heritage site that are all houses in this Royal City of Agra. Situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Agra is not only a synonym with the 7th wonder of the world Taj Mahal but also has many majestic monuments standing with their glorious history.
Agra and Its History:
The first reference of Agra can be seen in the world’s lengthiest poem and Indian epic literature Mahabharata where the city was mentioned as “Agrevana” which meansthe border of the forest. It is believed that the city of Agra was established in the year 1504 by the great Lodhi ruler named –‘Sultan Sikandar Lodhi’ who was the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. Thereafter Agra was crowned by many dynasties from Hindu warrior Hem Vikramaditya followed by the Mughal emperors Babur, Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. In 1803 AD when Mughal Empire was taking its last breath, Maratha came into power and renamed the city back to Agra. During the same time British also started coming into the supremacy and established Agra Presidency there. When India regained its Independence in 1947 AD the city was incorporated as a part of the state of Uttar Pradesh and the city which was once the capital of India become of the tourist destination in India and Lucknow became the capital of Uttar Pradesh.
Culture, Traditions and Food of Agra:
The culture, the traditions and the customs are the mirror of the people of the particular area. The city of Agra is a melting pot of different cultures and traditions resulting from the different rules of Rajput, Muslim and British empires that ruled here. The well-nourish culture of Agra is one of the richest cultures in India that fascinates not only Indian but also equally attracts International travellers. Mughal era was the time when the city was nurtured by art, architecture, music, poetry, literature and crafts. Even the monument of yesteryear has an influence from Mughal era that attracts lakhs of tourist every year.
Traditions in Agra:
Though the city was ruled by Muslim rulers for centuries, Agra has higher population of Hindus. However the second largest population is that of Muslims with the people of other religions like Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism. Being religiously diversified this city is living under harmony, unity and peace. The dialect spoken in Agra is Braj Bhasha with standard Hindi, Urdu and English languages.
Culture and Festivals of Agra:
The vivid culture and festivals of Agra tell us about its glorious history. These culture and festivals give tourists a true flavor of the city and memories for lifetime.
Here are some of the festivals that are celebrated in Agra Every Year –
Taj Literature Festival
Other Festivals which are having their own charm and charisma are Art and Craft Classes in Agra, Sheetla Fair, Shilpgram, Ram Navmi, kalakriti Cultural and Conventional Centre Agra and many more.
Cuisine of Agra:
The travel experience will remain incomplete if one does not get to taste the scrumptious cuisine of the city. Agra is not only confined to the majestic forts and historical monuments but also welcome its guests with open heart and mouth-watering delicacies. The Mughal Fare with its savor of kebabs and other mutton dishes added an attraction for the travellers who visit the city. Now the question is what you can eat in Agra? So, here’s the answer –
You can opt for the street food in Agra if you like chaat, paranthas and other North Indian delicacies. Panipuri, dahi bade/dahibhalle, samosa, kachoris, cheela and many more are the different spicy and immensely tasty street food. When it comes to sweet dishes the most well-known sweet item of Agra is its ‘Petha’. Petha is a translucent confectionary that is available at a number of shops. Petha is available in different flavor such as kesaripetha, angooripetha, paanpetha or the plain sweet petha are to name a few. People of Agra also love to prepare Mughlai cuisine. The food from Mughal kitchen is now reached to the common people’s house. The food is generally prepared by using, cream, curd, nuts and milk and is cooked in mix of spices that renders them the exotic flavor. Some of the best Mughlai dishes that you can savor are tandoori chicken, chicken tikkaharabhara, kadhai chicken, mutton afgani and raannmusaaallam are to name a few.
Economy of Agra:
Agra has been always the place of main attraction right start from the ancient time to medieval history to the current era. Primarily the economy of Agra agriculture based and major crops are wheat, paddy, bajra mustard, potato and etc. About 40% of the town’s economy is depended on industry. According to statistics about 7200 small scale industries are scattered all over the city. The tourism in Agra is also one of the major contributors in the economy of the city. Thousands of visitors from all over the world visit to witness the magnificent Taj Mahal and majestic Agra Fort. When International Travellers visit India, they bring dollars, pounds, euros and the currency of their respective country which helps economy of Agar to grow effectively.
Best Places to Visit Agra
The city of Agra with its name only brings magnificent monuments which are continued to astound all the people, nationally and internationally, till date. There are many places that can be visit by the travellers during their visit to Agra.
The best places to visit in Agra are as follows –
Un-controversially and without a doubt Taj Mahal, the 7th wonder of the world is the first and foremost choice of travellers to visit. Considered as the ultimate sign of love, Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The monument started building in 1632 AD and completed in 1648 AD. This building is made up of white marble and the verses from Koran are engraved on it.
This classic instance of Mughal architecture is also known by the name of Red Fort or Lal Quila of Agra. This is second of the three world heritage sites declared by UNESCO in Agra. The great Mughal Emperor Akbar built the fort in 1565 AD. The fort has many striking places such as Diwan – E -Aam, Diwaan – E- Khas, Anguri Bagh, Khas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Mina Masjid, Nangina Masjid and the MusammanBurj.
This is one of the famous temples in Agra which is situated on the corner of the city. The temple is dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Shiva. The temple is suitable for tourist visiting the area such as Taj Mahal, Jama Masjid and Agra Fort. There are number of markets in the vicinity of the temple. Some of the markets are there since the time of the Mughals.
Apart from Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Mahakameshwar Temple other sightseeing spots in Agra are equally informative and marvelous include –
Chini Ka Rauza
Some other tourist spots such as temple and Gurudwara are exists in equal numbers showcasing the love of humanity and harmony in the city.
Some notable ones are –
Dayal Bagh Temple
Gurudwara Shri Guru Kat al Sahib
Best Time to Visit Agra
Agra is the place of traditional cuisines, arts and jewelries and majestic monuments like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. If you are digging for the best time to visit Agra then you can visit this culturally rich city in the months from October to March. The climate in Agra is generally hot and dry throughout the year. It is only winters when the Agra Climate and its temperature drop down to 7 degree. The rainy season in Agra is occasional but it’s generally starts from July and continues with random rainfall till September.
How to Reach Agra
Being one of the most visited places in India, the city of Agra has almost all the possible transportation facility to the city.
Agra is a part of Golden Triangle so is well connected from Indira Gandhi Airport – New Delhi, Jaipur International Airport and Kanpur Airport. So if you wish to travel to Agra by airways you can opt any of the up-given choices.
The well-connected and nicely clustered rails reach to Agra by three major railway stations- The Agra Cantonment, Agra Fort and Raja ki Mandi.
One can reach Agra from New Delhi which is approx 240 km away. From Jaipur the distance is 230 km and from Lucknow its 330 Km. Agra is also encircled by many tourist spots such as Gwalior (120km from Agra), along with Mathura and Vrindavan. The Road network of Agra is nicely connected that connects to major tourist destinations of North and Central India.
If you every get chance to visit this historical place, do visit one in your life time. You will fall in love with art, culture, lively monuments and different cuisine of the place. The city will allow you to peak through its majestic sites and be a witness of the glorious history.
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