Agra Travel Guide
Agra is famously the home of the Taj Mahal, one of the great wonders of the world and the greatest monument to love ever built. In fact, seeing the domed white-marble masterpiece, which dates from the mid-17th century, is the principal reason to visit Agra. As for the city, it is supremely old, mentioned in the Mahabharata and records dating as far back as the 2nd century BC. During the 16th and 17th centuries – between 1556 and 1668 – it rose to prominence as the capital of India's Mughal Empire, where Mughal emperors, the likes of Akbar, Shah Jahan – builder of the Taj Mahal – and Jahangir, held sway. It was also during this period, the Mughal Period, that the city flourished as a center for the arts and culture, as well as a hub of commerce. Thus, it's hardly surprising that Agra's landmarks and attractions continue to be architectural treasures from the Mughal Period.
Agra is situated on the Yamuna River in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, approximately 129 miles (205 km) south of New Delhi.
Agra's principal attraction is of course the Taj Mahal, where busloads of tourists arrive daily to marvel at the mausoleum. Other priorities here include such antiquities as Fatehpur Sikri, the Agra Fort, Akbar's Mausoleum, a series of masjids (mosques), the Dayal Bagh Temple, and the colorful Kinari Bazaar where you can visit shops selling intricately embroidered tapestries and handcrafted jewelry. Also, for day trips from Agra, consider Mathura and Vrindavan, two ancient towns that lie some 25 miles (40 km) to the north of Agra, and the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, a nature-lover's delight, some 38 miles (60 km) to the south of Agra.
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