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Agra

The Agra district is situated in western U.P., between 27.11' degree Latitude North and 78.0' degree to 78.2' degree Longitute East with an altitude of 169 m above sea level. It is bounded by Mathura District on the north, by Dhaulpur District on south, by Firozabad District on east and by Bharatpur on west. Agra is situated on the bank of Yamuna river. This city is 200 Km away from Delhi. Agra flourished under the Mughal emperor Akbar (1542-1605) and his successors, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Primarily the Economy of the Agra district is agriculture based while the economy base of Agra city is Small Scale Industries, Commerce and Trade. Major crops are Wheat, Paddy, Bajra, Mustard, Patato etc. About 40% of the total economy of Agra depend on industry (Directly or Indirectly). Over 7200 Small Scale Industrial Units are spread all over the district. Agra city is famous for the Leather Goods, Handicrafts, Zari Zardozi, Marvel and Stone carving & inlay work. Agra is also well known for sweets (Petha) and Snacks (Dal moth and Gajak). The main shopping areas of the city are Sadar Bazar, Kinari Bazar, Raja-ki-Mandi, Sanjay Place and the Taj Mahal Complex. Shopping is recommended at the Govt. Emporia or Souvenir Shops approved by U.P Tourism.

Climate


In Agra Maximum Temperature in Summer is 45D.C. and minimum temperature is about 21.9D.C. and in Winter maximum temperature in131.7D.C. and minimum temp. in about 4.2D.C.. Best season for tourist in from October to March.

Fairs and Festivals Taj Mahotsav (February)

A festival of art, craft, culture and celebrations. For 10 days there is sheer celebration of U.P.'s rich heritage of arts, crafts, culture, cuisine, dance and music. There are festivities all around and Agra truly puts on the colours of joy and gets transformed into one non-stop carnival. Organised by U.P. Tourism and held as an annual event at Shilpgram, literally next door to the Taj Mahal, the Taj Mahotsav is indeed a fitting tribute to the legendary skills of mastercraftsman and other exponents of art, music and cuisine. Not only this, it is also a gentle peep into the rich heritage and extraordinary legacies of this wounderful land. The festivities commence with a spectacular procession inspired by mughal splendour. Bedecked elephants and camels, drum beaters, folk artistes and mastercraftsmen... all help recreate a visual delight reminiscent of the golden era of the Mughal Darbars.

Sheetla Fair (July/Aug.)

It is held near Delhi Gate.

Kailash Fair (Aug. / Sep.)

Held at Kailash, 12 km. It is major fair celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva who is believed to have appeared here in the form of a stone lingam.

Bateshwar Fair (November)

This month-long festival is held annually during the month of November at Bateshwar, situated at a distance of 65 km from Agra.

Urs (Fatehpur Sikri)

This fair is organised at Sheikh Salim Chishti's Dargah, during the month of Ramzan.

How to reach

By Air

Agra is well-connected to cities like Delhi, Khajuraho, Varanasi etc. Kheria airport is 6 km from Agra town.

By Train

Agra is connected to the major cities of India by rail.

By Road

Agra is well-connected to the following cities by road : Mathura, Delhi, Chandigarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, etc.

Distance from Agra to :
Delhi 203 km
Khajuraho 393 km
Gwalior 118 km
Jaipur 237 km
Calcutta 1287 km
Varanasi 657 km
Mussoorie 417 km
Mumbai 1204 km

Agra District at a glance

Area 4027 sq km
Altitude 169 m above sea level
Population  
Total 27,51,021
Male 15,01,927
Female 12,49,094
Rural 16,39,935
Urban 11,11,086
Administrative Set up
Tehsils 6
Blocks 15
Nayay Panchayat 114
Gram Sabhas 636
Populated Villages 904
Police Stations
Total 41
Rural 25
Urban 16
Railway Stations 29
Bus Stands 144
Railway Lines
Broad Guage 196 km
Meter Guage 35 km

Places of Interest

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is situated at Agra, about 200 km away from Delhi on the banks of the river Yamuna. Taj Mahal is the enduring monument of love. It is a mausoleum. Shajahan build it on the death of his beloved wife Arjumand Bonu Begam (Mumthaz Mahal). The unique beauty of Taj makes it one of the wonders of the world. It is build with white marble. It was studded with precious stones. (crystal from China, Lapis Lawzuli from Afghanistan and Ceylon, Turquoise from Tibet, Gold from Egypt, amethyst from Persia, agate from Yeman, Malachite from Russia and Diamonds from Golconda, India). Completed in 1653 A.D., This perfectly symmetrical monuments took 22 years (1630-1652) of hard labour and 20,000 workers, Masons and Jewellers to built and is set amidst landscaped gardens. Built by the Persian architect, Ustad Isa, The Taj Mahal the bank of the Yamuna river. It can be observed like a Mirage from the Agra Fort from where Emperor Shah Jahan stared at it, for the last eight years his life as a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb. It is a masterpiece of symmetry, Seeming to be floating in the air from a distance, and each revealed as an illusion experienced as one enters through the main gate. The verses of Holy Koran as inscribed on it and at the top of gate 22 small domes, signifying the number of years the monument took to built. The Taj Mahal has been built on a Marvel Plateform that stands above a standstone one. The most elegant dome of the Taj, with diameter of 60 feets, rises 80 feets, over the building and directly under the dome is the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan's tomb has been erected next to her's by his son Aurangzeb. Fantastic Inlay works using semi-precious stones decorate and interiors. The best time to see the Taj Mahal is early morning when the pale rays of the sun give a soft pastel luster to the marble. Friday is free and it may have a huge crowd. Monday the grounds of Taj is closed. It is open from 8 am to 4 pm

Residency

Built for the British Resident in 1780-1800, it was originally a very extensive and beautiful building, It was a scene of dramatic events during the Mutiny of 1857. The scarred ruins tell the story of the British community besieged by the rebels. The main house overlooks the river and is surrounded by terraced lawns and gardens.

The Taj Mahal Museum

It is a small museum situated on the ground of Taj near the mosque. It contains the memorabilia from the Mogul period and historical back ground of Taj Mahal. The paintings of Shajahan and Mumtaz Mahal can also be seen. It is open for visitors from 8 am to 5 pm except Friday.

Agra Fort

It is at Yamuna ki Kinara Road, near Nehru park. The great Mughal Emperor Akbar commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort in 1565 A.D., although additions were made till the time of his grandson Shah Jahan. This fort is in triangular shape and encircled by a massive wall two and half Kms long and 69 ft high. The fort was protected by a moat and another wall with the Yamuna river running at its base. The entrance is through Amar Singh Gate. The Jahangiri Mahal situated north of Amar Singh Gate was built by Akbar as a residence for his son Jahangir. It is a blend of Hindu architecture with Central Asian influences. The central court of the palace is lined by two-storey facades with remnants of the rich gilded decorations which once covered much of the structure. On the death of Jahangir, Shah Jahan assumed the throne and started his own constructions inside the fort. The Shahjahani Mahal is the remodel of the Jaghangiri Mahal. The elephant fights were watched by Shah Jahan from this tapering tower gallery. The Khas Mahal (private Palace) built by Shah Jahan in 1637, has three pavilions overlooking the Yamuna, with a fountain opposite the central pavilion. The white marble central pavilion follows the Mughul style. Three arches on each side, five in front, and two turrets rising out of the roof. A second pavilion is of white marble and was supposedly decorated with gold leaf, while the third is made with red stone. There are number of exquisite building like the Moti Masjid-a white marvel mosque akin to a perfect pearl, Diwan-e-Am, Diwan-e-Khaas, Jehangir's Palace, Khaas Mahal, Shish Mahal and Musamman or Samman Burj-where Shahjahan was held captive in 1666 A.D.

The Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors)

Built in 1637, stands at the northeastern end of the Khas Mahal courtyard. It is an example of decorative water engineering in the hammams(bath). The lamps are fitted to warm up the water. The walls of the palace were inlaid with chiseled mirrors.

Diwan-i-Khas

The hall of private audience (1637) (Diwan-i-Khas) built by Shah Jahan were used to receive foreign ambassadors or other dignitaries. It is a three sided pavilion with a terrace of fine proportions. Outside the structure is the marble throne terrace, where a pair of thrones were kept.

The Musamman Burj

is built by Shah Jahan for Mumtaz Mahal. It is made of delicate marble lattices for the ladies of the court to gaze out, unseen. There is a beautiful carved fountain in the center.

The Diwan-i-Am (Hall of public audience).

This hall was used to meet officials and petitioners. The women of the palace can watch the court without being seen by others from the pavilion through jali screens. The open sided, cusped arched hall (64x23m) built of plaster on red stone, is very impressive. The throne alcove of richly decorated white marble completed after 7 years work in 1634 was used to house the Peacock Throne.

The Nagina Masjid

is a private mosque raised by Shah Jahan with typical cusped arches for ladies of the court. There is Mina bazar for the ladies to buy things from the marble balcony beneath the Nagina Masjid.

TheMoti Masjid

nearby the Nagina Masjid is a perfectly proportioned pearl mosque built in white marble. Visit : 7- 6 pm .

Akbar's Tomb

It is 10 Km north of Agra, along Great Trunk road. The tomb was started by the Great Emperor Akbar himself in 1602. It was completed by his son Jahangir after the death of his father. This monument is an eclectic blend of cultures and style. It is build with rough red stone topped with white marble. Its graceful minarets are surrounded by a Hindu style courtyard. It is open from 6 am to 5.30 pm.

Itmad-Ud-Daulat's Tomb

This tomb is 5 Km north of Taj Mahal. The tomb was built by Empress Nur- Jahan for her father. Her father was a Persian nobleman who became Jahangir's Chief minister. The tomb was built by workers from Iran and Persia. Persian brown and yellow marble were used to built this tomb. Thus Persian marble was used for the first time in India.

Chinni Ka Roja

This was constructed by Afzal Khan, A high official in the court of Shah Jahan. Decorated by glazed tiles on the facade, the structrure clearly depicts the Persian influence in architecture. It is open from Sunrise to Sunset

Mariyam's Tomb

This uniqe tomb in red sandstone was built in 1611 A.D. a memory of Emperor Akbar's Goan christian wife Mariyam. The tomb has some exceptional carvings. It is open from Sunrise to Sunset

Jama Masjid

This building, with a rectangular open forecourt was constructed in 1648 A.D., by Shah Jahan's daughter, Jehanera Begum in memory of the famous Shiekh Salim Chistti and his grand son Islam Khan. Of perticular importants is its wounderful assimilation of Iranian architecture.

Ram Bagh

One of the earliest Mughal gardens, it was laid out by Emperor Babar - the founder of the Mughal dynasty. It is said that Babar was temporarily buried here before being permanently interred at Kabul in Afghanistan. It is open from Sunrise to Sunset

Sikandra

The mausoleum of Emperor Akbar represents his philosophy and secular outlook, combining the best of Hindu and Muslim architectures in a superlative fusion. Completed in 1613 A.D., it is a well-preserved monument. It is open from Sunrise to Sunset.

Itmad-ud-daulah

This exquisite marble tomb was made by Emperor Jehangir's queen, Nurjahan, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg during 1622 - 1628 A.D. The craftsmanship at Itmad-ud-Daulah foreshadows that of the Taj Mahal. It was here that 'Pietra Dura' the inlay work on marble - so characteristic of the Taj - was first used. It is open from Sunrise to Sunset.

Radhaswami Samadhi, Dayalbagh

The headquarters of the Radhaswami sect. On the sprawling lawns here, is a beautiful marble temple under construction for almost 100 years now. Open : 8.am to 7 pm. (Entry free upto 15 years age and free for all on Fridays). These monuments are open to visitors everyday throughout the year)

Other places of interest

Kailash Temple Mankameshwar Temple Balkeshwar Temple Prithvinath Temple Rajeshwar Temple Guru Ka Tal Gurudwara Baptist Church Catholic Church Digambar Jain Mandir

Places of Interest around Agra

Sur Sarovar (Keetham Lake) 23 km.

A scenic lake, located within the Surdas Reserved Forest. The Sur Sarovar is a tranquil spot, ideal for a relaxed outing. A wide variety of fish and water-birds add to the lake's natural charm and beauty.

Fatehpur Sikri (39 km.)

An epic in red sandstone. A city of yester years, today lost in the mists of time. Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar during 1564 A.D. A sonless Akbar had gone to Sikri to seek blessings of a muslim saint Sheikh Salim Chishti. When his son was finally born, he in gratitude, constructed his capital city and named it Fatehpur Sikri. Later, due to shortage of water and unrest in north-west, Akbar had to abandon this city. The beautiful marble tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti attracts thousands who seek blessings of the revered saint. Other renowned places are :

Diwan-I-Am

The first enclosure of the palace is a vast courtyard in which the emperor gave daily public audience and dispensed justice.

Diwan-I-Khas

The Diwan-I-Am gave access to the second enclosure, a large quadrangle which contained all the major functions of the palace, and the finest buildings of Fatehpur Sikri. At the northern end is the Diwan-I-Khas. Also referred to as the Hall of Private Audiences, it is an astonishing chamber dominated by a massive carved pillar, which supports a fantastic capital above which is a balcony.

Pachisi Court

The paving of this courtyard is laid out to resemble the cruciform board on which the game Pachisi is played. It is believed that Akbar used live pieces for the game.

Private Living Quarter

These are at the southern end of the quadrangle, clustered around a pool, the Anup Talao. The structures here include Akbar's library, the scene of his intellectual activity. A window overlooked the Daftarkhana, or record office. Above this is the Khwabgah, `the palace of dreams' or Akbar's bedroom. This whole space was warmed or cooled by water channels. Nearby, the Turkish Sultan's Palace is an exquisite pavilion, carved with Persian, Turkish and even Chinese motifs.

Mariam's Palace

The women's quarters lie to the east of the `male zone'. A small doorway leads to Mariam's Palace, the residence popularly ascribed to Akbar's Gaon wife. Till even as late as the 19th century, its interior were richly embellished with gold.

Jodhabai's Palace

The largest of all the palaces, it housed Akbar's queens. Here stylistic elements of Gujarat, Mandu and Gwalior are blended with traditional Islamic designs. Its blue tiled roof is the only splash of colour in Fatehpur Sikri.


Hawa Mahal

A small screened wind tower attached to the woman's palace.

Birbal's Palace

This ornately carved palace is ascribed to Birbal, the legendary wit and Akbar's favourite courtier though it is unlikely he lived in the women's quarters.

Panch Mahal

This is an extraordinary 5-storied columnar structure set in the corner and female zones of the palace. A pleasure pavilion, it was used by Akbar for his special consorts. Commands a grand view of the palaces below.

Jama Masjid

The first, largest and highest building in Fatehpur Sikri, is entered by the Badshahi Darwaza in the east. The prayer chamber is splendidly painted.

Salim Chisti's Tomb

The white marble, jewel-like tomb of the saint lies in the courtyard of the mosque. Its interior is ornamented with mother-of-pearl, lapis-lazuli and topaz. It has became a popular wish-fulfilling shrine.

Buland Darwaza

When Akbar returned to Fatehpur Sikri after successful campaign of Gujarat the victory arch was constructed. The southern entry to the mosque was remodelled into a stupendous, 15 storied high gateway.

Mathura-Vrindavan (56 km.)

Just an hour's drive from Agra, on the banks of the Yamuna, is situated this birthplace of Lord Krishna. The entire land is dotted with magnificent temples, each dedicated to various aspects of his life. The twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan, where he was born and where he grew up, still resound to the sound of his laughter, antics and his magical flute. Some of the more famous temples are : Govind Dev Temple, Rangaji Temple, Dwarikadhish Temple, Bankey Bihari Temple and the ISKCON Temple. Gokul, Barsana and Goverdhan are the other townships associated with the legend of Lord Krishna. Gokul is the hideout where Lord Krishna was secretly brought up - away from the eyes of His maternal uncle, Kansa. His consort Radha belonged to Barsana, where the unique Holi festival 'Latthamar Holi' is celebrated with great gusto. At Goverdhan, Krishna raised a mighty mountain on his little finger to protect the locals from the wrath of rain-god Indra.

Firozabad (44 km.)

An industrial city famous for its glassware such as bangles and chandeliers.

Aligarh (83 km.)

Aligarh is famous for its Muslim University, founded by Sir Syad Ahmad Khan in the 19th century, and also for its locks.

Corbett National Park

This oldest wild life sanctuary is just six hours from Delhi, started in 1936. It is named after the fearless hunter Jim Corbett. He lived in these hills and saved the life of many local people from the man-eater, the tiger, at the risk of his own life. The park covers 1,318 square kms. The Ramaganga river flows through its entire length. The park can be explored by open jeep or elephant rides. There is also a watchtower in the park. The animals here include deer, monkeys and birds, wild elephants, tigers, leopards, black bear, wild boar, snakes and crocodiles. December to April is the best viewing time. Open : 16 November to14 June, closed 15 June to 15 November.

Mussoorie

It is a hill station, 278 Km northeast of Delhi. It is in the Himalayan foothills of Uttar Pradesh at an altitude of 2000 meters. Captain Young discovered the place in 1823 and built the first British residence with club, Anglican Church(1837) and Library at Landour in 1826.

Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur

It is 55 Km away from Agra. The people from all over the country come here to see the birds. The city was founded by the Jat ruler Suraj Mal in 1733. Now the city is famous for its popular water birds. This sanctuary is the winter home for hundreds of species of birds. The park is also home for mammals and reptiles including blue bulls, spotted deer, otter and Indian rock pythons. November to February is the best season to visit and early morning or late in the evening is the best time to see the birds. It is open from 6 am to 6.30 pm.

Other Places of Interest around Agra
Bateshwar (65 Km)
Patna Bird Sanctuary ( 54 Km)
Chambal Safari ( 80 Km)