The history of Agra bears testimony to the city’s glorious past. Agra is visited by many who love to explore the rich history and culture of the city. The early reference to the history of Agra can be traced in the famous epic Mahabharata where the city has been called “Agravana”. Prior to this source, Agra was called the “Arya Griha” meaning the abode of the Aryans. The 1st person to refer the city with its present name was the famous Ptolemy.
Agra was founded by Badal Singh in the year 1475. In the year 1506, Sikandar Lodi started the reign of the Delhi Sultanate in Agra. The death of Sikandar Lodi made his son Ibrahim Lodi to ascend the throne. Later in 1526, the once capital of the Lodhis, Agra was captured by Babur, after defeating the Lodhis. Thus a long reign of the great Mughal rule started in the city. Agra became a major city for the Mughal Empire after the first battle of Panipat.
The rich historical facts of Agra are clearly reflected in the large number of historical monuments that abounds the city. The Mughal dynasty contributed immensely to the establishment of these magnificent monuments and buildings like the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and many more. During the reign of the Mughal kings like Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan, the history of Agra reached its glorious peak. It was Akbar who developed the city as a seat of art, culture, learning and commerce. With the death of Aurangzeb, the Mughal rule also came to an end. This was followed by the emergence of many regional kingdoms in the city. Post Mughal period, the city of Agra was ruled by the Marathas, Jats and the British.
Present Agra comes as city with some of the world famous tourist attractions. Being located at a distance of 200 kms from New Delhi, Agra is a fascinating city with a rich traditional background and interesting religious aspects which makes the city even more interesting. Three UNESCO World Heritage sites find place in the city of Agra. These are Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.
About Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is an integrated complex of structures that include a white marble mausoleum containing thetombs of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1592 – 1666) and his third wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631). The Mughal dynasty built many mausoleums in the Indian subcontinent but the Taj Mahal is undoubtedly the finest. The mausoleum is built entirely of white marble, set on a high base or plinth which includes four tall minarets, one on each corner. On either side of the tomb are a mosque and a guest house, while the tomb faces a garden laid out in the “charbagh” style, with a central walkway with fountains and viewing platforms with green spaces and trees on either side. The entrance to the complex is through a grand ornamental gateway, inscribed with Quranic inscriptions and the calligraphed line”O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you.”