A city with a heritage as rich as its rulers, a city that is synonymous with royalty is a story in itself. That, folks, is Agra for you. But one needs an eye to read between the cracks of walls and stones and dig for its stories.
Road to history
Agra is well connected and easily accessible from Delhi. You can travel from Delhi to Agra by car, which takes about 4 hours.
The capital of Delhi and then the Mughal Empire, the city of Agra found its existence in 1504, when Sultan Sikander Lodhi established his reign on this town, on the banks of Yamuna. Eventually, in the Battle of Panipat, in 1526, Mughal emperor, Babur took over the state and ruled his kingdom from Agra. During his rule and under his patronage, Agra saw its golden years with grand architecture, and skillful artistry, which would become benchmarks for Indian art in the years to come. His first project was a public landscaped garden on the banks of Yamuna- or what we know as Aram Bagh.
Post Babur, such creative initiative skipped a generation, until Akbar took the onus of reinstating the prestige of the Mughal Empire in Agra, with his artistic vision and patronage. During his rule, Akbar laid the foundation of what is Agra Fort today. He also extended the influence beyond the city and built Fatehpur Sikri, with palatial monuments and grand constructions.
The empire capital was bejeweled with exquisite architecture, featuring fine stone carvings, marble works, and delicate ornamentation. The highlight of Agra’s history was when Shah Jahan gifted the city its most apprized and cherished monument – the Taj Mahal. With this marvel in marble, Agra became the most prized city, not only for the empire but for the entire country.
The five generations of the Mughal Badshahs, marked the golden era of Agra’s history with contribution and benefaction from each of its ruler, adding to the rich heritage of the capital. Over the years, people from all over the world have come to experience the grandeur and magnificence of Agra’s remarkable past. Thus, making it one of the most visited historical city in the world.
Today, the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
Here’s a quick roundup of the most significant constructions of the Mughal Era, the traces of which still linger in the 21st century.
There are no words that can describe this monumental mausoleum of love. 22 years and 20000 workers contributed to this portrayal of pride and unparalleled artistry with Persian, Turkish and Indian influence. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal leaves its visitors spellbound every time.
About 37Km from the city of Agra sits the historic, religious and legendary city of Fatehpur Sikri. It’s foundation dates back to 16th century when Akbar built this city in honor of the revered Saint Salim Chisthi. Legends are that Akbar sought the saint’s blessings in pursuit of heirs and in turn, was gifted with three sons. The city was built as a sign of gratitude of the benevolent emperor.
Another edifice of grandeur, built under Emperor Akbar’s patronage, the Agra Fort stands tall since 1565 as a witness to 500 years of India’s modern history. Made with red sandstone and white marble, this big crimson structure overlooking the Yamuna River, is a sight you cannot miss, especially, in the golden hues of the twilight sky.
As far as history is concerned, Agra still holds its fort of pride, legacy, and heritage. Though its golden era is a matter of past, it has left traces in its air, which you can sense in every corner of this city. For a comfort, convenience, and safety, you can rent a chauffeur-driven car with Savaari Car Rentals and make your journey of 233 Km rather enjoyable.