Agra is perhaps the best tourist destination in the country for a history enthusiast. This city on the banks of River Yamuna, which offers superb specimens of
Mughal art and culture, and houses the
Agra Fort and
Taj Mahal, has a distinct place in any World Tourism map.
Built in 1475, Agra finds mention in the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata as Agraban. It was the capital city of the
Lodhi kings, but the
Mughal period certainly marked the halcyon days in the history of Agra. The 16th-17th century, during which time the Taj Mahal was built, witnessed vigorous architectural activity in the city. Besides the UNICEF World Heritage sites, Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, several mausoleums, Muslim and Hindu shrines and other buildings were also built, which to this day attract tourists from world over. Of these, the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula, Jawab Masjid and the shrine of Qazi Nurullah 'Shastri' are most significant. Fatehpur Sikri is 37 km from Agra.
This vibrant center of art and culture is also famous for handicrafts such as inlay work and leather work, footwear, brass ware, carpets, jewelry,
zari and embroidery work and so on. It is also well-known for exquisite sweets and snacks like petha, dalmoth and gajak.
Being a foremost tourist spot in the country, all facilities for tourists are available here. The temperature falls to 4.2oC in winter and peaks to above 40 in summer. About 200 km from Delhi, Agra has its own airport and railway station and is well-connected by road with all major cities and towns in the country.