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Agra City
Agra, Agra is globally renown as the city of the Taj Mahal. But this royal Mughal city has, in addition to the legendary Taj, many monuments that epitomise the high point of Mughal architecture. In the Mughal period, in the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of India. It was here that the founder of the dynasty, Babar, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of the river Yamuna. Here, Akbar, his grandson raised the towering ramparts of the great Red Fort. Within its walls, Jehangir built rose-red palaces, courts and gardens, and Shahajahan embellished it with marble mosques, palaces and pavilions of gem-inlaid white marble.

The crowning glory of the city is obviously the Taj, a monument of love and imagination, that represents India to the world.

Taj Mahal - stands serene and awesome, on a raised marble platform, by the banks of the Yamuna, testifying to the timelessness of art and love. Its pure white marble shimmers silver in the soft moonlight, exudes a shell - pink glow at dawn, and at the close of the day, takes on the tawny, fiery hue of the majestic sun. Shahjahan built the monument in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the 'lady of the Taj', who died giving birth to their 14th child. It has been called the most extravagant monument ever built for the sake of love.

Agra Fort- Among the other monuments that Agra takes pride in , built by three of the greatest Mughal emperors. The construction of this massive structure began in 1565, under Akbar, and continued till the time of his grandson, Shahjahan. The Diwan - i - Am, the Diwan - i - Khas, the Khas Mahal, the Palace of Mirrors, the Pearl mosque, the Nagina Masjid, the Garden of Grapes, and the Fish Pavilion are the other monuments in the fort complex.

Itmad-ud-daulah tomb- stands in the centre of a grand Persian garden, an architectural gem of its times. It is the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg, Emperor Jehangir's wazir, or Chief Minister, and also his father - in- law.This splendid garden tomb is believed to be the precursor of the magnificent Taj Mahal, and was the first Mughal structure to be built entirely of marble, and the first, again, to make use of pietra dura, the inlay marble work that came to be typical of the Taj.

Access by Air:
Agra is on the popular regular tourist route Khajuraho/Varanasi and return. Flights connect Agra to Delhi, Khajuraho and Varanasi

Access by Rail:
Agra lies on the Delhi to Mumbai broad - gauge railway line. Express trains from Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, and Chennai halt at Agra.

Access by Road:
Agra is connected to Delhi, Rajasthan and other cities of Uttar Pradesh by an excellent bus service.

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