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Agra From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the municipality

in Uttar Pradesh, India. For its namesake district, see Agra district. For other uses, see Agra (disambiguation). Agra Metropolitan City

The Taj Mahal in Agra Nickname(s): Akbarabad

Agra

Coordinates:

2711N 7801E27.18N 2711N 7801E27.18N 78.02E India Uttar Pradesh Agra

78.02ECoordinates: Country State District Area Metropolitan City Elevation Population (2011) Metropolitan City Rank Density Metro Languages Official Time zone PIN Telephone code Website

1,880.40 km2 (726.03 sq mi) 171 m (561 ft)

1,746,467 [1] 23 8,954/km2 (23,190/sq mi) 17,27,275

Hindi IST (UTC+5:30) 282 X 91(562) agra.nic.in

Agra ( i/r/; Hindi: gr, Urdu: ) , the former capital of Hindustan, is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is 363 kilometres (226 mi) west of

the state capital, Lucknow, and 200 kilometres (124 mi) south of the national capital New Delhi. With a population of 1,686,976 (2010 est.), it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most populous in India.[2] Agra can also refer to the administrative district that has its headquarters in Agra city. The city is mentioned in the epic Mahbhrata, where it was called Agrevaa ("the border of the forest").[3] Legend ascribes the founding of the city to Raja Badal Singh, a Sikarwar Rajput king (c. 1475), whose fort, Badalgarh, stood on or near the site of the present fort. However, the 11th century Persian poet Mas'd Sa'd Salmn writes of a desperate assault on the fortress of Agra, then held by the Shh King Jayapala, by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni.[4] Sultan Sikandar Lod was the first to move his capital from Delhi to Agra in 1506. He died in 1517 and his son, Ibrhm Lod, remained in power there for nine more years, finally being defeated at the Battle of Panipat in 1526.[5] Between 1540 and 1556, Afghans, beginning with Sher Shah Suri, and Hindu King Hem Chandra Vikramaditya (also called Hemu), ruled the area. It achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. It is a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpr Sikr, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Contents [hide]

1 Climate 2 Demographics 3 History 4 Transport


o o o o o

4.1 Air 4.2 Rail 4.3 Road 4.4 Taxi 4.5 Local transport

5 Places of interest
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5.1 Tj Mahal 5.2 Agra Fort 5.3 Fatehpr Sikr

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

5.4 I'timd-Ud-Daulah 5.5 Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra 5.6 Swm Bgh Samdhi 5.7 Mankameshwar Temple 5.8 Indrabhan Girls' Inter College 5.9 Guru ka Tal 5.10 Jam Masjid 5.11 Chn k Rauza 5.12 Rm Bgh 5.13 Mariam's Tomb 5.14 Mehtb Bgh 5.15 Keetham Lake 5.16 Mughal Heritage Walk 5.17 The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

6 Economy 7 Education
o o

7.1 Schools 7.2 Universities in Agra

8 Petha 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Climate[edit] Main article: Climate of Agra Agra features a semiarid climate that borders on a humid subtropical climate. The city features mild winters, hot and dry summers and a monsoon season. However the monsoons, though substantial in

Agra, are not quite as heavy as the monsoon in other parts of India. This is a primary factor in Agra featuring a semiarid climate as opposed to a humid subtropical climate. [hide]Climate data for Agra, India Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year 32.47 (90.44)

Averag 37.9 41.7 40.7 22.3 25.5 31.9 35.3 33.2 34.0 34.0 29.2 23.9 e high (100.2 (107.1 (105.3 (72.1) (77.9) (89.4) (95.5) (91.8) (93.2) (93.2) (84.6) (75) C (F) ) ) ) Averag 7.7 10.3 15.4 21.5 26.5 28.9 e low (45.9) (50.5) (59.7) (70.7) (79.7) (84) C (F)

26.8 25.7 24.3 19.1 12.5 8.2 18.91 (80.2) (78.3) (75.7) (66.4) (54.5) (46.8) (66.03)

Rainfall 13.3 17.7 9.1 6.7 11.9 55.7 203.3 241.1 128.5 25.2 4.3 6.0 722.8 mm (0.524 (0.697 (0.358 (0.264 (0.469 (2.193 (8.004 (9.492 (5.059 (0.992 (0.169 (0.236 (28.457 (inches ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Avg. rainy days

1.9

1.7

1.7

1.3

2.3

4.7

13.8

14.9

7.7

1.5

0.8

1.0

53.3

Source: World Meteorological Organization.[6] Demographics[edit] According to the 2011 India census,[7] Agra has a population of 17,75,134, while the population of Agra cantonment is 50,968 and that of Agra district is 3,620,436. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Agra has an average literacy rate of 81%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 86% males literate. Literacy rate of males is considerably higher than that of women. Agra district literacy rate is 62.56%. See also: List of cities in Uttar Pradesh Hinduism, Islam, and Jainism are three major religions in Agra district with 81.6%, 15.5%, and 1.4% of the population following them. And others are 1.5% 52.5% of Agra's population is in the 1559 years age category. Around 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. Religions in Agra Religion Percent

Hindus Muslims Jains Others Distribution of religions Includes Sikhs (0.2%), Buddhists (<0.2%). History[edit]

81.6% 15.5% 1.4% 1.5%

Though Agra's history is largely recognised with Mughal Empire, the place was established much before it and has linkages since Mahabharat period and Mahirshi Angira in 1000 BC. It is generally accepted that Sultan Sikandar Lod, the Ruler of the Delhi Sultanate founded Agra in the year 1504. After the Sultan's death the city passed on to his son Sultan Ibrhm Lod. He ruled his Sultanate from Agra until he fell fighting to Bbar in the First battle of Panipat fought in 1526. In the year 1556, the great Hindu warrior Hemu Vikramaditya, also known as Samrat Hem Chander Vikramaditya, won the state of Agra as the prime minister cum Chief of Army of Adil Shah of the Afghan Sr Dynasty. The commander of Humyn / Akbar's forces in Agra, Tardi Beg Khan, was so scared of Hemu that he retreated from the city without a fight. This was Hemu's 21st continuous win since 1554, and he later went on to conquer Delhi, having his coronation at Purn Qil'a in Delhi on 7 October 1556 and re-established the Hindu Kingdom and the Vikramaditya Dynasty in North India. The golden age of the city began with the Mughals. It was known then as Akbarabd and remained the capital of the Mughal Empire under the Emperors Akbar, Jahngr and Shh Jahn. Shh Jahn later shifted his capital to Shhjahnabd in the year 1649. Since Akbarabd was one of the most important cities in India under the Mughals, it witnessed a lot of building activity. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of river Yamuna. The garden is called the Arm Bgh or the Garden of Relaxation. His grandson Akbar raised the towering ramparts of the Great Red Fort, besides making Agra a center for learning, arts, commerce and religion. Akbar also built a new city on the outskirts of Akbarabd called Fatehpr Sikr. This city was built in the form of a Mughal military camp in stone. His son Jahngr had a love of gardens and flora and fauna and laid many gardens inside the Red Fort or Ll Qil'a. Shh Jahn, known for his keen interest in architecture, gave Akbarabd its most prized monument, the Tj Mahal. Built in loving memory of his wife Mumtz Mahal, the mausoleum was completed in 1653. Shh Jahn later shifted the capital to Delhi during his reign, but his son Aurangzeb moved the capital back to Akbarabd, usurping his father and imprisoning him in the Fort there. Akbarabd remained the capital of India during the rule of Aurangzeb until he shifted it to Aurangabad in the Deccan in 1653.

After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the city came under the influence of Marathas and was called Agra, before falling into the hands of the British Raj in 1803.

Agra, Main Street, c.1858 In 1835 when the Presidency of Agra was established by the British, the city became the seat of government, and just two years later it was witness to the Agra famine of 183738. During the Indian rebellion of 1857 British rule across India was threatened, news of the rebellion had reached Agra on 11 May and on 30 May two companies of native infantry, the 44th and 67th regiments, rebelled and marched to Delhi. The next morning native Indian troops in Agra were forced to disarm, on 15 June Gwalior (which lies south of Agra) rebelled. By 3 July the British were forced to withdraw into the fort. Two days later a small British force at Sucheta were defeated and forced to withdraw, this led to a mob sacking the city. However, the rebels moved onto Delhi which allowed the British to restore order by 8 July. Delhi fell to the British in September, the following month rebels who had fled Delhi along with rebels from Central India marched on Agra but were defeated. After this British rule was again secured over the city until the independence of India in 1947.[8] Agra is the birthplace of the religion known as Dn-i Ilh, which flourished during the reign of Akbar and also of the Radhaswami Faith, which has around two million followers worldwide. Agra has historic linkages with Shauripur of Jainism and Runukta of Hinduism, of 1000 BC. Tj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Transport[edit] Air[edit] Agra Airport is about 12.5 km (8 mi) from the city center (Indian Air Force Airport no scheduled commercial flights). Commercial flights have been started for Khajuraho and Varanasi in December,2012. Rail[edit] Main article: Railways in Agra

Agra is on the central train line between Delhi (Station Code: NDLS) and Mumbai (Bombay) (Station Code: CSTM) and between Delhi and Chennai (Station Code: MAS) and many trains like Bhopal Shatabdi, Bhopal Express, Malwa Express, Gondwana Express, Jabalpur - Jammutawi Express, Shreedham Express, Garib Rath, Tamil Nadu Express, Chennai Rajdhni etc. connect Agra with all major Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Bhopal, Indore, Kochi, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Ujjain, Jaipur, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram etc. every day. Some east-bound trains from Delhi also travel via Agra, so direct connections to points in Eastern India (including Kolkata) (Calcutta) are also available. There are close to 20 trains to New Delhi and Gwalior Junction every day, and at least three or four to Bhopal, Indore, Nagpur, Mumbai and Chennai. There are three main railway stations in Agra:

Agra Cantt. Railway Station

Agra Cantt (Station Code: AGC) is the main railway station and lies southwest of the Taj and Agra Fort, both of which are a short ride from the station by car, auto-rickshaw, or cycle rickshaw. Agra Fort Railway Station (Station Code: AF) near Agra Fort, is infrequently serviced by the interstate express trains, it is one of the oldest railway stations in the country. The station serves trains to east (Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Kolkata, Guwahati) and central India Ratlam, Nagda, Kota (Haldighati Express). Some of these trains also stop at Agra Cantt. Raja Ki Mandi (Station Code: RKM) is a small station. Some of the trains which stop at Agra Cantt also stop here. Other stations are Idgah, Billochpura, Agra City, Yamuna Bridge.

The luxury trains the Palace on Wheels, and the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels also stop at Agra on their eight-day round trip of tourist destinations in Rajasthan and Agra. The Buddhist Special Train also visits Agra. Road[edit] Idgah Bus Stand, Taj Depot, Ford depot and Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) are the major Bus Stands in Agra, connecting it to most of the bigger cities in North India. It is major junction of highways with 3 National Highways and 1 Expressway originating from Agra. Another national highway passes through city making total highway outlet to 6.

From Delhi: NH2, a modern divided highway, connects the 200 km (124 mi) distance from Delhi to Agra. The drive is about 4 hours. The primary access to the highway is along Mathura Road in Delhi but, if coming from South Delhi or Delhi Airport, it is easier to take Aurobindo Marg (Mehrauli Road) and then work up to NH2 via Tughlakabad. From Delhi / Noida: Yamuna Expressway, a modern access controlled highway connects the 200 km (124 mi) distance from Delhi to Agra. The drive is about 2 hours. This highway has junction to Aligarh and Mathura via State Highways. From Aligarh: National Highway 91, a highway connects the 100 km (62 mi) distance from Aligarh to Agra. The drive is about 3 hours. From Jaipur: National Highway 11, a four lane divided highway, connects Agra with Jaipur via the bird sanctuary town of Bharatpur. The distance of around 255 km (158 mi) can be covered in around 34 hours. From Gwalior a distance of around 120 km (75 mi), takes around 1.5 hours on National highway 3, also known as the Agra Mumbai Highway. From Lucknow / Kanpur NH2, the divided modern highway, continues on to Kanpur (285 km, 5 hours) and from there to points East ending in Kolkata. From Kanpur, NH25 heads for the city of Lucknow (90 km, 2 hours).

The Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road which runs through the city connects it from one end to the other. In March 2010, the Uttar Pradesh government, through an open bidding process, chose Jaypee Associates to develop an Inner Ring Road to connect NH2/Yamuna Expressway in the north to NH3 in the south in a 30-month timeframe.[9][10] In September 2010, Gifford was chosen to design the road. Taxi[edit] Tourists can hire a taxi for local sight seeing from a local taxi stand. A prepaid taxi counter is available at Agra Cantt railway station. Local transport[edit] Bus services are run by Agra Municipal Corporation. Other para-transit modes include rickshaws and autorickshaws. While passengers need to negotiate rates for the rickshaws and they are usually expensive, there is a system of (what is called) 'Tempo' which are autorickshaws that run on specific routes called out by the drivers. Tempos take around 6 people simultaneously and work out to be the most economical and practical. Polluting vehicles are not allowed near the Tj Mahal, so one needs to take electric autos or Tanga (Tonga) from a few kilometres outside the Tj Mahal. Now, Tempos have been largely replaced by three wheeled auto-rikshaws which run on compressed natural gas. UP State Road Transport Corporation does run some air-conditioned and non-airconditioned low-floor buses within Agra which run on specific routes including M G Road.

A lot is being done to improve the traffic system of Agra but the efforts seem in vain due to poor civic sense of the residents here. Blaring Horns and hurry of people at road may give you headache. Places of interest[edit]

Taj Mahal from Agra fort. Tj Mahal[edit] Main article: Taj Mahal The Taj Mahal is one of the most famous buildings in the world, the mausoleum of Shah Jahan's favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world, and one of three World Heritage Sites in Agra.

Tombs of Shah Jahan and his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Completed in 1653, the Tj Mahal was built by the Mughal king Shah Jahan as the final resting place for his beloved wife, Mumtz Mahal. Finished in marble, it is perhaps India's most fascinating and beautiful monument. This perfectly symmetrical monument took 22 years (16301652) of labour and 20,000 workers, masons and jewellers to build and is set amidst landscaped gardens. Built by the Persian architect, Ustd 's, the Tj Mahal is on the south bank of the Yamuna River. It can be observed from Agra Fort from where Emperor Shh Jahn gazed at it for the last eight years of his life, a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb. It is an acknowledged masterpiece of symmetry. Verses of the Koran are inscribed on it

and at the top of the gate are twenty-two small domes, signifying the number of years the monument took to build. The Tj Mahal was built on a marble platform that stands above a sandstone one. The most elegant dome of the Tj Mahal has a diameter of 60 feet (18 m), and rises to a height of 80 feet (24 m); directly under this dome is the tomb of Mumtz Mahal. Shah Jahn's tomb was erected next to hers by his son Aurangzeb. The interiors are decorated with fine inlay work, incorporating semi-precious stones.

A panoramic view of Taj Mahal, Agra Agra Fort[edit] Main article: Agra Fort

Amar Singh Gate, one of two entrances into Agra's Red Fort

Agra Fort (sometimes called the Red Fort), was commissioned by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565, and is another of Agra's World Heritage Sites. A stone tablet at the gate of the Fort states that it had been built before 1000 but was later renovated by Akbar. The red sandstone fort was converted into a palace during Shh Jahn's time, and reworked extensively with marble and pietra dura inlay. Notable buildings in the fort include the Pearl Mosque or Mot Masjid, the Dwn-e-'m and Dwn-eKhs (halls of public and private audience), Jahngr's Palace, Khs Mahal, Shsh Mahal (mirrored palace), and the Musamman Burj.[citation needed] The forbidding exteriors of this fort conceal an inner paradise. The fort is crescent shaped, flattened on the east with a long, nearly straight wall facing the river. It has a total perimeter of 2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi), and is ringed by double castellated ramparts of red sandstone punctuated at regular intervals by bastions. A moat 9 metres (30 ft) wide and 10 metres (33 ft) deep surrounds the outer wall. Chhatrapati Shvaj visited the Agra Fort, as a result of the conditions of the Treaty of Purandar entered into with Mirz Rj Jaisingh to meet Aurangzeb in the Dwn-i-Khs (Special Audience Chamber). In the audience he was deliberately placed behind men of lower rank. An insulted Shvaj stormed out of the imperial audience and was confined to Jai Sing's quarters on 12 May 1666. Fearing the dungeons and execution he escaped on 17 August 1666. A heroic equestrian statue of Shvaj has been erected outside the fort. The fort is a typical example of Mughal architecture, effectively showing how the North Indian style of fort construction differed from that of the South. In the South, the majority of forts were built on the seabed like the one at Bekal in Kerala.[11] Fatehpr Sikr[edit] Main article: Fatehpur Sikri

Dwn-i-Khs Hall of Private Audience The Mughal Emperor Akbar built Fatehpr Sikr about 35 km (22 mi) from Agra, and moved his capital there. Later abandoned, the site displays a number of buildings of significant historical importance. A World Heritage Site, it is often visited by tourists. The name of the place came about after the Mughal Emperor Bbar defeated R Sng in a battle at a place called Sikr (about 40 km (25 mi) from Agra).

Then the Mughal Emperor Akbar wanted to make Fatehpr Sikr his head quarters, so he built a majestic fort; due to shortage of water, however, he had to ultimately move his headquarters to Agra Fort. Buland Darwza or 'the lofty gateway' was built by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar in 1601 CE. at Fatehpr Sikr. Akbar built the Buland Darwza to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. The Buland Darwza is approached by 52 steps. The Buland Darwza is 53.63 m high and 35 meters wide. it is made of red and buff sandstone, decorated by carving and black and white marble inlays. An inscription on the central face of the Buland Darwza demonstrates Akbar's religious broadmindedness, it is a message from Jesus advising his followers not to consider this world as their permanent home. I'timd-Ud-Daulah[edit] Main article: Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb

The Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb at Agra The Empress Nr Jahn built I'timd-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, sometimes called the "Baby Tj", for her father, Mirz Ghiys Beg, the Chief Minister of the Emperor Jahngr. Located on the left bank of the Yamuna river, the mausoleum is set in a large cruciform garden, criss-crossed by water courses and walkways. The are of the mausoleum itself is about 23 m2 (250 sq ft), and is built on a base that is about 50 m2 (540 sq ft) and about one meter high. On each corner are hexagonal towers, about thirteen meters tall. Small in comparison to many other Mughal-era tombs, it is sometimes described as a jewel box. Its garden layout and use of white marble, pietra dura, inlay designs and latticework presage many elements of the Tj Mahal. The walls are white marble from Rajasthan encrusted with semi-precious stone decorations cornelian, jasper, lapis lazuli, onyx, and topaz in images of cypress trees and wine bottles, or more elaborate decorations like cut fruit or vases containing bouquets. Light penetrates to the interior through delicate jl screens of intricately carved white marble. Many of Nr Jahn's relatives are interred in the mausoleum. The only asymmetrical element of the entire complex are the tombs of her father and mother, which have been set side-by-side, a formation replicated in the Taj Mahal.[clarification needed] Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra[edit]

Main article: Tomb of Akbar the Great

Tomb of Akbar the Great Sikandra, the last resting place of the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great, is on the Delhi-Agra Highway, only 13 kilometres from the Agra Fort. Akbar's tomb reflects the completeness of his personality. The vast, beautifully carved, red-ochre sandstone tomb with deers, rabbits and langurs is set amidst a lush garden. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it. To construct a tomb in one's lifetime was a Turkic custom which the Mughals followed religiously. Akbar's son Jahngr completed construction of this pyramidal tomb in 1613. The 99 names of Allah have been inscribed on the tomb. Swm Bgh Samdhi[edit] The Swm Bgh Samdhi is a monument to hold the ashes of Huzr Swmij Mahrj (Shr Shiv Dayl Singh Seth) in the Swmbgh section, on the high road that goes from Bhagwan Talkies to Dayl Bgh, in the outskirts of the city. He was the founder of the Radhswm Faith and the Samdhi is sacred to its followers. Construction began in February 1904 and still continues. Many believe that construction will never end at Swm Bgh it is often seen as the next Tj Mahal. The carvings in stone, using a combination or coloured marble, are lifelike and not seen anywhere else in India. The picture shown is taken from the rear of the building and shows only two floors. When completed, the Samdhi will have a carved dome and a gateway. Mankameshwar Temple[edit] Main article: Mankameshwar Temple The Mankameshwar Temple is one of four ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the four corners of Agra City. It is located near the Jma Masjid and is about 2.5 kilometres from the Tj Mahal and less than 1 km (1 mi) from Agra Fort. Being located in the old city, the temple is surrounded by markets, many of which date back to the Mughal Era. Indrabhan Girls' Inter College[edit] It is widespreadly considered to be the birthplace of great poet Mirza Ghalib. It is located near the Mankameshwar Temple and is about 3 kilometres from the Tj Mahal and less than 1 km (1 mi) from

Agra Fort. Being located in the old city, the College is surrounded by markets. Approximately four or five years back, the birth room of Mirza Ghalib was hidden behind the wall by the Management of the college to keep the identity of the place secret.[citation needed] Guru ka Tal[edit] Main article: Guru ka Tal Guru ka Tal was originally a reservoir meant to collect and conserve rainwater built in Agra, near Sikandra, during Jahangir's reign next to the Tomb of I'tibr Khn Khwjasara in 1610. In 1970s a gurudwara was erected here. Guru ka Tal is a holy place of worship for the Sikhs. Four of the ten Sikh Gurus are said to have paid it a visit. Enjoying both historical and religious importance, this shrine attracts a large number of devotees and tourists. Boasting elaborate stone carvings and eight of the twelve original towers. It is located by national (Delhi-Agra) highway-2. Jam Masjid[edit] Main article: Jama Masjid (Agra) The Jma Masjid is a large mosque attributed to Shah Jahan's daughter, Princess Jahanara Begum, built in 1648, notable for its unusual dome and absence of minarets. The inscription at its entrance shows that it cost Rs 5 Lakhs at that time for its completion.

Chn k Rauza Chn k Rauza[edit] Main article: Chini Ka Rauza Notable for its Persian influenced dome of blue glazed tiles, the Chn k Rauza is dedicated to the Prime Minister of Shh Jahn, 'Allma Afzal Khl Mull Shukrullh of Shiraz. Rm Bgh[edit] Main article: Ram Bagh The oldest Mughal garden in India, the Rm Bgh was built by the Emperor Bbar in 1528 on the bank of the Yamuna. It lies about 2.34 km (1 mi) north of the Tj Mahal. The pavilions in this garden are

designed so that the wind from the Yamuna, combined with the greenery, keeps them cool even during the peak of summer. The original name of the gardens was rm Bgh, or 'Garden of Relaxation', and this was where the Mughal emperor Bbar used to spend his leisure time and where he eventually died. His body was kept here for some time before sending it to Kabul. Mariam's Tomb[edit] Main article: Mariams Tomb Mariams Tomb, is the tomb of Mariam, the wife of great Mughal Emperor Akbar. The tomb is within the compound of the Christian Missionary Society. Mehtb Bgh[edit] Main article: Mehtab Bagh

Plan of the Taj complex with the Mehtab Bagh gardens to the left The Mehtb Bgh, or 'Moonlight Garden', is on the opposite bank of the River Yamuna from the Tj Mahal. Keetham Lake[edit] Main article: Keetham Lake Also known as Sur Sarovar, Keetham Lake is situated about 7 kilometres from akbar tomb Agra, within the Surdas Reserved Forest. The lake has an impressive variety of aquatic life and water birds. Mughal Heritage Walk[edit] The Mughal Heritage Walk is a part of community development programme being implemented with support of Agra Municipal corporation, USAID and an NGO; Center for Urban and Regional Excellence. It seeks to build sustainable livelihoods for youth and women from low resource communities and improve their living environments through infrastructure services and integration within the city. The Mughal Heritage Walk is a one kilometre loop which connects the agricultural fields with the Rajasthani culture, river bank connected with the ancient village of Kuchhpura, the Heritage Structure of Mehtab Bagh, the Mughal aqueduct system, the Humanyun Mosque and the Gyarah Sidi. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception[edit]

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agra. Economy[edit]

A shopping mall situated on the Fatehabad Road

A marble table top in Pietra Dura, a craft practised since the Mughal era in Agra

The Sadar Bazar market

An Agra craftsman working with marble stone inlays. The marble is coloured red to give contrast while working. Nearly five centuries ago, Agra was the commercial nerve centre of Mughal empire[citation needed]. Due to the presence of the Taj Mahal and other historic monuments, it has a tourism industry as well royal crafts like Pietra Dura, marble inlay and carpets Today 40% of the population depends largely on agriculture, and others on the leather and footwear business and iron foundries. Agra is the second most self-employed in India in 2007, behind Varanasi, followed by Bhopal, Indore and Patna. According to the National Sample Survey Organization, in 1999 2000, 431 of every 1,000 employed males were self-employed in the city, which grew to 603 per 1,000 in 200405.[12] Tourism contributes to the economy of Agra. Agra is home to Asias largest spa called Kaya Kalp The Royal Spa, at the Hotel Mughal in Agra.[13] Agra has many industries. Uttar Pradesh's first plant biotech company Harihar Biotech is located near the Taj. It is one of the largest plant tissue culture laboratories in North India with an annual production capacity of 2 million plants.[citation needed] There are about 7,000 small scale industrial units. Agra city is known for leather goods, carpets, handicrafts, Zari Zardozi, Marvel and stone carving and inlay work. Agra is known for its sweets (Petha and Gajak) and snacks (Dalmoth), garment manufacturers and exporters and an automobile industry. Carpet making was introduced to the city by Moghul Emperor Babur and since then this art has flourished. Some leading exporters of carpets in Agra are Karan Exports, The Rug Factory, Agarwal Brothers, Rugs International, Floor Artists Inc,. Some of the leading manufacturers, exporters and sellers of leather in Agra are Hindustan Rubber and Plastic Industries, Polyplast Industries, Royal International, Eskay Sales Corporation, Best Buy, Bandejjia Traders and Expomore. The city center place at Agra (Kinari Bazar) has jewellery and garments shops. The silver and gold jewellery hub is at Choube Ji Ka Fatak. The Shah Market area is an electronics market while Sanjay Place is the trade center of Agra. Education[edit] It was during the advent of the Mughal era that Agra grew as a centre of Islamic education. British people introduced the western concept of education in Agra. In the year 1823, Agra College, one of the

oldest colleges in India was formed out of a Sanskrit school established by the Scindia rulers. In the British era, Agra became a great center of Hindi literature with people like Babu Gulab Rai at the helm. Schools[edit] St. Peter's College, Agra St.Patrick's Junior College Kendriya Vidyalaya Agra, Army Public School, Agra Shemford Futuristic School Agra, St.Georges College Agra Sacred Mother Junior School - Agra Government Inter College, Agra M.D Jain Inter College St. Conrads' Inter College,Agra Universities in Agra[edit] Agra University was established on 1 July 1927 and catered to colleges spread across the United Provinces, the Rajputana, the Central Provinces and almost to entire North India, at present around 142 Colleges are affiliated to this university. The historic Agra University was later rechristened as Dr. BhimRao Ambedkar University by the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Mayawati.

Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Radhasoami Satsang Sabha, started the Radhasoami Educational Institute, as a co-educational Middle School, open to all, on 1 January 1917. It became a Degree College in 1947, affiliated to Agra University. In 1975, it formulated a programme of undergraduate studies which received approbation from the Government of Uttar Pradesh and the University Grants Commission, as a result of which in 1981 the Ministry of Education, Government of India, conferred the status of an institution deemed to be a University on the Dayalbagh Educational Institute, to implement the new scheme. Central Institute of Hindi, Central Institute of Hindi (also known as Kendriya Hindi Sansthan) is an autonomous institute under Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India engaged in teaching Hindi as a foreign and second language. Apart from running residential Hindi language courses for foreign students, the institute also conducts regular training programmes for teachers of Hindi belonging to non-Hindi states of India. The institute is situated at a 11 acres (4.5 ha) campus on the outskirts of Agra city. Headquartered in Agra the institute has eight regional centres in Delhi, Hyderabad, Mysore, Shillong, Dimapur, Guwahati, Ahmedabad and Bhubneshwar. The institute is the only government run institution in India established solely for research and teaching of Hindi as a foreign and second language.

Petha[edit] Agra is famous for its sweetdish "petha".Petha (Hindi: pronounced *pea+) is a translucent soft

candy from North India and Pakistan (Punjab region and metros). Usually rectangular or cylindrical, it is made from the ash gourd vegetable (also known as winter melon or white pumpkin, or simply petha in Hindi and Urdu). With growing demand and innovation, more varieties of the original preparation are available. Many flavoured variants are available, e.g. Kesar Petha, Angoori Petha etc. There are some other variations based on content, one with coconut mixed, another with some nuts put into it. Sometimes kewda essence is used to flavor petha.

References[edit] 1. ^ http://www.census2011.co.in/city.php 2. ^ World Gazetteer online India: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". Accessed 25 March 2010. 3. ^ Williams, Monier. "Sanskrit-English Dictionary". Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries. Cologne University. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 4. ^ "Agra District profile". Official Website of Agra maintained by National Informatics Centre (NIC) of the Government of India. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 5. ^ "Agra Fort". Archaeological Survey of India. Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 6. ^ World Weather Information Service-Agra, World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 7. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 8. ^ "Agra City" (GIF). Imperial Gazetteer of India (Digital South Asia Library of University of Chicago) 5: 8384. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 9. ^ "Sole bidder bags Agra Inner Ring Road project". Retrieved 25 April 2011. 10. ^ "Inner Ring Road Agra". 11. ^ Koroth, Nandakumar. History of Bekal Fort. 12. ^ "Indias new Entrepreneurs". Mint. 16 May 2007. 13. ^ "ITC unveils Asia's largest spa in Agra". Economic Times (India). 9 March 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-08.