Agra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. It is as loved by Indians as it is by foreigners who throng here in large numbers to admire its beauty. Along with Delhi and Jaipur, Agra forms the Golden Triangle of tourism in India. Situated in Uttar Pradesh, Agra is synonymous with the Taj Mahal however there’s lot more to the city than this world-famous monument. Right from the epic Mahabharata to the Mughal Dynasty, Agra has been monumental and has played a significant role in shaping India’s history. The city was first mentioned in Mahabharata as Agrevana which means the border of the forest. It was later established by Sikandar Lodi of the Lodi Dynasty in the sixteenth century who built many structures including forts, step wells, mosques, etc in Agra.
He moved his capital from Delhi to Agra and after his death, his son ruled the city for nine years. Later, Sher Shah Suri ruled Agra and from 1556 to 1658 it was the capital of the Mughal Empire. Under the Mughal reign Agra was called Akbarabad and was ruled by greats like Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan, etc. Their love for architecture, gardens and art and culture added a new dimension to Agra’s personality. From Persian gardens on the banks of the Yamuna to monuments and mausoleums, Agra’s golden age started during their rule. It was after the decline of the Mughal Empire and during the reign of the Marathas that Akbarabad became Agra. By 1803, it came under the British Raj that remained strong for most part until India gained independence in 1947.