Agra was once ruled by the great Indian dynasties and was the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1526 to 1648. The city has a correspondingly large number of Mughal monuments, because the former rulers tried to outdo each other in building gigantic structures. Under these Mughal rulers, Agra became a center of trade and learning in the Middle Ages. Today the city, which is located in the Indian district of Uttar Pradesh directly on the west bank of the Yamuna River, is above all a rapidly expanding industrial city that seeks to combine memories of the past with modernity.
Meanwhile, Agra is known to everyone almost exclusively as the hometown of the 7th Wonder of the World, the famous 350-year-old Taj Mahal. This majestic mausoleum is of indescribable beauty and harmony and was once built by Shan Jahan for his late wife. Together with the Red Fort (Agra Fort), it has also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. It is thanks to this structure that Agra is the most visited city in India.
But Agra is more than just the “Taj” because, apart from its buildings, it has a rich heritage in marble work, the manufacture of precious and semi-precious stones, carpets and handicrafts. There is nothing that cannot be bought in its markets.
The city has various cinemas, clubs and bars as well as many restaurants and hotels, most of which are located in the area around the Taj Mahall and for the most part are tailored to the needs of tourists. However, the tourism scene also has its downsides, because Agra is a place where rickshaw wallahs, unofficial guides and souvenir sellers put the patience of every stranger to the test.
According to ethnicityology, around 90% of the Indian carpets destined for export are hand-knotted in Agra and the surrounding area.
Information that applies to the entire country in which the city is located, e.g. on currency, entry requirements, health issues, etc., can be found under India.
|Name of the city||Agra|
|Name in German||Agra|
|further names||Agraban (obsolete)|
|Location||Agra is located in northern India on the banks of the Yamuna River in the west of the state of Uttar Pradesh.
It is around 200 km from India’s capital New Delhi and 169 m above sea level.
|Function of the city||Industrial center
|Population||around 1.6 million|
|Languages||Hindi and Urdu
English are common.
There is also a very large Islamic community.
|National currency||Indian rupee (1 rupee = 100 Paise)|
|Lakes nearby||Keetham Lake (approx. 25 km from Agra)|
|Tourist center||UP Tourism Office
Agra Cantonment Train Station
Tel: 242 1204
Opening times: 24 hoursUP Tourism Office
Taj Road 64
Tel: 222 6431 Hours of Operation
: Mon-Sat: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office
Fatehpur Sikri Road
Tel: 226 9563 Hours of Operation
: Mon-Fri: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
|Telephone code with country code||0091 – (0) 562 – subscriber number|
|Time compared to CET||+ 4.5 h|
|Line voltage, line frequency||220 volts and 50 Hertz
(An adapter is required.)
Agra: city history
In 1501 the Sultan Sikander Lodi established his capital in the region of today’s Agrar, which fell into the hands of the Mughal Emperor Babur, who defeated the last Lodi Sultan in Panipat (80 km from Delhi) as early as 1526. In the same year Babur declared the city the capital of the empire.
The next centuries Agra saw enormous architectural activity, because every new emperor tried to outbid his predecessor in monumental buildings. The city reached its climax between the middle of the 16th and the middle of the 17th century, when the Mughal rulers Akbar, Jehangir and Shan Jahan ruled and built many other magnificent buildings (in addition to the Agra Fort).
In 1638 Shah Jahan built a new city in Delhi, and his son Aurangzeb moved the capital there ten years later.
But before that, Shabuddin Mohammed Shah Jahan (1592-1666) had the most famous building in India and one of the most famous structures on earth built in Agra: the Taj Mahal.
He had it built between 1631 and 1648 after the death of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631). Mumtaz Mahal, who incidentally died giving birth to her 14th child, is also buried in the Taj Mahal.
In 1761 Agra fell to the Jats, who looted its monuments (including the Taj Mahal). The Marathas took over Agra in 1770, but were driven out by the British 33 years later. In 1857 there was an uprising and the British moved the administration of the province to Allahabad.
Deprived of its administrative function, Agra developed into a center for heavy and chemical industry and (unfortunately also a place of the associated severe environmental pollution) before tourism became the main source of income for the city.