Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, one of the seven Wonders of the World and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Needless to say, it features on the itinerary of not just domestic tourists but also foreign travelers. Agra is situated in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and along with Jaipur and Delhi forms the Golden Triangle of Indian tourism.
Agra is defined by the presence of the Taj Mahal on its soil. Also well known is the monument's ode to true love, as professed by its builder Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The pillars around the final resting place of this couple are built slightly tilted outwards. In case of an earthquake, the structure would collapse away from the tombs. Also visit the Agra Museum in the gardens here. It displays plates that allegedly shatter when used to serve poisoned food!
The majesty of the Mughal reign in Agra keeps tourists bewitched to date. The first time the city stepped out of obscurity was way back in the 11th century. The renowned second century geographer Ptolemy spotted the city on his world map. Here are more unknown facts of the place that was once called 'Agraban'. For instance, did you know the city of 'Agrabah' in the Disney movie 'Aladdin' was inspired from Agra?
Mughal ruler Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar was a very interesting figure in Mughal history. Although he was dyslexic, he surrounded himself with the best of writers, musicians, artists and learned men. The Navratnas who were part of his elaborate darbar included the fabled musician Tansen and nobleman Birbal. He also founded a religion called Din-e-Ilahi, that combined Islamic and Hindu teachings to create an ethical way of living. Don't miss visiting his elaborate tomb if you're in town.
Tourist sites in the city like the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri have been titled as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The fort is spectacular in conception and build. Possibly why it made a special appearance in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mystery called 'The Sign of the Four'!
For a comfortable journey, book a Gozo cab and tour the Golden Triangle
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