Agra is situated on the banks of holy Yamuna River which merges with the Ganges further down stream. It was first declared the Moghul capital of India in 1501 and for the next two centuries, alternated with Delhi and Lahore as the capital of the Empire.
For centuries, the Taj Mahal, often described as a ‘teardrop on the face of eternity’, has inspired poets, painters and musicians to try and capture its elusive magic in word, colour and song. Since the 17th century, travellers have crossed continents to come and see this ultimate memorial to love, and few have been unmoved by its incomparable beauty. The Taj is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular buildings of the world. Renowned for its architectural magnificence and aesthetic beauty, it counts among man’s proudest creations and is invariably included in the list of the world’s foremost wonders, voted in as one of the new 7 wonders of the world in 2007. As a tomb, it has no match upon earth, for mortal remains have never been housed in greater grandeur.
Of course, Agra isn’t blessed by just the wondrous Taj Mahal, but also has several other World and National Heritage monuments to boast about, all built by those remarkable architects, the Moghuls. The Agra Fort is a truly splendid example of a vast fortress city filled with Palaces, gardens, grand halls and mosques. The tombs of Itimud-u-Dualah and Akbar’s Mausoleum are equally fascinating. Nearby is the deserted Moghul city of Fatehpur Sikri, deserted after just 14 years as capital of the great Emperor Akbar.
With so much to see, and such a rich heritage and history, Agra is worth more than the fleeting half day most visitors give it.