Agra - The City of Love
The royal carriage of Palace on Wheels will roll into the city with one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal on the 7th day of the tour. The train will move towards Agra, right after we conclude the visit to Bharatpur. The Mughal city situated on the banks of the River Yamuna boasts of three more UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra lies in the rich alluvial plains between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna and has been the most visited city of the Golden-Triangle of tourism in India.
It has forever been an important city in history for trade and culture, but matured itself to be one of the most important cities in India during the Mughal rule. After a tour of the heritage and history of Rajasthan and nature and wildlife, it only makes sense to end the royal journey with a visit to the city with the Taj.
The total area of the city spans for 1881 square km, and it was first established by Raja Badal Singh a Sikarwar Rajput King in 1475.
The distances of major cities from Agra are as follows:
- Lucknow 330 km
- Kanpur 280 km
- Bharatpur 58 km
- Mathura 59 km
- Hathras 51.9 km
- Delhi 239 km
Best time to visit:
October to March
Urdu, Hindi and English
Panchi ka petha, chaat, Dal Moth, Biriyani, Naan, Korma, Parantha, Kachori etc.
Information About Agra:
The earliest note of the city of Agra has been mentioned in the Mahabharata, so it is safe to conclude that the city existed in history long before the Mughals made it their home. But the golden age of the city of Agra that put it on the world map forever was during the Mughal rule that began from 1526. The first person to call Agra by its modern name was Ptolemy but the recorded history of the city suggests that it was on the map since the 11th Century and had exchanged hands of rulers both Hindu and Muslim.
Sultan Sikander Lodi was the first ruler to move his capital from Delhi to Agra, in 1506. He was the Sultan of Delhi. The last ruler on the seat of the capital Agra, was his son Ibrahim Lodi who was defeated by Mughals and was the last king of the Lodi Dynasty. Since, then Agra had brief uninterrupted Mughal rule. But this rule was overthrown for a brief period between 1540 and 1556.
In 1540, Sher Shah Suri defeated the Mughal King Humayun and began his rule over much of northern India including Agra. While his descendants couldn’t do much it came upon his general, Hemu, who crowned himself as the next king as King Hemachandra Vikramaditya, while the city began facing assault from the Mughals. Hemu was later defeated in the second battle of Panipat and the city went back under Mughal rule.
The Mughals have always had a keen knack for building and architecture and had changed the face of the city with their amazing builds like the – Araam Bagh (garden of relaxation), the Agra Fort was refurbished by the Mughals, Akbar built the entire city in the outskirts in Fatehpur Sikri and his son Shah Jahan, gave the world the iconic symbol of eternal love that is the mausoleum for his late wife, i.e. Mumtaz Mahal a.k.a Taj Mahal.
It took 20 years to construct and is made completely of white marble. Many say that Shah Jahan would have wanted a similar structure in black stone to be constructed beside the Taj for his own final resting place. But, there is not enough evidence to support the fact.
Today Agra remains as the most visited tourist town of India in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
While Agra is a small city there are numerous getaways around the city as it remains well-connected to the northern parts of India. A very close tourist destination is Mathura a Hindu pilgrimage spot known famously for being the birthplace of the Hindu deity Lord Krishna. Due to similar religious reasons the areas around Mathura i.e. Vrindavan, Gokul and Govardhan are closely located famous tourist and pilgrimage spots around the area. Other notable areas around Agra include Keetham Lake, Surdas reserved forest, famous for its bird sightings and fishes, Fathepur Sikri, Ferozabad and Aligarh.
Make The Journey Royal with Palace on Wheels:
The Palace on Wheels luxury train rolls into the Agra Cantt Railway Station at 11.00 Hours after an early morning visit to the Bharatpur bird sanctuary. This would be followed by a guided sightseeing tour of the city. Enjoy a lavish lunch after returning on board the train, courtesy of the famous Clarks Shiraz hotel of Agra. Then at the perfect time when the sun is in the appropriate angle, we will take a tour of the Taj Mahal in all its magnificence and glory. This would be followed by a stroll around the local city market. Dinner will be served aboard the luxurious Palace on Wheels and the guests prepare for an early night-in, the luxury ride will roll towards the Safdarjung Railway station in Delhi.