Location of Taj Mahal
Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal and once the capital of the Mughal empire, has several monuments which display the splendour of Mughal architecture. It was here that Babar, the founder of the dynasty, had the first formal Persian garden laid out on the banks of the river Yamuna. Akbar, his grandson, raised the towering ramparts of the great Red Fort, within whose walls Jahangir built rose-red palaces, courts and gardens, and which Shahajahan embellished with marble mosques, palaces and pavilions of gem-inlaid white marble.
Agra is mentioned in the ancient epic Mahabharata as Agraban, the sister city of the more prominent Mathura. Agra was established in 1475 by Badal Singh and came into its own when Sikander Lodhi of the Lodhi dynasty chose it for his capital because of its proximity to the Yamuna. Babur defeated the Lodhis to capture not only Agra but also to lay the foundation of the Mughal empire.
In the mid-16th and earlier 17th centuries, Agra witnessed a frenzied building activity and it was during this time that the symbol of love, the Taj Mahal, was built. The buildings made during this era were purely in the contemporary Mughal style and of very high quality. Besides the monuments, Agra is worth a visit for the masterpieces of craftsmen recreating the glory of the Mughal period and for the Mughlai cuisine, the aroma of which fills the narrow lanes of Agra.