Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best-known tourist attractions in the world.
The city is located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and is part of the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Indian metropolises, along with Jaipur and New Delhi.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of the Mughal Empire. Many magnificent buildings from the period have survived to this day, from the Taj Mahal to Agra Fort and the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri – all of which are on UNESCO’s heritage list.
Constructed from white marble, the Taj Mahal is the most famous architectural wonder in a country known for its countless historic temples, forts and monuments.
It was built by Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, in 1631 as a tribute to his favourite wife, the Persian princess Mumtaz Mahal. She died while travelling with her husband to quash a rebellion in Burhanpur, shortly after giving birth to their 13th child.
Legend has it that the emperor was so crushed by his wife’s death, his hair and beard turned white within a few months. Today, between two million and four million tourists flock to the Taj every year, enamoured by its architectural splendour and the love story behind its creation.
However, Agra offers much more in the way of visitor attractions than the Taj Mahal. It’s also home to Kaya Kalp – the largest spa in the whole of Asia – at the Hotel Mughal, as well as the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the country.