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Agra The city of the famed Taj Mahal

by Nilutpal Gogoi
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The city of the famed Taj Mahal, Agra was the capital from where three Mughal emperors — Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan — ruled their vast domains in the Indian subcontinent. The trio is known as connoisseur of beauty, art and culture. This is reflected in their lifelong missions to construct splendid architectures blending various styles. In fact, there are quite a number of the finest of structures in the world. While this city flourished during the reign of Akbar, it reached its real splendor during the rule of Shah Jahan, Akbar’s grandson. Located on the Grand Trunk Road as well as on the banks of the Yamuna, Agra was a flourishing commercial hub during the Mughal heydays. After the downfall of the Mughals, Agra was captured first by the Jats, then the Marathas, and finally the British. Still draped in the past, the typical environment can make anyone lose oneself as s/he gets transported into the Mughal era. Today, it is the capital of Uttar Pradesh state. Agra is sure to figure in the itinerary of all tourists coming to India.

Taj_Mahal_2012
Image source Wikipedia

Reaching Agra: The Means for the Ways

Agra is well accessible by road, rail and also air from Delhi. Let’s have it in details:

Road: Agra and Delhi are linked by National Highway 2. The drive takes at the most four hours. If bus is your choice then proceed to the Idgah Bus Stand — the principal bus terminus — near the Agra Cantonment Station. There you would get private buses as well as those run by UPSRTC (Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport). Agra is well connected to a number of main cities of the country including two other popular tourist destination spots like Gwalior and Jaipur.

Here’s a comparative chart on the distances among the main stoppages on this set of tour (shown in km): Agra is situated 209 km from Delhi. Between Agra and Gwalior, the distance is 118 km; between Agra and Orchha via Gwalior it is 238 km but between Gwalior and Orchha it is 120 km; and the distance between Agra and Khajuraho — the final stop in this set of itinerary — via Gwalior and Orchha is 416 km. However, the distance between Orchha and Khajuraho is only 178 km.

Rail: The train network to Agra is well developed. For instance, you can opt for the Shatabdi Express or the Taj Express. They connect Agra to not only Delhi but also to Varanasi as well as the main cities of Rajasthan and South India.

Air: Daily domestic flights are available to Agra airport from all the major cities of India including the exotic spots like Khajuraho and Varanasi.

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