Agra (Hindi: आगरा; Urdu: آگرہ; i//; Āgrā), the former capital of Hindustan, is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is 363 kilometres (226 mi) west of the state capital, Lucknow, 200 kilometres (124 mi) south of the national capital New Delhi and 125 kilometres (78 mi) north of Gwalior . With a population of 1,686,976 (2010 est.), it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most populous in India. Agra can also refer to the administrative district that has its headquarters in Agra city. It is a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra is included on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit, along with Delhi and Jaipur.
Agra Fort (Hindi: आगरा का किला, Urdu: آگرہ قلعہ) is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city.
The present-day structure was built by the Mughals, though a fort had stood there since at least the 11th century. Agra Fort was originally a brick fort, held by the Hindu Sikarwar Rajputs. It was mentioned for the first time in 1080 AD when a Ghaznavide force captured it. Sikandar Lodi (1488–1517) was the first Sultan of Delhi who shifted to Agra and lived in the fort. He governed the country from here and Agra assumed the importance of the second capital. He died in the fort at 1517 and his son, Ibrahim Lodi, held it for nine years until he was defeated and killed at Panipat in 1526. Several palaces, wells and a mosque were built by him in the fort during his period.
Shahabuddin Muhammad Shah Jahan, Shah Jahan (Hindustani: شاه جهان, शाह जहाँ; January 1592 – 22 January 1666) was the fifth Mughal Emperor of India. He is also known as Shah Jahan I. He ruled from 1628 until 1658.
Born Prince Khurram, he was the son of Emperor Jahangir and his Hindu Rajput wife, Taj Bibi Bilqis Makani (13 May 1573 – 18 April 1619). While young, Khurram was the favourite of his legendary grandfather, the third Mughal emperor Akbar.
He was chosen as successor to the throne after the death of his father in 1627. He is considered one of the greatest Mughals. His rule has been called the Golden Age and one of the most prosperous ages of Indian civilization. Like Akbar, he was eager to expand his vast empire. In 1658, he fell ill and was confined by his son Aurangzeb in Agra Fort until his death in 1666.
Unlike his father and his grandfather, Shah Jahan was a pious Muslim. Upon his accession, he adopted new policies which steadfastly reversed Akbar's generally liberal treatment of non-Muslims. In 1633, his sixth regnal year, Shah Jahan began to impose Sharia provisions against construction or repair of churches and temples and subsequently ordered the demolitions of newly built Hindu temples. He celebrated Islamic festivals with great pomp and grandeur and with an enthusiasm unfamiliar to his predecessors. Long-dormant royal interest in the Holy Cities also revived during his reign.
The period of his reign was the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan erected many splendid monuments, the most famous of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, built in 1632–1654 as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.