About Agra : It is generally accepted that Agra was an ancient city from the time of the Mahabharata and yet Sultan Sikandar Lodi, the Muslim ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, founded Agra in 1504. After the Sultan’s death, the city passed to his son, Sultan Ibrahim Lodi. He ruled his sultanate from Agra until he fell fighting the Mughal Badshah (Emperor) Babur at the First Battle of Lanipat in 1526.

The golden age of the city began with the Mughals. It was known as Akbarabad and remained the capital of the Mughal Empire under Badshah (Emperor) Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Akbar made it the designated seat of one of his original twelve subahs (imperial top-level provinces), bordering (Old) Delhi, Awadh (Oudh), Allahabad, Malwa and Ajmer subahs. Shah Jahan later shifted his capital to Shahjahanabad in 1649.

Since Akbarabad was one of the most important cities in India under the Mughals, it saw a lot of building activity. Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of the Yamuna River. The garden is called Aram Bagh or the Garden of Rest. His grandson Akbar the Great raised the massive ramparts of the great Red Fort, in addition to making Agra a center for learning, art, commerce and religion. Akbar also built a new city on the outskirts of Akbarabad called Fatehpur Sikri. The city was built in stone as a Mughal military camp.

His son Jahangir had a love of flora and fauna and laid many gardens inside the Red Fort or Lal Quil. Shah Jahan, known for his keen interest in architecture, gave Akbarabad its most prized monument, the Taj Mahal. Built in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the mausoleum was completed in 1653.

Shah Jahan later moved the capital to Delhi during his reign, but his son Aurangzeb moved the capital back to Akbarabad, deposed his father and imprisoned him in the fort. Akbarabad remained the capital of India during Aurangazeb’s reign until he moved it to Aurangabad in the Deccan in 1653.

After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the city came under the influence of the Marathas and was called Agra before falling to the British Raj in 1803.

When the Presidency of Agra was established by the British in 1835, the city became the seat of government, and only two years later it was witness to the Agra Famine of 1837–38. British rule was threatened throughout India during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, news of the rebellion reached Agra on 11 May and on 30 May two companies of the original infantry, the 44th and 67th Regiments, mutinied and moved to Delhi . The native Indian troops at Agra were forced to mutiny on 15 June at Gwalior (which is located south of Agra) the next morning. By July 3, the British were forced back into the fort. Two days later a small British force was defeated at Sucheta and forced to withdraw, leaving the town in ruins. However, the rebels moved to Delhi which allowed the British to restore order by 8 July. Delhi fell to the British in September, the following month the rebels who had fled Delhi marched on Agra along with rebels from central India but were defeated. This British rule was again secured in the city until India’s independence in 1947.

Agra is the birthplace of the religion called Din-e Ilahi, which flourished during Akbar’s reign and the Radhasoami faith, which has about two million followers worldwide. Agra has historical links with Shauripur of Jainism and Ranuka of Hinduism dating back to 1000 BCE.