Agra was established in 1475 by Badal Singh. Agra finds mention in the Mahabharata as Agraban. Agra in those days was considered to be the sister city of Mathura which was more prominent than Agraban. Agra came into its own when the Lodhi Kings chose this place beside the Yamuna to be their capital city. Sikander Lodhi made Agra his capital but Babar defeated the Lodhis to capture not only Agra but also laid the foundation of the Mughal empire.
The coming of Babar heralded a new era which was to see Agra at its zenith during the reign of Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It was during Akbar's period that Agra became the center of art, culture and commerce and learning. This trend reached its height when Shah Jahan became the ruler.
Agra is known for the famous monument of love - the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal was constructed by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jehan. It is said he built this monument in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is ethereal at any part of the day - blushing in the rosy glow of dawn or sunset , appearing like a pearly mirage in the moonlight or reflected in the pools of the garden . Perhaps the most moving view of the Taj is from an octagonal tower in the Agra Fort further along the river Yamuna.
Agra is not only a famous tourist destination but is a shoppers paradise too. There are plenty of shopping areas and shopping malls where one can buy the specialities of the place. Agra is also famous for the leather items. Agra is the hub of hand made leather items. The shops also have brass decorative pieces and stone carved images. Agra is also famous for the Zari and embroidery work, Stone inlay work and durries.