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Agra is crowned with the glory of the unparalleled Taj Mahal, a sheer poetry in marble with which Mughal architecture reached its zenith. The splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the Mughal empire, of which Agra was the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries. While Agra's significance as a political centre ended with the transfer of the capital to Delhi in1634 by Shah Jahan, its architectural wealth has secured the city's place on the international map. The nearness of Lord Krishna's land, the Braj Bhoomi, certainly doubles Agra's importance and attraction. The city of Taj is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendants of those who worked under the Mughals. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather articles.
The Mughal besides being great rulers were also great builders and they preserved their best architectural wonders for Agra & its neighborhood. The symbol of love, the Taj Mahal, built in white marble is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture at its best. Their architectural genius can also be seen in the forts, palaces and aesthetically laid out gardens - each one a silent witness to a grand style of a golden era.

Their miniatures today find a place of pride in museums around the world. And their cuisine, a lavish spread of sumptuous delicacies is regarded as a gourmet's delight.

With the arrival of the Mughals led by Babur in 1526AD, almost the whole of India came under the rule of the Mughal empire. Rarely has history recorded such a succession of sovereigns, each member of which was imbued with a keen desire to find expression in one or more of the visual arts. The great Mughal emperors, despite having favoured Delhi as their capital in later years, reserved their best architectural marvels for Agra and around.

The city reached its zenith between 1556 and 1658 under the successive reigns of Akbar, Shah Jahan and Jehangir, Akbar's reign being the most memorable in the city's history when it visibly became a leading centre of art, science, commerce and culture. Henceforth, it continued to draw intellectuals and artists to contribute towards popularising its rich cultural potential. Since then there was no looking back.

Babur was the first of great Mughal emperors to come to India and establish the Mughal Empire. During his reign red sandstone architecture got a boost and some important monuments in red sandstone were constructed. However, under the reign of Babur's son Humayun, no significant building activity took place. Humayun's son Akbar however, began displaying his interest in arts at a very early age.

Emperor Akbar, who reigned from 1556 to 1605 was the greatest of the Mughal rulers and one of the most outstanding and secular minded royalties of his time. He was the heir to a long tradition of oriental refinement, a great patron of the arts, literature, philosophy and science. A great builder, he always showed his keenness on being present at the foundation stone laying ceremony, instructing architects. His reign was marked by the construction of many monuments, particularly at Agra and the nearby Sikri and Sikandra.