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Agra City

Old Agra City Agra, the Mughal capital for nearly a century, is one of India's most visited cities. Together with Delhi and Jaipur, it is part of the popular Golden Triangle tourism circuit and known for its marble and stone inlay handicrafts. The city also houses the famed and majestic Taj Mahal, considered one of the worldliest photographed symbols of love. There is a vast and deeply historical part of Agra, India's most heavily touristed city, which is almost entirely ignored by outsiders. This is The Old City, the bustling, incredibly intense, impenetrable seeming region of Agra north of the Red Fort and west of the Yamuna. Here, beginning in the 16th and 17th centuries, were the great mansions of the Mughal elite and the business communities which profited from the Mughal court's ridiculous expenditures

Old city of Agra does in fact have some interesting and even nice areas. There are no Major sites, but there are some neighborhoods that are more worth visiting than others. Agra was an important local market of some sort before Akbar's time. Tajganj area near the Taj Mahal is a part of Old city. North area of the Red fort and the west of Yamuna River are known as the old city. It has narrow lanes. Old City is a huge and confusing anachronism. It's a place where the 21st century is desperately trying to establish itself and is so far failing miserably. While the grand Mughal mansions have (mostly) long since crumbled into oblivion, smaller buildings from latter centuries have sprung up among the ruins, frequently oriented around the plan of the older buildings. And so, while there may not be any extant physical remnants of the Mughal mansions, their imprints, in the form of the layouts of many of the neighborhoods within the city, remain. The Old City is now impossibly congested. Thousands of cars and trucks and auto-rickshaws and motorbikes sharing limited space on streets laid down before the combustion engine was even invented leads to terrible traffic. The city is not easy to explore, and yet, of all the places in Agra, it is perhaps the most rewarding to spend time in. Around every corner there's something interesting, and something very few visitors ever clap eyes on. Yet, unlike the Taj, or Agra Fort, or Sikandra, the Old City is not a museum: It's a place where communities in Agra have lived and worked since before the Mughal period, giving the area an unbroken connection with the past. Here are some buildings of the old city:

Kashmiri Bazaar:

The main north south road in this area appears to cut across an older street pattern further south, but it is likely that this section of the road dates back some time as there is evidence that it was once lined by large houses or gardens.

Belan Ganj:

It is located in almost city center, on the left bank of Yamuna river. There were the great Mughal gardens, some of which survived well into the nineteenth century. The remains of which can still be seen. In order to understand old Agra city, it is the best place to visit.

B P Oil Mills:

It is an old fashioned Industrial plant. It is one of the India's oldest edible oil mill offering cooking oil with different brand names like Aeroplane & Elephant. In this plant, one can hear the clunking of machinery. Its Elephant brand oil has been used in India since more than 100 years.

Agra City Railway Station:

It is one of the oldest stations in the country, built in year 1903. It is located in center of Old Agra city, close to Belanganj area which is a trading center of city. This station is very much suitable for wholesale traders as market area is very easy accessible, after reaching Agra city railway station.

Mankameshwar Temple:

Mankameshwar temple in Agra is one of the ancient temples in the city that is devoted to Lord Shiva, where the Shiva linga was incarnated by Lord Shiva. Temple is located in Rawatpura area of city, which is close to Agra Fort Railway station. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself founded this temple in Dwapara era. It was the time when Lord Krishna was born in Mathura.

Hing Ki Mandi:

Hing is an important spice with medicinal qualities. It is mostly used in those communities who do not eat onion and garlic. It is also market area including big gateways, hospital, Masjid, Kotwali and Mahesh Chand House.

Pipal Mandi:

This area was developed during colonial Era. In this area we found Akbari masjid, Hazoori bhawan and Rawat pada. Here many buildings are in medieval style with stone carving, wooden carving and decorative balconies and gates.


It is an area in which temple remains have been found in the past, indicating that it is an ancient settlement.

Jama Masjid:

It is the most prominent building of old city. Some sources say it was commissioned by Shahjahan and dedicated to his daughter Jahanara, while others claim it was Jahanara herself who built it. The mosque was once directly linked to the Delhi Gate of Agra Fort via a large market area, though that was obliterated by the British when they ran a rail line through in the 19th century. The British also destroyed the mosque's front gate during the Svepoy Uprising, creating an awkward arrangement where the courtyard of the mosque opens almost directly onto the street.

There seems to be very little in the way of conservation work being done in the Old City, which is refreshing in a way (nothing destroys a monument quicker than a shoddy restoration job), but it also shows that nobody really seems to care that much about the area in terms of its historical value.

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