- Agra is a city in the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
- It is located on the banks of the Yamuna river.
- It is home to the iconic Taj Mahal.
Earliest Reference to the city
- The earliest reference to Agra appears in the epic Mahabharata, where it is referred to as “Agravana”.
- The city is a part of Brijbhoomi the land associated with the birth and legendary activities of lord Krishna”.
- Claudius Ptolemy is believed to be the first person to refer to the city of “Agra” in his account “Geographia”.
- Ptolemy might have thought that Agra was named after a Hindu king Agramesh or Agrameshwar,
- The city has been referred to as Arya Griha or the home of the Aryans.
- According to some historians, Agra derived its name from the Hindi word ‘agar’, which means ‘salt pan’.
- An alternative view holds that Agra was founded by Maharaja Agrasen or Ugrasen, the great grandfather of Lord Krishna.
Establishment of the city
- Sultan Sikandar Lodi, the Muslim ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, founded Agra in the year 1504.
- It served as the capital of the Delhi Sultanate in the early 16th century.
- The golden age of the city began with the Mughals when it was known as “Akbarabad”.
- Agra also served as the Mughal capital during some periods of that empire.
- After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the city came under the influence of the Marathas and began to be called Agra.
- Agra has historic linkages with Shauripur of Jainism and Runukta of Hinduism of 1000 BC.
- The government of Uttar Pradesh may be planning to change the name of Agra to Agravan.
- The Department of History at the Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Agra has been asked to examine whether the city was known by any other name in ancient times.