Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta is one of the four metropolitan cities in India. It was the capital of British India and offers beauty and history entwined in culture and heritage.
Kolkata (Bengali: কলকাতা [ˈkolkat̪a]), is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it is the commercial capital of East India. The Kolkata metropolitan area, including suburbs, has a population exceeding 15 million, making it the third most populous metropolitan area in India and the 13th most populous urban area in the world. The city is also classified as the eighth largest urban agglomeration in the world.
Long known as the cultural capital of India and home to the Bengal Renaissance, Kolkata continues to spawn generations of poets, writers, film directors and Nobel Prize winners.
Location: The city is located on the Hooghly River east bank and acts as the capital of West Bengal state in the
Population: It is home to above 15 million people.
Area: The metropolitan region of Kolkata measures 1380.12 square kilometers. The city region measures
Climate: The weather is characterized by subtropical climate and summer monsoons. The highest temperatures
Monsoons: The months between June and early September are referred t as monsoon months. There is abundant
Main languages: Although there are several languages in use in Kolkata, English, Hindu and Bengali are the principal
Distance from major Indian cities:
For a comprehensive list of distances across the country from Agra, refer to
It funds mention in the epic Mahābhārata where it was called Agrevaṇa, or 'the border of the forest'. Legend ascribes the founding of the city to Rājā Badal Singh (around 1475), whose fort, Badalgarh, stood on or near the site of the present Fort. However, the 11th century Persian poet Mas'ūd Sa'd Salmān writes of a desperate assault on the fortress of Agra, then held by the Shāhī King Jayapala, by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. Sultan Sikandar Lodī was the first to move his capital from Delhi to Agra in the year 1506; he died in 1517 and his son Ibrāhīm Lodī remained in power there for nine more years, finally being defeated at the Battle of Panipat in 1526. It achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal emperors from 1526 to 1658 and remains a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is generally accepted that Sultan Sikandar Lodī, the Ruler of the Delhi Sultanate founded Agra in the year 1504.
In the year 1556, the great Hindu warrior, Hemu Vikramaditya also known as Samrat Hem Chander Vikramaditya won Agra as the Prime Minister cum Chief of Army of Adil Shah of the Afghan Sūrī Dynasty. The commander of Humāyūn / Akbar's forces in Agra, Tardi Beg Khan was so scared of Hemu that he retreated from the city without a fight. This was Hemu's 21st continuous win since 1554, and he later went on to conquer Delhi, having his coronation at Purānā Qil'a in Delhi 0n 7 October 1556 and re-established the Hindu Kingdom and the Vikramaditya Dynasty in North India.
The golden age of the city began with the Mughals. It was known then as Akbarabād and remained the capital of the Mughal Empire under the Emperors Akbar, Jahāngīr and Shāh Jahān. Shāh Jahān later shifted his capital to Shāhjahānabād in the year 1649.
Since Akbarabād was one of the most important cities in India under the Mughals, it witnessed a lot of building activity. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of river Yamuna. The garden is called the Arām Bāgh or the Garden of Relaxation. His grandson Akbar raised the towering ramparts of the Great Red Fort, besides making Agra a center for learning, arts, commerce and religion. Akbar also built a new city on the outskirts of Akbarabād called Fatehpūr Sikrī. This city was built in the form of a Mughal military camp in stone.
His son Jahāngīr had a love of gardens and flora and fauna and laid many gardens inside the Red Fort or Lāl Qil'a. Shāh Jahān, known for his keen interest in architecture, gave Akbarabād its most prized monument, the Tāj Mahal. Built in loving memory of his wife Mumtāz Mahal, the mausoleum was completed in 1653.
Shāh Jahān later shifted the capital to Delhi during his reign, but his son Aurangzeb moved the capital back to Akbarabād, usurping his father and imprisoning him in the Fort there. Akbarabād remained the capital of India during the rule of Aurangzeb until he shifted it to Aurangabad in the Deccan in 1653. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the city came under the influence of Marathas and Jats and was called Agra, before falling into the hands of the British Raj in 1803.
In 1835 when the Presidency of Agra was established by the British, the city became the seat of government, and just two year later it was the witness to the Agra famine of 1837–38. During the Indian rebellion of 1857 British rule across India was threatened, news of the rebellion had reached Agra on 11 May and on 30 May two companies of native infantry, the 44th and 67th regiments, rebelled and marched to Delhi. The next morning native Indian troops in Agra were forced to disarm, on 15 June Gwalior (which lies south of Agra) rebelled. By 3 July the British were forced to withdraw into the fort. Two days later a small British force at Sucheta were defeated and forced to withdraw, this lead to a mob sacking the city. However, the rebels moved onto Delhi which allowed the British to restore order by 8 July. Delhi fell to the British in September, the following month rebels who had fled Delhi along with rebels from Central India marched on Agra - but were defeated. After this British rule was again secured over the city until the independence of India in 1947.
Agra is the birth place of the religion known as Dīn-i Ilāhī, which flourished during the reign of Akbar and also of the Radhaswami Faith, which has around two million followers worldwide.
Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Site
Agra is very well connected via rail and road with other nearby cities and tourist destinations. The best way to get to Agra, is fly to Delhi and take a train, bus or car to Agra.
Service to Agra's Kheria Airport (AGR) is seasonal. The flight time to either is less than an hour from Delhi.
There are three stations in Agra:
A number of buses connect Agra with Delhi. It takes around 4-5 hours to reach Agra by bus or car. There are basically three interstate bus stands:
Tongas, electric buses and electric tempos are readily available, and the best way to get to the Taj where no cars are allowed. Auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws are available every where, remember to agree on fares clearly in advance.
Cars are not allowed near the Taj Complex, but the rest of Agra is easily discovered by car. Rental is available from the following companies, Enterprises Car Rental and Hertz. You can either book a taxi from hotel or directly book one outside the railway station. There is government authorized taxi stand. 950Rs/day for 12 hours.