Agra | Culture & Lifestyle
Agra is one of the most popular historic cities of India. Its importance is reflected through the rich history and centuries-old monuments build in the city. The history and mentions of the city date back to ancient times in the epic MAHABHARATA with a reference of the ancient name Agravana for the modern Agra. Ptolemy was a roman geographer who first referred to the city by its modern name of Agra. Before that, the city was known as Arya Griha.
The Mughal dynasty has contributed immensely to the heritage of Agra, but it’s not the only dynasty to do so, the city of modern Agra was founded by the Lodhi dynasty which was led by Sikandar Lodhi. It’s also believed that The Central Asian ruler Babar who also founded the Mughal empire spend some years in the city and introduced Persian style gardens.
Emperor Jahangir who spent most of its time in the North India of the Kashmir region introduced the city with great palaces and magnificent gardens. Akbar the great build the historic Agra Fort and founded the city capital Fatehpur Sikri but unfortunately, the place was abanded and isolated after fifteen years.
Agra starts governing itself independently and becomes a center of discussion when Shahjahan took the throne from his father Jahangir. He was also a lover of architecture and he showed that to the world by building the most icon structure of Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz Mahal whom he beloved and admire the most.
Shahjahan decided to change the capital to the city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi and govern from there. But he was removed from the throne by his own son Aurangzeb, He imprisoned his father in the Agra fort built by his own great grandfather Akbar.
Aurangzeb shifted the capital again to the city of Agra as it’s remains so till his death. After the death of Aurangzeb, many regional kingdoms emerged and they raged war against the Mughal empire.
After the dethroning of the Mughal dynasty, the city saw different rules from Marathas to jat and lastly to the British empire which took over the city in the eighteen centuries.
The city is blessed with tradition and a rich culture. The alleyway’s of the city and celebrations will take you back in history and enrich you with cultural events and festivals. If you want to inherit centuries-old festivals than you need to be present where they are happening for centuries. Agra is home to many different traditions from different religions.
You can celebrate festivals like Urs Sufi Sahib, Diwali, Holi, Kailash fair, Ram Lila, and many countless other festivals. The city of love and has a lot to offer its elegant structures and old traditions will make you feel the warmth of the place.
Looking for interesting and beautiful colors cloth than Agra is your choice, People of Agra love to wear colorful and happening cloths. But the city has also integrated modern clothes so you’ll see a mix of tradition and western influence. You will find people wearing sarees, kurta pajamas, dhoti-kurta, and salwar kameez along with modern jeans and t-shirts. People usually preferred to wear Indian footwear. On different occasions, people like to wear clothes like ghagra-choli and kurta-sherwani on festivals and marriages.
For a large portion of time, the city was under Muslim rule. But the diversity of the city is impressive and very old. You’ll find almost all religious people in the city whether it’s Hindu, Muslim Sikhs, Buddhist. The city population is mainly Hindu followed by Muslims. The city is an inspiration for harmony and living together with peace.
The people of Agra are very warm and calm in nature. They are very co-operative and welcoming to other people. The city is an epicenter of handicrafts in India. It’s is also famously known for hand made carpets and rugs.
In Agra, the most spoken language is Hindi & Urdu and the city has been home to many influential poets who have produced some of the best literature in history. But a lot of different languages like Punjabi and regional language is also spoken in the city.
Each year in the month of February a 10 day-long cultural event starts in shilpgram called Taj Mahotsav. They have different themes each year which represent the cultural heritage of India. Every year craftsmen from the city and all over the country come together to showcase on the platform.
The festival reflects the diversity of India and it’s cultural heritage. A lot of traditional music and dance events happens in both folk and classical style. When you are there you can’t miss the Kalakriti Cultural and Conventional Center which will give you a charming experience of traditional instruments.
The city is a heaven for both non-vegetarian and vegetarian once ruled by Mughals and populated by Hindus. Agra truly offers some of the best cuisines. For non-vegetarian you can enjoy juicy kebabs, curries, and kormas. Mughlai food is consist of not only local ingredients but flavors all across Asia. It consists of spices from Persian and central Asian cultures. The combination of Iranian and South Asian styles are used to cook cuisines.
Dalmoth is a mixture of spices, lentils, and nuts it’s a type of greasy namkeen with crisp. Paratha is another breakfast dish wish is widely popular in the city and India. It’s usually filled with potatoes or cauliflower in the dough and then shallowed fried on the pan.
Bedhai & Jalebi is a very common dish and a specialty of Agra. The sweet and spicy combination is widely regarded as a treat to your mouth. Spicy bedhai and sweet jalebi get along very well and surprise you on your every bite. Chaat is also a very popular snack in the alleyways of Agra. Agra is a beautiful city which has a mix of Mughal and Hindu cultures. You can explore the best attraction of Agra to its fullest.