agra defined in 1939 yearagra - Agra;
agra - City of India, in the United Provinces (q.v.) of Agra and Oudh. It stands on the right bank of the Jumna, 138 m. by rly. S.S.E. of Delhi. It is also connected with the latter by a canal, which leaves the Jumna 10 m. below Delhi and joins the Banganga some 20 m. below Agra. The city gives its name to a district, to a division comprising five districts, and to a province comprising seven divisions. The population of the city in 1941 was 284,149.
The most famous buildings are the fortress erected by the Mogul emperor Akbar in 1566, surrounded by walls 1½ m. in circumference and 70 ft. high, and containing the palace of Shah Jehan; and beyond the city to the E., the Taj Mahal (q.v.), completed by Shah Jehan in 1650 as a tomb for his favourite wife. Among many mosques and palaces the Moti Masjid and Jama Masjid are notable. British buildings include the government house, a medical and a teachers' training college, and barracks.
Agra is a busy commercial centre, manufacturing cotton, lace, shoes, carpets and mosaics, and serving as an emporium for wheat, barley, rice, tobacco, and sugar grown in the district. An affiliating and examining university was set up in 1927.
Under the Moguls, from 1566 to 1658, it was the virtual capital of India; and under the British in the 19th century it was capital of the North-West Provinces until superseded in 1861 by Allahabad. Captured successively by Jats, Mahrattas, and Moslems, it fell finally to Lord Lake in 1803. During the mutiny of 1857 it was besieged for several months.
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