Agra

Agra , a city in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, is on the Jumna, one hundred and thirty-nine miles southeast of Delhi by rail, and eight hundred and forty-one miles northwest of Calcutta. The ancient walls embrace an area of eleven square miles, of which about one-half is now occupied. The houses are mostly built of red sandstone, and, on the whole, Agra is the handsomest city in upper India.

Some of the public buildings, monuments of the house of Timur, are on a scale of striking magnificence. Among these are the fortress built by Akbar, within the walls of which are the palace and audience hall of Shah Jehan, the Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque, and the Jama Masjid or Great Mosque.

Still more celebrated is the white marble Taj Mahal, situated without the city, about a mile to the east of the fort. This extraordinary and beautiful mausoleum was built by the Emperor Shah Jehan for himself and his favorite wife, who died in 1629, and is remarkable alike for the complexity and grace of the general design, and the elaborate perfection of the workmanship. In the center, on a raised platform, is the mausoleum, surmounted by a beautiful dome, with smaller domes at each corner, and four graceful minarets (one hundred and thirty-three feet high). Of British edifices the principal are the Government House, the Government College, three missionary colleges, the English church, and the barracks.

The climate, during the hot and rainy seasons (April to September), is very trying; but the average health of the city is equal to that of any other station in the United Provinces.

The principal articles of trade are cotton, tobacco, salt, grain, and sugar. There are manufactories of shoes, pipe stems, and gold lace, and of inlaid mosaic work, for which Agra is famous.