The refreshing and colorful strokes of art, culture and architecture all breathe in simultaneously, when we refer to the city of Agra.agra-3

Better known as the land of the Taj Mahal, Agra has fondly been called as the city of the Monument of Love, but it would also interest you to know that, it has also been referred to as “Agraban” with a special mention in “The Mahabharata.”agra-1

Rewinding back in time, the foundations of this city were laid down by Sultan Sikandar Lodi, the Ruler of the Lodhi Dynasty in the year 1504. However, history tells us that, post the Sultan’s death, the city was left in a state of despair; until his son Sultan Ibrahim Lodi took over the reigns.

Sikandar_Lodi

But alas, times of glory overturned, when he fell, fighting to Babur in the First battle of Panipat, thus ending the Lodhi Dynasty and bringing into being the golden age of the Mughals.babur

And, here we are, in present day Agra, which would be so incomplete without the inevitable Taj, the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Itmad-Ud-Daulah (India’s first tomb to be made completely out of marble) and of course shopping with a difference!agra-6

Shopping in Agra, provides you with a lot of variety to choose from: right from quilt, shoes, bags, marble and stone cutting handicrafts to saris. Speaking of saris, the city offers you varieties of beautiful saris made of Bamboo Silk and Banana Silk in various colors whose patterns are approved by a doctor.Banana Fibre

And guess what’s their specialty? They are stiff without starch and do not get crumbled even if an elephant walks over it! Sounds amazing yet astonishing, isn’t it?agra-4

  Shopkeepers inform us that these saris are sold at the state run Marble House at Baluganj, Agra, where they are personally crafted by the inmates of the state prison which serves them as a running income, besides carving stuff out of marbles and stones.stone_cutting agra

However, there are many controversies and complaints surrounding these areas, which speak about how to purchase at your own risk from the U.P. Government Emporia and get swindled later on. So what’s your exact take on this ? Are these allegations true? Tell us what you think.