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Agra (äˈgrə, ăgˈrə) [key], former province, N central India. The presidency, or province, of Agra was created in 1833 when the British partitioned the Bengal presidency. In 1836, Agra was renamed the North West Province. In 1877, Agra and Oudh were placed under one administrator, and in 1902 they became the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. The city of Agra (1991 pop. 948,063), Uttar Pradesh state, is on the Yamuna River. An important rail and air junction, commercial center, and a district administrative headquarters, it is noted for shoes, glass products, handicrafts, carpets, and historic architecture. The present city was established (1566) by Akbar and was long a Mughal capital. Under Shah Jahan (1628–58), the magnificent Taj Mahal was built. Other notable historic buildings are Akbar's fort, the Pearl Mosque, and the Great Mosque (within the fort). Excavation and restoration of the Moonlight Gardens began in the 1990s. Agra's importance diminished after the court moved to Delhi in 1658. During the decline of the Mughal empire, the city frequently changed rulers until 1803, when it was annexed by the British. From 1836 to 1858 it was the capital of the North West Province. Agra Univ. is in the city.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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