Agra

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The Red fort, Agra, c. 1820

Agra is a city on the banks of the Yamuna river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is 378 kilometres (235 mi) west of the state capital, Lucknow, 206 kilometres (128 mi) south of the national capital New Delhi, 58 kilometres (31 mi) south of Mathura and 125 kilometres (78 mi) north of Gwalior. Agra is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh, and the 24th most populous in India.

Quotes[edit]

  • "They call it Agra, mother, and those who come from those parts say there is not a finer city on earth. "
    • The Slave Girl of Agra (1909) by Romesh Chunder Dutt,
  • The magnificence of the court of the Great Moguls at Delhi and Agra is one of the most splendid traditions of the East.
    • A General History for Colleges and High Schools (1890) by P. V. N. Myers
  • "The city of Agra is a great place, swarming with fanatics and fierce devil-worshippers of all sorts. Our handful of men were lost among the narrow, winding streets. Our leader moved across the river, therefore, and took up his position in the old fort of Agra. I don't know if any of you gentlemen have ever read or heard anything of that old fort. It is a very queer place — the queerest that ever I was in, and I have been in some rum corners, too. First of all it is enormous in size. I should think that the enclosure must be acres and acres. There is a modern part, which took all our garrison, women, children, stores, and everything else, with plenty of room over. But the modern part is nothing like the size of the old quarter, where nobody goes, and which is given over to the scorpions and the centipedes. It is all full of great deserted halls, and winding passages, and long corridors twisting in and out, so that it is easy enough for folk to get lost in it. For this reason it was seldom that anyone went into it, though now and again a party with torches might go exploring.
  • Praised be the august God of the faith of Islam, that in the auspicious reign of this destroyer of infidelity and turbulence [Aurangzeb], such a wonderful and seemingly impossible work was successfully accomplished. On seeing this instance of the strength of the Emperor’s faith and the grandeur of his devotion to God, the proud Rajas were stifled, and in amazement they stood like facing the wall. The idols, large and small, set with costly jewels, which had been set up in the temple, were brought to Agra, and buried under the steps of the mosque of the Begam Sahib, in order to be continually trodden upon. The name of Mathura was changed to Islamabad.
    • Saqi Mustad Khan, Maasir-i-Alamgiri, translated and annotated by Jadunath Sarkar, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, 1947, reprinted by Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, Delhi, 1986. quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
    • Maãsir-i-Ãlamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 51-60
  • In the city of Agra there was a large temple, in which there were numerous idols, adorned and embellished with precious jewels and valuable pearls. It was the custom of the infidels to resort to this temple from far and near several times in each year to worship the idols, and a certain fee to the Government was fixed upon each man, for which he obtained admittance. As there was a large congress of pilgrims, a very considerable amount was realized from them, and paid into the royal treasury. This practice had been observed to the end of the reign of the Emperor Shah Jahan, and in the commencement of Aurangzeb's government; but when the latter was informed of it, he was exceedingly angry and abolished the custom. The greatest nobles of his court represented to him that a large sum was realized and paid into the public treasury, and that if it was abolished, a great reduction in the income of the state would take place. The Emperor observed, 'What you say is right, but I have considered well on the subject, and have reflected on it deeply; but if you wish to augment the revenue, there is a better plan for attaining the object by exacting the jizya. By this means idolatry will be suppressed, the Muhammadan religion and the true faith will be honoured, our proper duty will be performed, the finances of the state will be increased, and the infidels will be disgraced.' 'This was highly approved by all the nobles; and the Emperor ordered all the golden and silver idols to be broken, and the temple destroyed.
    • Kanzul-Mahfuz (Kanzu-l Mahfuz), in: Elliot and Dowson, Vol. VIII, pp. 38 -39.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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