Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Agra
type = Metro
locator_position = left
latd = 27.18|longd = 78.02
state_name = Uttar Pradesh
district = Agra
altitude = 171
population_as_of = 2001
population_total = 1400000
area_magnitude = 6
area_total = 188.40
Mayor = Anjula Singh Mahour
website = agra.nic.in
area_telephone = 91(562)
postal_code = 282 XXX
vehicle_code_range = UP-80
Agra ( audio-IPA|Agra.ogg| [ɑːɣrə] ) ( _hi. आगरा, _ur. آگرا) is a city on the banks of the Yamuna River in the northern state of
Uttar Pradesh, India. It finds mention in the epic Mahabharata when it was called Agrabana, or Paradise. Ptolemy, the famous 2nd century geographer, marked it on his map of the world as Agra. Tradition and legend ascribe the present city of Raja Badal Singh (around 1475) whose Fort, Badalgarh, Stood on or near the site of the present Fort. However, the 12th century Persian poet Salman writes of a desperate assault on the fortress of Agra, then held by one King Jaipal, by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. [ [http://agra.nic.in/hist.htm District Profile - Government Website] ] It was ruled by Sultan Sikandar Lodiin the year 1506. It achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal emperors from 1526 to 1658 and remains a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Taj Mahal, Agra Fortand Fatehpur Sikri, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Agra is situated on the banks of
Yamuna river. It has an average elevation of 171 metres (561 ft). On the north it is bounded by Mathura, on the south by Dhaulpur, on the east by Firozabad, on the south-east by Fatehabad and on the west by Bharatpur. Agra is the third biggest city in Uttar Pradesh.The Agra district is divided into Six Tehsils and 15 Blocks. Total number of Nayay Panchayats in the district are 114 while Gram Sabhas stands at 636. The total populated villages are 904. The total number of police stations in the district are 41 out of which 16 are in Urban area and 25 are in Rural area. The total number of Railway Stations (including Halts) are 29 and Bus Stands/Bus Stops are 144. Total number of Broad Gauge lines is 196 K.M. and Meter Gauge is 35 K.M. Fact|date=September 2008
source = [http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=16224&refer=&units=metric Weatherbase]
Agra, located on the Indo-Gangetic plain has a continental sub-tropical climate, with long, hot summers from April to September when temperatures can reach as high as 45°C (113°F). During summers dry winds (loo) blow in this region. The monsoon months from July to September see about 67 cm (27 inches) of rainfall annually. Winters last from November to February, with day time temperatures comfortably warm, but temperatures below freezing are not uncommon during the night. Agra is also prone to dense fog during the winter month of December & January.
A major tourist destination, Agra is best visited in the months of October and November, and February and March, when the average temperatures are between 16-25°C (60-75°F) The monsoon season should be avoided by non-Indians due to the risk of disease and flooding, the months of April to June due to the extreme heat. The months of December and January are to be avoided due to the dense fog and often freezing temperatures, especially since much of the city has no heating system.
As of the 2000 Indian
census, [GR|India] Agra had a population of 1,800,000. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Agra has an average literacy rate of 65%, higher than the national average of 63.5%; with 76% males literate. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. Hindi is spoken by virtually everyone. English & Urdu are also spoken.
Agra is a medieval city situated on the banks of the river
Yamuna. It is generally accepted that Sultan Sikandar Lodi, the Ruler of Delhi Sultanatefounded it in the year 1504. After the sultan's death the city passed on to his son Sultan Ibrahim Lodi. He ruled his Sultanate from Agra until he fell fighting to Baburin the First battle of Panipatfought in 1526.
In the year 1556, the great Hindu warrior,
HemuVikramaditya also known as Hem Chander Vikramaditya won Agra as Prime Minister cum Chief of Army of Adil Shahof Afgan Sur Dynasty. The commander of Humayun/ Akbar's forces in Agra was so scared of Hemu that he ran away from Agra without the fight. This was Hemu's 21st continuous win, who later on won Delhialso and had his coronationat Purana Qila in Delhi and re-established his Kingdom and the VikramadityaDynasty in North India.
The golden age of the city began with the
Mughals. It was known then as Akbarabad and remained the capital of the Mughal Empireunder Emperor Akbar, Jahangirand Shah Jahan. Shah Jahanlater shifted his capital to Shahjahanabadin the year 1649.
. This city was built in the form of a Mughal military camp in stone.
Jahangirhad a love of gardens and flora and fauna and laid many gardens inside the Red Fort or Laal Kila. Shah Jahanknown for his keen interest in architecture gave Akbarabad its most prized monument, The Taj Mahal. Built in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the mausoleum was completed in 1653. Shah Jahanlater shifted the capital to Delhiduring his reign, but this son Aurangzebshifted the capital back to Akbarabad and had his father imprisoned in the Fort there. Akbarabad remained capital of India during the rule of Aurangzebuntil he shifted it to Aurangabad in the Deccanin 1653. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the city came under the influence of Marathasand Jatsand was called Agra, before falling into the hands of the British Rajin 1803.
the British were forced to withdraw into the fort. Two days later a small British force at Sucheta were defeated and force to withdraw, this lead to a mob sacking the city. However the rebels moved onto Delhi which allowed the British to restore order by the 8th of July. Delhi fell to the British in September, the following month rebels who had fled Delhi along with rebels from Central India marched on Agra - but were defeated. After this British rule was again secured over the city until the independence of India in 1947. [ [http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?objectid=DS405.1.I34_V05_092.gifAgra City - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 5, p. 83-84.] ]
Agra has birth place of religion like
Din-i-Ilahi, which flourished during the rein of Akbar& Radhaswami Faith which has around two million follower worldwide.
Agra Airportat Kheria is around 6 KM from the city centre, but is not very well connected. Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhiis the best option. Agrais very well connected to Delhiboth by Rail and Road.
Agra is on the main train line between
Delhi(Station Code : NDLS) and Mumbai(Bombay) (Station Code : CSTM) and between Delhiand Chennai(Station Code : MAS) and many trains connect Agra with these cities every day. Some east-bound trains from Delhialso travel via Agra, so direct connections to points in Eastern India (including Kolkata) (Calcutta) are also available. There are close to 20 trains to Delhi every day, and at least three or four to both Mumbai and Chennai. There are three stations in Agra:
Agra Cantt(Station Code : AGC) is the main railway station and lies southwest of the Taj and Agra Fort, both of which are a short ride from the station by car, auto-rickshaw, or cycle rickshaw. There's a prepaid taxi stand right outside that charges a flat Rs.120 to any hotel in the city. The station has a pretty good Comesum food court that also sells cheap, hygienic takeaway snacks (sandwiches, samosas, etc).
Agra Fort Railway Station(Station Code : AF) near Agra Fort, is infrequently serviced by the interstate express trains. The station serves trains to the east ( Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Kolkata) some of these trains also stop at Agra Cantt.
Raja Ki Mandi(Station Code : RKM) is a small station. Some of the train which stop at Agra Canttalso stop here. Its a very laid back station and springs into life at the arrival of Intercity Express and Taj Express.
The luxury train -
Palace on Wheelsalso stops at Agra on its eight day round trip of tourist destinations in Rajasthanand Agra.
Idgah Bus Standis the biggest Bus Stand in Agra and is connected to most of the bigger cities in North India.
Delhi: NH2, a modern divided highway, connects the 200 km distance from Delhi to Agra. The drive is about 4 hours, a large chunk of which includes navigating the clogged roads around Delhi to get to the highway. The primary access to the highway is along Mathura Road in Delhi but, if coming from South Delhi or Delhi Airport, it is easier to take Aurobindo Marg (Mehrauli Road) and then work up to NH2 via Tughlakabad.
Jaipur: National Highway 11, a two lane undivided highway, connects Agra with Jaipurvia the bird sanctuary town of Bharatpur. The distance of around 255 Km can be covered in around 4 hours.
GwaliorA distance of around 120 km, takes around 1.5 hours on the National highway 3, also known as the Agra - MumbaiHighway.
Lucknow/ KanpurNH2, the divided modern highway, continues on to Kanpur (285km, 5 hours) and from there to points East ending in Kolkata. From Kanpur, NH25 heads for the city of Lucknow(90 km, 2 hours).
Auto rickshawand Cycle Rickshaw are the main mode of transport in Agra and are available very readily. The Rickshaw are not metered so its best to negotiate the fares before the ride.
City Buses are there but they frequency is very low.
Polluting vehicles are not allowed near
Taj Mahal, so one needs to take electric Auto's or Tanga (Tonga) from few KM outside Taj Mahal.
Places of Interest
Taj Mahalis one of the most famous buildings in the world, the mausoleum of Shah Jahan's favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the New 7 Wondersof the world, and one of three World Heritage Sitesin Agra, the others being Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.
Completed in 1653 CE., the Taj Mahal is believed to have been built by the Mughal Badshah (king) Shah Jahan as the final resting place for his beloved wife, Mumtaz. Finished in marble, it is perhaps India's most fascinating and beautiful monument. This perfectly symmetrical monument took 22 years (1630-1652) of hard labour and 20,000 workers, masons and jewellers to build and is set amidst landscaped gardens. Built by the Persian architect, Ustad Isa, the Taj Mahal is on the bank of the Yamuna River. It can be observed like a mirage from the Agra Fort from where Emperor Shah Jahan stared at it, for the last eight years his life as a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb. It is a masterpiece of symmetry, seeming to be floating in the air from a distance, and each revealed as an illusion experienced as one enters through the main gate. Verses of the Holy
Koranare inscribed on it and at the top of gate 22 small domes, signifying the number of years the monument took to build. The Taj Mahal was built on a marble platform that stands above a sandstone one. The most elegant dome of the Taj, with a diameter of convert|60|ft|m, rises convert|80|ft|m over the building and directly under the dome is the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan's tomb was erected next to hers by his son Aurangzeb. Fantastic inlay works using semi-precious stones decorate the interiors.
Opening Times: 6 A.M. to 7.30 P.M. (closed Fridays)
Another world heritage site in Agra. Agra's dominant structure, the
Agra Fort(sometimes called the "Red Fort"), was built by Akbar in 1565. Be Noted that a Stone Plate located at the Gate of Fort describes it to be built before 1000 and later renovated by Akbar. The red sandstone fort was renovated and converted into a palace during Shah Jahan's time, and reworked extensively with marbleand pietra durainlay. Notable buildings in the fort include the Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-e-Am and Diwan-e-Khas (halls of public and private audience), Jehangir's Palace, Khaas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal (mirrored palace), and Musamman Burj.
The great Mughal Emperor Akbar commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort in 1565 CE., although additions were made till the time of his grandson Shah Jahan. The forbidding exteriors of this fort hide an inner paradise. The fort is crescent shaped, flattened on the east with a long, nearly straight wall facing the river. It has a total perimeter of 2.4 k.m., and is ringed by double castellated ramparts of red sandstone punctuated at regular intervals by bastions. A 9 mt. wide and 10 mt. deep moat surround the outer wall.
Shivaji visited Agra fort as per the "Purandar Treaty" entered into with Mirza Raja Jaisingh to met Aurangzeb in the Diwan-i-khas. In the audience he was deliberately placed behind men of lower rank. Insulted Shivaji stormed out of the imperial audience and was confined to Jai Sing's quarters on 12th May 1666. Fearing the dungeons and execution, in a famously sweet legend, he escaped on the 17th of August 1666. A heroic equestrian statue of Shivaji has been erected outside the fort.
The fort standing as a typical example of the Mughal architecture.It shows how the North Indian style of fort construction differentiated from that of the South.In South majority of the beautiful forts were built on the sea beds like the one at Bekal in Kerala [for more details refer 'History of Bekal Fort' by Nandakumar Koroth]
The Mughal Emperor
Akbarbuilt Fatehpur Sikri about 35 km from Agra, and moved his capital there. Later abandoned, the site displays a number of buildings of significant historical importance. A World Heritage Site, it is often visited by tourists to Agra. The name of the place came after Mughal Emperor Babur defeated Rana Sanga in a battle at a place called Sikri (about 40 km from Agra). Then Mughal Emperor Akbar wanted to make Fatehpur Sikri his head quarters. So he built this majestic fort. But due to shortage of water he had to ultimately move his headquarters to Agra Fort. Buland Darwazaor the loft gateway was built by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar in 1601 CE. at Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar built the Buland Darwaza to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. The Buland Darwaza is approached by 42 steps. The Buland Darwaza is 53.63 m high and 35 meters wide. Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in the world and an astounding example of the Mughal architecture. The Buland Darwaza or the magnificence gateway is made of red and buff sandstone, decorated by carving and inlaying of white and black marble. An inscription on the central face of the Buland Darwaza throws light on Akbar's religious broad mindedness, here is an inscription one on the monument which is a message from Jesus advising his followers not to consider this world as their permanent home.
Nur Jehanbuilt Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, sometimes called the "Baby Taj", for her father, Ghias-ud-Din Beg, the Chief Minister of Emperor Jahangir. Located on the left bank of the Yamuna river, the mausoleum is set in a large cruciform garden criss-crossed by water courses and walkways. The mausoleum itself is set on a base about 50 meters square and about 1 meter high. The mausoleum is about 23 meters square. On each corner are hexagonal towers, about 13 meters tall. Small in comparison to many other Mughal-era tombs, it is sometimes described as a jewel box. Its garden layout and use of white marble, pietra dura, inlay designs and latticeworkpresage many elements of the Taj Mahal.
The walls are white marble from Rajasthan encrusted with semi-precious stone decorations - cornelian, jasper, lapis lazuli, onyx, and topaz in images of cypress trees and wine bottles, or more elaborate decorations like cut fruit or vases containing bouquets. Light to the interior passes through delicate jali screens of intricately carved white marble.
Many of Nur Jahan's relatives are interred in the mausoleum. The only asymmetrical element of the entire complex is that the cenotaphs of her father and mother have been set side-by-side, a formation replicated in the Taj Mahal
Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra
Sikandra, the last resting place of the Mughal Emperor
Akbar the Great, is on Delhi-Agra Highway, is only 13 kilometres from the Agra Fort. Akbar's tomb reflects the completeness of his personality. The vast, beautifully carved, red-ochre sandstone tomb with deers, rabbits and langoor monkeys is set amidst a lush garden. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it. To construct a tomb in one's lifetime was a Tartarycustom which the Mughals followed religiously. Akbar's son Jahangircompleted the construction of this pyramidal tomb in 1613.
Swami Bagh Samadhi
The Swami Bagh Samadhi is the mausoleum of Huzur Swamiji Maharaj (Shri Shiv Dayal Singh Seth) in the
Swamibaghsection, on Bhagwan Talkies to Dayal bagh road, in the outskirts of the city. He was the founder of the Radhaswami Faith and the Samadhi is sacred to its followers. Construction began in February 1904 and still continues. It is believed that the construction will never end at Swami Bagh. It is often seen as the "next Taj Mahal". The carvings in stone, using a combination or coloured marble, is life-like and not seen anywhere else in India. The picture shown is taken from the backside and shows only two floors. When completed, the samadhi will have a carved dome and a gateway. Mankameshwar Temple
MankaMeswar Temple is one of the four ancient temples dedicated to Lord
Shivathat are located on the four corners of Agra City. It is located in the near the Jama Masjid and is about 2.5 kilometers from Taj Mahaland about less than 1 km from Agra Fort. Being located in the old city, the temple is surrounded by Mughal-era markets, some of which date back to the early days of Mughal rule in India. Guru ka Tal Guru ka Talwas originally a reservoir meant to collect and conserve rainwater built in Agra, near Sikandra, during Jehangir's reign next to the Tomb of Itibar Khan Khwajasara in 1610. In 1970's a gurudwara was erected here. Guru ka Talis a holy place of worship for the Sikh. Four of the 10 Sikh gurus are said to have paid it a visit. Enjoying both historical and religious importance, this gurudwara attracts number of devotees and tourists. Boasting elaborate stone carvings and 8 towers of the 12 original towers, this gurudwara beckons travelers from far and away to bask in its glory.
The Jama Masjid is a large mosque attributed to Shah Jahan's daughter, Princess
Jahanara Begum, built in 1648, notable for its unusual dome and absence of minarets. Chini Ka Rauza
Notable for its Persian influenced dome of blue glazed tiles, the
Chini Ka Rauzais dedicated to the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan, Allama Afzel Khal Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz. Ram Bagh
Mughal gardenin India, the Ram Baghwas built by the Emperor Baburin 1528 on Yamuna's bank. It lies about 2.34 km north of Taj Mahal. The pavilions in this garden are designed in such a manner that the wind from the Yamuna, combined with the greenery, keeps these pavilions cool even during the peak of summer. Aram Bagh is also incorrectly called Ram Bagh by the locals.
Mariams Tomb, is the tomb of Mariam, the wife of great Mughal Emperor Akbar. The tomb is within the compound of Christian Missionary Society. Mehtab Bagh Mehtab Bagh, is on the opposite bank of River Yamuna on which the Taj is present. Keetham Lake
Also known as Sur Sarovar, the
Keetham Lakeis situated at about 23 kilometres from Agra within the Surdas Reserved Forest. The lake has an impressive variety of aquatic life and water birds. The tranquil surroundings present an ideal relaxing place.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is the seat of the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agra.
Tourism contributes to a large extent in the economy of Agra. Agra has some of the finest Hotels & Spa's in
India. Agra is home to Asia’s largest spa called Kaya Kalp — The Royal Spa, at Hotel Mughal in Agra [http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Features/The_Sunday_ET/Economy/ITC_unveils_Asias_largest_spa_in_Agra/rssarticleshow/2848717.cms] .
The city also has a substantial industrial base. A lot of manufacturing plants and industry related wholesale markets are prominent in Agra. Agra's industries are doing a fine job in various fields. Producers and dealers of Agra have a vast market to support them.
Agra has a good number of apparel and garment manufacturers and exporters. Agra has also an important market for the automobile industry. Anil Diesels, Benara Auto, Harvest Group of Industries and Malloys India are some of the major players of the automobile industry in Agra.
Over 7200 Small Scale Industrial Units are spared all over the district. Agra city is famous for the Leather Goods, Handicrafts, Zari Zardozi, Marvel and Stone carving & inlay work. Agra is also welknown for its sweets (Petha & Gajak) and Snacks (Dalmoth)
The leather industry is among the most traditional and original industries of Agra. Some of the leading manufacturers, exporter and sellers of leather in Agra are Polyplast Industries, Royal International, Eskay Sales Corporation, Best Buy, Bandejjia Traders and Expomore. Fact|date=September 2008
With the expansion of the Agra city, more and more construction works are going around the city. To facilitate the flow of work, a lot of organizations dealing in building materials have come up. A few leading names are Silver Gatta Agency, Yashoda Exports, Glass Expressions and Sharda Enterprises. The jeweleries of Agra is a great favorite with the tourists and is in good demand in the international market also. The Yoga Handicrafts and the D.R.Chain and Wire Manufacturing Company are two of the several important names of the related industry.
Adlabs has opened a 6D theatre in Agra. It is the first 6D theatre in Asia.
India in Motiona story about history of India is screened here. The Hindi Shows cost Rs. 150/-, while a English one cost Rs. 450/-.One can enjoy sweets and snacks near to Anjana Talkies. St. Johns square is very famous for its Dosa and Pani Puri among the Students.
Sadar Bazaar is a very popular area among tourist and locals alike. One can go there to have mouth watering food as well shop for local hand loom & leather products.
Agra has always been a centre for education and learning. It was during the advent of Mughal era that Agra grew as a centre of Islamic education. In the coming decades Agra saw great literary figures come from the city. Abul Fazl and others were among the pioneers. The Urdu literature grew by leaps and bounds in the city. Mir Taqi "Mir" and Mirza Asadullah Beg "Ghalib" were the icons produced by the city.
Britishers introduced the western concept of education in Agra. In the year 1823, Agra College, one of the oldest colleges in India was formed out of a Sanskrit school established by the Scindia rulers.
In the British era, Agra became a great center of Hindi literature with people like Babu Gulab Rai at the helm.
*Agra University [http://www.dbrau.ac.in/] was established on 1st July 1927 and catered to colleges spread across the United Provinces, the Rajputana, the Central Provinces and almost to entire North India, at present around 142 Colleges are affiliated to this University. The historic Agra University was later rechristened as Dr. BhimRao Ambedkar University by the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Mayawati.
Dayalbagh Educational Institute[http://www.dei.ac.in/] . Radhasoami Satsang Sabha, started the Radhasoami Educational Institute, as a co-educational Middle School, open to all, on January 1, 1917. It became a Degree College in 1947, affiliated to Agra University. In 1975, it formulated an innovative and comprehensive programme of undergraduate studies which received approbation from the Government of Uttar Pradesh and the University Grants Commission, as a result of which in 1981 the Ministry of Education, Government of India, conferred the status of an institution deemed to be a University on the Dayalbagh Educational Institute, to implement the new scheme.
Agra is also home to some of the oldest and renowned colleges
Sarojini Naidu Medical College[http://www.snmcagra.in/] , Agra, named after the first lady Governess of Uttar Pradesh, poetess and freedom fighter, Bharat Kokila Smt. Sarojini Naidu, is one of the first three Medical Schools of the country. During year 2004-2005, S. N. Medical College & Hospital is celebrating its 150th Foundation year (1854-2004)
St. John's College, Agra[http://stjohnscollegeagra.com] , was established in 1850 by the Church Missionary Society of England through the efforts of the Agra C. M. S. Association which came into being in 1840. Shankar Dayal Sharma, the 9th President of India received his education from St. John's college.
F.E.T Agra College,Agra[http://www.fetagracollege.in] Carrying the legacy of Agra College and Agra University, Faculty of Engineering and technology came into existence in the Year 2000, the college which is nearly 9 years old can boast of strong alumni base which is spread all across the world.
RBSCollege,Agra[http://www.rbscollege.in] RBS College is one of the biggest college of ASIA , It has a prestegious history and was started by AVAGARH Kingdom.This college is having the largest campus area and maximum number of education branches.
Britishers also introduced English medium schools to the city known as convent schools as they were attached to a church. Some of the prominent school are
St. Peter's College, Agra[http://www.stpetersagra.com] , built in 1846, is in fact one of the oldest of its kind in the country.
*St. Patrick's Junior College, Wazirpura
*St. Conrad's Inter College, Transport Nagar
*St. George's College, Hariparvat
*DPS , Shastripuram
*St. Clare's Senior Secondary School [http://www.clarians.net]
Among the Hindi Newspapers which are published in Agra, the prominent are
* DLA [http://www.dlamedia.com]
* Amar Ujala [http://www.amarujala.com/today/default.asp]
* Dainik Jagran [http://in.jagran.yahoo.com/]
* AM (English - from the Publishers of DLA)
* Compact & i-next
Agra Plus in English is published through Times of India.
There are at present 2 FM channels in Agra
* Big FM (92.7 FM) [http://www.big927fm.com/index.asp?selcity=26] - Owned by the Reliance ADAG Group
* Radio Mantra (91.9 FM) - Owned by the Shri Puran Multimedia
* [http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00artlinks/agra_havell/index.html A Handbook to Agra and the Taj, Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri, and the Neighbourhood-by E. B. Havell, 1904.]
* [http://agra.nic.in/ Official Website of Agra maintained by NIC]
* [http://www.anysubject.com/1/agra-utar-pradesh-india-taj-mahal-guide-to-agra.asp Agra City Guide]
* [http://www.pratheep.com/agra.shtml Agra photo album]
* [http://www.tajmahal.travel/ More history About Taj]
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