Agra is famous for the world famous Taj Mahal. Apart from tourism and Taj Mahal Agra is also very famous for its shoe industry. Around 65% of total shoe manufacturing in India happens in the City of Taj Mahal. These shoes are mostly hand crafted with Agra being center of much trained labour which makes these shoes with hands, though now modern export houses are coming up which use mechanized shoe manufacturing machinery still by large it’s done with hands. The center of shoe trade in Agra is the famous “Hing ki Mandi” market,this market has more than 5500 shops which deal exclusively in shoe trade.
In Mughal times this market was famous for its trade in “Asafoetida” so the name “Hing” got associated. More than three hundred thousand pairs of shoes are traded in this market every day. There are shops for complete shoes, shoe components, sole and other items used in the manufacture of shoes. If you are on the Agra tour you must visit this shoe trading area of Hing ki Mandi. Traders across India come to this market for buying shoes. Not only “Hing Ki Mandi” adjoining areas “Sadar Bhatti” and “Mantola” make this market biggest in Asia.
There was a separate shoe market built by the Agra Development Authority some 20 years back in Sanjay place area of Agra but even this market could not compete with the “Hing ki Mandi” market.
Before Independence the market had a majority of Muslim traders, many of them went to Pakistan after the division. Now the majority of the business houses are owned by Punjabi and Sindhi businessmen who came to India from the part of India where Pakistan was made (Sindh and West Punjab)
On your Golden Triangle tour don’t forget to visit the narrow lanes of this world-famous market and don’t forget to buy a pair of shoes from this famous city.