Add to favorites

Agra, India

  • (worth a trip)
  • 5-10 km
  • Easy
  • Average
  • 2-3 days
  • 3 3

The city is full of Mughal Architectures and the world famous Taj Mahal

Agra Uttar Pradesh
Amongst the various sweet and savouries available in Agra, Dalmoth (spicy nibbles made of lentils and spices) is a favourite savoury among the locals. Petha is the most famous sweet dish here and is readily available. Joney’s Place is an institution since it first started making delicious lassi (a cold drink churned out of yoghurt) in 1978. The place has what possibly is claimed as the city’s smallest kitchen but the food cooked inside of it is no less than other major restaurants n the city in terms of taste and quality. Other popular cafes and restaurants include Yash Café, and Esphahan in the Taj Ganj Area, and Dasaprakash and Pinch of Spice in Sadar Bazaar.
Most tourists visit Agra as a day’s stopover during their tour but it is not enough at all to discover the rich architectural heritage of this city. You should at least a complete weekend (Friday to Sunday) to explore the city better and to the fullest.

Most famed for its iconic landmark, the Taj Mahal, Agra is a small yet one of the most important cities in the city of Uttar Pradesh in North India. It is approximately 218 km from the capital of India, New Delhi, and is best accessed via Yamuna Expressway which runs between New Delhi and Agra, making the commuting between the two cities really convenient and fast.

 

Contrary to popular belief, the Taj Mahal is not the only attraction in the city but it is just a part of a bigger chunk of attractions which are close to one another. The city of Agra was ruled by the Mughal Empire for a very long period during which most of its historical monuments were erected. No wonder these monuments speak of Mughal architecture and designs!

 

Sultan Sikander Lodi had established his capital here in 1501 before it was taken over by the Mughals in 1526 when Emperor Babur defeated the last Sultan and gained power over the whole area. The city reached its architectural magnificence between the mid-16th and mid-17th centuries. It was during this period that the Agra Fort and other historical monuments were constructed in the city, including the world famous Taj Mahal.

 

It wasn’t until 1638 that Emperor Shah Jahan built the new city of Delhi and his son Emperor Aurangzeb moved his capital here 10 years later.

 

After this brief history lesson, let us now explore the main attractions of the city.

 

    • Taj Mahal – Click here to read detailed information on Taj Mahal.

 

    • Agra Fort – Agra Fort is a stone’s throw from the Taj Mahal and is one of the finest Mughal forts in the country. The construction of this spectacular fort was initiated by Emperor Akbar in 1565. There were addition made to the fort by Akbar’s grandson Shah Jahan, who used his favourite building material – white marble, for his constructions. Agra Fort was primarily constructed as a military structure but was transformed as a palace by Shah Jahan where later his son Aurangzeb put him on house arrest for eight years. The sole entry point to the fort complex is the Amar Singh Gate which is at the south of the fort. It is also here that you buy the entrance ticket for the fort. The main points of interest inside the Fort complex are the Moti Majid (Pearl Mosque, it remains closed always), Diwan-i-Aam (Hall f Public Audience), Nagina Masjid (Gem Mosque), Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), Shish Mahal (Mirror Palace), Khas Mahal (Special Palace), and Jehangir’s Palace, amongst many.

 

    • Akbar’s Mausoleum – As the name suggests, this is the grand mausoleum of the greatest of all Mughal emperors, Emperor Akbar. The tomb is made of sandstone and white marble and is at Sikandra which is approx. 10 km from the Agra Fort. The huge courtyard where the tomb rests is accessed via a striking gateway and has three-story majestic minarets on each corner. You can also see some of the most intriguing Mughal architectural examples in the geometrical designs and patterns used to decorate the surroundings. Entry to the mausoleum is INR10 for Indians and INR110 for foreigners. Timings – dawn to dusk.

 

    • Itimad-ud-Daulah – Also known as the baby Taj Mahal, this is the tomb of Mirza Ghiyyas Beg who was the father of Nur Jahan and the chief minister of Emperor Jehangir. Jehangir later married Nur Jahan and were parents of Shah Jahan and in-laws of Mumtaz Mahal for whom Shah Jahan had built the Taj Mahal. Nur Jahan had built this tomb between 1622 and 1628 to commemorate her father’s remains. She built a tomb similar to her father’s for Jehangir in Lahore. This was the first Mughal edifice which was constructed purely out of white marble and though it’s not as fascinating as the Taj Mahal, the intricate jalis (marble lattice screens) here is worth appreciating. This was also the first piece of architecture to be built near the banks of River Yamuna. Entry to the mausoleum is INR10 for Indians and INR110 for foreigners. Timings – dawn to dusk.

 

  • Mehtab Bagh – Originally constructed by Emperor Babur, this park was the last in the serious of 11 parks which were built on the banks of River Yamuna way before Taj Mahal was conceived. However, over time there was nothing left of the park other than a land which looked like a large mound of sand. Eventually, the threat of Taj being affected by the erosion effects of the sand being flown to the river resulted in the reconstruction of the park and now it is considered as one of the best places to view Taj from. The gardens here are perfectly symmetrical to the ones inside the Taj complex and the view of the world’s most beautiful monument from the fountain directly in front of the entrance gate is a really special one. Entry to the mausoleum is INR5 for Indians and INR100 for foreigners. Fee for video – INR 25. Timings – dawn to dusk.


How to get there

There is a domestic airport in Agra, however, New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport is your safest bet. IGI airport is well-connected to the rest of the country and the world. Delhi also has major bus connectivity to Agra and after the construction of the new Yamuna Expressway, you can make a day trip to the city easily if you are short on time. If you plan to arrive at Agra by train, there are two railway stations - Agra Fort station and Agra Cantonment station. Most trains such as from Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Varanasi and Delhi connect to Agra Cantonment but the ones from Jaipur and Gorakhpur connect to Agra Fort. There is bus connectivity from Gwalior, Jaipur, Jhansi, Khajuraho, Bharatpur, and of course Delhi.

Location: