Agra is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, located on the banks of the Yamuna River. It lies 378 kilometers (235 miles) west of Lucknow, 206 kilometers (128 miles) south of New Delhi, and 125 kilometers (78 miles) north of Gwalior. It is one of the most populated cities in Uttar Pradesh, and the 19th most populous city in India, with a population of 1,686,993 (as of 2013).
Agra may also refer to the administrative district headquartered in Agra. It is a popular tourist destination because to its numerous magnificent Mughal-era structures, most notably the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Fatehpr Sikr, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra, along with Delhi and Jaipur, is part of the Golden Triangle tourism circuit and is part of the Braj cultural zone.
The city was originally mentioned in the epic Mahbhrata, where it was named Agrevaa (derived from Sanskrit, which means “forest frontier”). According to legend, the city was founded by Raja Badal Singh, a Sikarwar Rajput monarch (about 1475), whose fort, Badalgarh, was on or near the current fort. However, the 11th century Persian poet Mas’d Sa’d Salmn describes Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni’s desperate attack on the stronghold of Agra, which was then held by Shh King Jayapala. It was first documented in 1080 AD, when a Ghaznavide army seized it.
In 1506 Sultan Sikandar Lod (1488–1517) was the first to relocate his capital from Delhi to Agra. He ruled the kingdom from here, and Agra rose to prominence as the country’s second capital. He died in 1517, and his son, Ibrhm Lod, stayed in power for nine more years, constructing various mansions, wells, and a mosque in the fort during his reign. Finally defeated in 1526 in the Battle of Panipat. Afghans governed the region between 1540 and 1556, starting with Sher Shah Suri. From 1556 until 1658, it was the capital of the Mughal Empire.
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Agra is the Taj Mahal’s home city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, some 200 kilometers from Delhi.
Agra features three UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri, which is 40 kilometers distant. There are also numerous additional structures and tombs from Agra’s golden days as the Mughal Empire’s capital.
Aside from these three attractions, the city has nothing more to offer. Pollution, particularly pollution and trash, is widespread, and visitors are bombarded by swarms of touts and hawkers at every monument, with the exception of the interior Taj Mahal, which is free of frauds and touts once inside. Having said that, the landmarks are among of the world’s marvels, and no vacation to India is complete without at least one visit to the Taj Mahal. A single day in Agra is more than enough for the great majority of tourists.
Climate of Agra
Agra has a semiarid climate that borders on humid subtropical. Winters in the city are pleasant, summers are hot and dry, and there is a monsoon season. However, the monsoons in Agra, although significant, are not as heavy as the monsoons in other regions of India. This is a major reason why Agra has a semiarid climate rather than a humid subtropical one.
Economy of Agra
It boasts a tourist sector as well as royal crafts like as Pietra Dura, marble inlay, and carpets due to the presence of the Taj Mahal and other historic landmarks.
Today, agriculture employs 40% of the population, while the leather and footwear industries and iron foundries employ the other 40%. In 2007, Agra was the second most self-employed city in India, behind only Varanasi, and was followed by Bhopal, Indore, and Patna. According to the National Sample Survey Organization, 431 of every 1,000 employed men in the city were self-employed in 1999–2000, rising to 603 per 1,000 in 2004–05. Agra’s economy benefits from tourism. Kaya Kalp – The Royal Spa, located in the Hotel Mughal in Agra, is Asia’s biggest spa.
Agra boasts a plethora of industry. Harihar Biotech, Uttar Pradesh’s first plant biotech enterprise, is situated near the Taj. There are around 7,000 small industrial enterprises. Agra is also well-known for its leather items; the oldest and most well-known leather business, Taj Leather World, is located in Sadar Bazaar. Carpets, handicrafts, zari and zardozi (embroidery work), marble and stone carving and inlay work are all popular items. Agra is well-known for its sweets (Petha and Gajak) and snacks (Dalmoth), as well as its textile producers and exporters and car sector. Carpet production was brought to the city by Moghul Emperor Babur, and it has prospered since since.
Agra’s main center features jewelry and clothing stores. Choube Ji Ka Fatak is the center for silver and gold jewelry. The Shah Market area is an electronics market, whilst Sanjay Place is Agra’s commerce center.
How To Travel To Agra
Agra is located 200 kilometers southeast of Delhi and is one of the destinations in the Golden Triangle of Agra-Delhi-Jaipur. Agra is also well-connected by train and road to other neighboring towns and tourist locations, making it an ideal day excursion from Delhi or a stop on a longer journey.
Get In - By plane
Seasonal service to Agra’s Kheria Airport. Currently, Air India Regional serves the city through the Delhi-Agra-Jaipur tourism triangle route. Agra is one of India’s most renowned cities and is well linked by air to all other major cities in the country. Both destinations are accessible by airplane in less than an hour. Renting a vehicle may be a more cost-effective option.
Get In - By train
Agra is located on the major railroad line from Delhi to Mumbai (Bombay) and Delhi to Chennai, and several trains link Agra to these cities daily. Certain eastbound trains from Delhi also pass via Agra, providing direct connections to places in Eastern India (including Kolkata). Each day, there are about 20 trains to Delhi and at least three or four to Mumbai and Chennai. Agra and Delhi are well-known for their dense winter fog, which decreases visibility to near-zero levels. If traveling in late December or early January (during the fog season), travelers should be advised that all trains will slow down and travel times will increase due to limited visibility. For example, the Bhopal Shatabdi may arrive in Agra long after 10:00 a.m. and depart for Delhi well after midnight. From a safety standpoint, traveling by rail is always better during the winter. Please keep in mind that driving in foggy situations is very dangerous.
Train tickets may be purchased online on the Indian Railways website using debit or credit cards. You may arrange “UP Tourism”-led trips in air-conditioned luxury buses from Agra station. Additionally, planned trips depart from Delhi. If you visit during the busy season, you must purchase your tickets many days to a few weeks in advance if you desire to make it a day excursion, which means departing early in the morning and returning at a suitable hour at night.
Agra has three railway stations:
Agra Cantt (Station Code : AGC) is the city’s principal railway station. It is located southwest of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, which are both accessible by automobile, auto-rickshaw, or cycle rickshaw. A prepaid taxi stop is located just outside, charging a set fee to any hotel in the city. If you go a little distance from the station, you can get an auto-rickshaw, although they may not speak English. The station has a quite decent Comesum food court, which also serves affordable, sanitary takeout foods like as sandwiches and samosas.
Agra Fort station (Station Code : AF) located near Agra Fort, is only served seldom by interstate fast trains. The station is served by trains to the east (Kanpur, Gorakhpur, and Kolkata), with a few of these trains stopping at Agra Cantt.
This is one of Agra’s oldest railway stations due to the presence of a large, octagonal Tripolia Chowk between the Jama Masjid and the Agra Fort’s Delhi gate. This Tropolia was demolished to make room for the Agra Fort Railway Station, which was also Agra’s first railway station and one of the country’s oldest.
Raja Ki Mandi is a minor station (Station Code: RKM). Several trains that stop at Agra Cantt also make a stop here. The station has a relaxed and sleepy ambience, but comes to life when Intercity trains and Taj Expresses arrive. It is centrally located in the city.
Agra City is located in the centre of the city. This station, a vestige of the metre gauge period, is of little use.
Idgah Railway Station is the first stop on your journey from Jaipur to Agra.
Delhi to Agra – Each day, close to twenty trains link Delhi and Agra, with trip lengths ranging from two to five hours. The Bhopal Shatabdi Express (leaves New Delhi at 06:15 and arrives in Agra Cantt at 08:12; departs Agra Cantt at 20:30 and arrives in New Delhi at 22:30, everyday except Friday) and the Taj Express are the best alternatives (departs Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin at 07:15 arriving Agra Cantt at 10:07; departs Agra Cantt at 18:55 arriving Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin at 22:00, daily).
Agra to Jaipur – The travel from Agra Fort Railway Station to Jaipur (Station Code : JP) takes around 4 hours on train no. 2988, which departs at 18:25 and arrives in Jaipur at approximately 22:20.
Additionally, train number 2965 departs from Agra Cantonment at 17:40 for Jaipur. At 22:15, the train comes. 300 air-conditioned coach.
The Luxury train – On its eight-day round journey through Rajasthan and Agra, Palace on Wheels makes a stop in Agra.
Get In - By bus
Numerous buses connect Jaipur, Delhi, Ajmer, and Lucknow to Agra.
There is a freshly constructed motorway between Delhi and Agra, but since it is toll-free, most buses avoid it. Rather of that, they travel the local roads, which greatly lengthens the journey compared to the fast trains (4-5 hr). It is feasible to reach Agra by bus and minibus through lesser routes; however, you must inquire about where the buses to Agra leave, either from a trustworthy local or from the personnel at your hotel/hostel. Bear in mind that Indian “bus stops” are often enormous pavement areas under flyovers, densely packed and devoid of any indicators as to which bus goes where, or stands for private bus companies offering a more pleasant ride at a greater price. This is an adventurous alternative, since your travel may be delayed due to a bus breakdown or a road closure owing to a local protest or other sort of gathering. Take note that this is by far the cheapest method to go to Agra, since it should cost no more than 60 rupees for a regular “bus” and 200 rupees for a more coach-like vehicle.
Three interstate bus stops are available:
Idgah Bus Stand is the principal bus station for travel to Rajasthan/Madhya Pradesh. It is located in the middle of the city, about 8 kilometers from the Taj.
ISBT at Transport Nagar, 12 km from the Taj, is an inter state bus terminal. Except for buses departing from Idgah Bus Stand and heading towards Rajasthan, the majority of buses pass by here.
If you intend to go on these government-run buses, you must insist on your rickshaw driver transporting you there. If you just inquire for buses to Delhi, he would very certainly direct you to a private bus operator from whom he receives a commission. It will be somewhat more costly for you, and since these buses are not direct, they often stop at odd locations and drop you off at random locations as well.
Get In - By Taxi
You may either arrange for a cab via your hotel or straight outside the train station. There is often a government-authorized taxi stand, but it may be difficult to locate, and the locals present at the station (hunting for foolish visitors) will not assist you in locating it. 950 each day for eight hours. It may be more expensive to book directly with the hotel, since hotels do have their own tariffs. It is preferable to bargain directly with the driver or book via an online vehicle rental agency.
While automobiles are not permitted near the Taj Complex, the remainder of Agra is readily accessible by vehicle.
Get In - By car
From Delhi: The Yamuna Expressway, India’s longest expressway, links Delhi and Agra, covering a distance of 200 kilometers. The trip takes around two hours. The expressway connects Greater Noida and Agra. This highway is toll-free.
NH2 Highway: The principal entry to the highway is along Mathura Road in Delhi, although if traveling from South Delhi or the Delhi Airport, it is more convenient to take Aurobindo Marg (Mehrauli Road) and then make your way up to NH2 through Tughlakabad. While the roadway is split, it is critical to watch for trucks, vehicles, and bullock carts traveling in the opposite direction. It is possible to rent a vehicle with a driver (a large automobile for five passengers costs 3,500 rupees from/to the Delhi airport). However, if you need to go from Agra to the airport in order to catch a flight, allow enough of time for the journey, since traffic conditions may greatly lengthen the drive. Additionally, it is good to get acquainted with your driver. There are instances when he may take more than five hours to complete the journey, and you cannot compel him to travel quicker than an autorickshaw (tuk-tuk).
From Jaipur: National Highway 11, a split four-lane highway, links Agra to Jaipur through Bharatpur, a bird sanctuary town. Around 255 kilometers may be covered in around four hours.
From Gwalior: A route of around 120 kilometers takes approximately 1.5 hours on National Highway 3. (Agra- Mumbai Highway).
From Lucknow / Kanpur: The split modern motorway continues to Kanpur (285 kilometers, 5 hours) and then east to Kolkata. From Kanpur, NH25 leads to Lucknow (90 kilometers, 2 hours).
From Greater Noida : Perhaps the finest route, since it links straight to Agra through the Yamuna Expressway, a 165-kilometer stretch that can be traversed in 1.5–2 hours due to low traffic. The road is really well-maintained.
How To Get Around In Agra
Tongas, electric buses, and electric tempos are commonly available and are the most convenient method to reach the Taj, which is not accessible by automobile. There are auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws around; remember to agree on fares in advance. If you are a foreigner, please certain that you bargain aggressively everywhere! Generally, items are offered for 40% of the listed rates. Tempos have been mostly supplanted by auto-rickshaws, which operate primarily on compressed natural gas (Compressed Natural Gas).
The UP State Road Transport Corporation operates a limited number of non-air-conditioned and air-conditioned buses on limited routes. The greatest way to get a feel for the city is to stroll along Mall Road (Sadar). The area is lined with stores selling handicrafts and leather items. Additionally, there are other cuisine items that are unique to the city. In general, the Indian palate is rather spicy. Keep some antacid pills on hand in case you are unfamiliar with spicy cuisine.
As polluting automobiles are strictly prohibited inside the vicinity of the Taj Mahal, visitors must depend on Tanga (Tonga) or electric autos for traveling within the vicinity of the Taj Mahal. Additionally, camels are accessible. As a suggestion, an auto rickshaw from Agra Cantonement station to the Taj Mahal costs around 80 rupees (during the off season), whereas a cycle rickshaw from the Taj Mahal to Agra Fort costs approximately 40 rupees. Additionally, you may walk between the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in around 30 minutes.
Prices In Agra
Tourist (Backpacker) – 29 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:meals in cheap restaurant, public transport, cheap hotel.
Tourist (regular) – 67 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:mid-range meals and drinks,transportation, hotel.
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
Bottle of Wine
Mac Meal or similar
Pack of Marlboro
CLOTHES / SHOES
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)
Sights & Landmarks In Agra
The exquisite Taj Mahal and Agra Fort are by far Agra’s top two attractions. When arranging your trip, bear in mind the complex entrance fee system: the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Itmud-ad-Daulah, Sikandra, and Fatehpur Sikri all need payment of a 500 charge to the Agra Development Authority in addition to the costs shown below. The levy is applicable for all attractions, but only for one day. However, if you are not visiting the Taj Mahal or arrive on a Friday, you are not required to pay the 500 levy but rather a lower one if you are visiting one of the other attractions, for example, 50 for Red Fort.
The Taj Mahal is 750 rupees (250 entry + 500 levy) and Agra Fort is 300 rupees (250 entrance + 50 levy). When showing a Taj Mahal ticket to Agra Fort, one receives a 50 percent discount. Additionally, the admission ticket to the Taj Mahal includes a 500 ml bottle of water and shoe coverings. Ensure that you pick them up while purchasing your ticket.
Official guides for Agra are offered for 1200 rupees (about USD20) for a half-day (including Taj Mahal & Agra Fort). Details are available through your agency. Any guide charging less than this is very certainly an unregistered tout. The majority of unlicensed touts use forged identification and are more concerned with bringing you shopping than with providing factual information.
Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.
Rules and Regulations at the Taj Mahal
At the Taj Mahal, security is strict and laws and regulations are strictly enforced. There are several restrictions that must be observed on the grounds of the monument in order to preserve the monument’s sanctity, while others are only for the upkeep and protection of the monument. The remainder of the laws and regulations must be obeyed to ensure the safety of all visitors visiting the Taj Mahal.
•Arms, ammunition, fire, smoking items, tobacco products, alcohol, food, chewing gum, headphones, knives, wire, mobile chargers, and electronic goods (excluding video cameras) such as tripods for cameras, MP3 players, and music players are forbidden within the Taj Mahal complex.
•Depending on the guard, playing cards, games, dice, and so forth may be forbidden.
•Mobile phones are permitted but must be turned off. Mobile phones are not permitted when viewing the Taj Mahal at night.
•It is totally illegal to eat or smoke within the Taj Mahal compound.
•At the gates, lockers are provided to secure your things (of course, at your own risk). Make a mental note of the number on your baggage ticket before returning it to the guard, who may shred it into little bits, toss it away, and then gaze blankly at you while the other guard requests your ticket.
•Avoid bringing large bags or books inside the monument, since this can lengthen your security check.
•Video cameras (handicams) are permitted up to the red sandstone platform at the Taj Mahal complex’s main entry gate. A fee of $25 per video camera is required.
•Photography is banned within the main mausoleum, and visitors are asked to refrain from making excessive noise inside.
•Tourists are required to assist in maintaining the monument nice and clean by using dustbins.
•Avoid touching and scratching the monument’s walls and surfaces, since they are historic sites that need particular care.
•Tourists are urged to hire official audio guides, which are available at the ASI ticket station, or to work exclusively with authorized guides and photographers who display their identification cards.
•Inside the monument, visitors are permitted to bring a water bottle. Shoe coverings, a 1/2 litre water bottle, and a Tourist Guide Map of Agra are all included in the price of the foreigner’s Taj Mahal admission ticket.
•A.S.I. Wheelchairs and First Aid Kits are provided at the Taj Mahal complex’s A.S.I. Office. Before wheelchairs are made accessible to the handicapped, a refundable fee of $1,000 is required as security.
•Video cameras are authorized after the security check for viewing the Taj Mahal at night, while additional batteries are not permitted.
•The Taj Mahal is a sacred structure. When visiting the Taj Mahal complex, it is essential to dress modestly, not only because the Taj Mahal is a tomb, but also because the Taj Mahal complex contains mosques.
The Taj Mahal is a colossal white marble monument constructed between 1631 and 1648 on the direction of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in remembrance of his favorite wife. Taj Mahal translates as Crown Palace, and one of the wife’s given names was Mumtaz Mahal, the Palace’s Ornament. The Taj Mahal is one of the best-preserved and artistically stunning tombs in the world, a masterpiece of Indian Muslim architecture and one of the world’s major historical monuments.
The Taj Mahal has a life of its own that bursts out from the marble, given that one understands that it is a tribute to love. The Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore described it as a teardrop on eternity’s face, while the English poet Sir Edwin Arnold described it as “not a work of architecture, as other structures are, but the proud emotions of an emperor’s love carved in living stones.” It is a marbled celebration of womanhood, and that is the only way to enjoy it.
Although it is one of the most photographed structures in the world and easily recognizable, seeing it in person is an awe-inspiring experience. Not everything is shown in the photographs. The complex’s grounds also have numerous other lovely structures, reflecting ponds, and huge decorative gardens filled with blooming trees and plants, as well as a small gift store. The Taj Mahal is breathtaking when framed by trees and reflected in a pool. When seen up close, vast portions of the structure are covered with inlaid masonry.
According to an apocryphal story, Shah Jahan intended to construct an identical replica made of black marble on the other bank of the river. His ambitions were thwarted when his son killed three older brothers and assassinated his father in order to seize the kingdom. Shah Jahan is presently interred at the Taj Mahal beside his wife.
Due to the whiteness of the Taj, your camera may underexpose your photographs. It is advised to overexpose by one or two stops.
Every day except Friday, the Taj is open from 06:00 until 19:30. Foreigners pay 250 (plus a 500 charge) for entry, whereas Indians pay 20. Arrive early to avoid the crowds, and plan to visit the Taj at least twice throughout the day (dusk and dawn are optimum) to fully appreciate the impact of shifting sunshine on the magnificent structure. Additionally, it is really gorgeous at a full moon.
To purchase tickets, go to the south gate, but note that this gate is 1 kilometer from the entrance and the desk does not open until 08:00. The counters at the west and east gates open at 06:00. Along with the ticket counter, you may buy a self-guided audio tour for 100 in English and international languages and 60 in Indian languages.
The Taj is situated in the heart of the city. Expect to wait in line to enter the grounds. Three gates are present. The western gate is the principal entrance, through which the majority of visitors enter. On weekends and public holidays, crowds gather in considerable numbers, and admittance via the western gate might take hours. The southern and eastern entrances are substantially less crowded on such days and should be attempted.
Night viewing sessions are held on the evenings of a full moon and the two days before and following (so five days in total). Fridays (the Muslim sabbath) and the month of Ramadan are exceptions. Tickets must be bought 24 hours in advance, beginning at 10:00 a.m., but do not usually sell out, so it may be worth checking even if you arrive long after 10:00 a.m. Tickets are valid only from the red sandstone plaza on the complex’s south end and are valid for a 1/2 hour timeframe.
Always use insect repellant.
It’s a good idea to carry a torch, since the inside of the Taj Mahal is extremely gloomy, even during the day, and you’ll need sufficient lighting to appreciate the intricate intricacies of the gem inlays.
The Taj Mahal is also visible at night, two days before and two days after the full moon. Bookings for all five days, including the full moon, must be made 24 hours in advance at the Archaeological Society of India’s office at 22, Mall Road, Agra. The cost of the ticket is 500 rupees for Indian nationals and 750 rupees for non-Indians. Night viewing hours are from 20:30 to 21:00 and from 9:00 to 21:30. A tourist must arrive at the Taj Mahal Ticketing booth at the East Gate 30 minutes before to viewing hours for a security check. The night view is unlikely to be worth the money, since tourists are kept a considerable distance from the Taj Mahal (almost 200 metres), and there is little light for viewing or shooting.
The layout of Agra Fort is identical to that of Delhi’s Red Fort, although it is much better maintained, since most of Delhi Fort was destroyed by the British during the Mutiny. As much a palace as a defensive building, it is likewise made mostly of red sandstone, with a significant amount of white marble in the fort’s palace part.
Emperor Akbar, who became king at the age of 14, started consolidating his dominion and constructed the fort at Agra between 1565 and 1571, concurrently with the construction of Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. Emperor Shah Jahan expanded the fort and eventually became a prisoner inside it. On a clear day, the fort provides a stunning perspective of his masterpiece, the Taj Mahal.
The fort is about 25-30 minutes via Rickshaw from Taj Mahal. Entry to the fort is 250 rupees plus a 50 rupee tax if you have not previously paid the 500 rupee Taj Mahal entrance charge.
At Agra Fort, there is a free left baggage facility where you may store your belongings. If you misplace your baggage ticket, you may be fined 5,000.
Additionally, Agra Fort rents audio tours for $100 in English and other Western languages (German, French, Spanish, etc.) and $60 in Indian languages like as Hindi or Bengali.
Mehtab Bagh (immediately across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal; about 30 minutes by autorickshaw from the town center; around 200). These floral gardens provide an unobstructed view of the Taj Mahal. Alternatively, stroll through the entrance and directly to the river’s sandy banks: the view of the Taj is just as stunning (if not more so, since the barbed wire fence enclosing the gardens will be behind you), however you may encounter pushy touts. Don’t forget to take an auto rickshaw round trip. Foreigners must pay a fee of 100 to enter the park.
Ram Bagh. The original Mughal gardens, created by Babar, are located 500 meters north of the Chini Ka Rauza.
Soami Bagh (10 km north of Agra). The Radha Soami religion’s white marble samadhi. The project began in 1904 and is not projected to be finished until the early twentieth century. Visitors may see real work on pietra dura inlaid marblework. Soami Bagh is located 2 kilometers north of Agra and is accessible either bus or bicycle.
Balkeshwar Temple (At Balkeshwar, at river side of Yamuna). A temple of Lord Shiva.
Kailash Temple (at Sikandra, at the river Yamuna). A Lord Shiva Temple.
Mahakal And Mahakali Temple (At Sikandra railway crossing on Sikandra Bodla road).
Mankameshwar Temple (At Rawatpara, near Agra Fort railway station. Near the raja ki mandi; a simple cycle rikshaw can take you there for a fare of 20/-.). Take time to listen to the aarti, since some think it cleanses the soul. It is the most often visited temple by residents, and during the festival seasons, it becomes so packed that it disrupts traffic in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Prithvinath Temple (At Shahganj. On road to Jaipur.).
Rajeshwar Temple (At Village Rajpur. On road to Shamshabd.).
Rawli Maharaj Temple (At Collectrate crossing, beside the railway track). Very old temple.
Shyam Ji Maharaj Temple (At Bijlighar).
Chini Ka Roza (Chini Ka Rauza). A monument to Shah Jahan’s Prime Minister, Allama Afzel Khal Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz, which is renowned for its blue-glazed tiled dome.
Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb. Empress Nur Jehan constructed Itmad-Ud-Tomb, Daulah’s also known as the Baby Taj, for her father, Ghias-ud-Din Beg, Emperor Jahangir’s Chief Minister. Due to its diminutive size in compared to many other Mughal-era tombs, it is sometimes referred to as a jewel box. Its garden arrangement and usage of white marble, pietra dura, inlay decorations, and latticework all predate the Taj Mahal in many ways.
Gurudwara Guru ka Taal (at Delhi-Agra Highway, located between Transport Nagar and Sikandra).
Jama Masjid. A huge mosque credited to Princess Jahanara Begum that was constructed in 1648 under the father Shah Jahan’s reign. It is noteworthy for its unique dome and lack of minarets.
Mariam’s Tomb (West from Akbar’s Tomb on Agra-Delhi highway).Jahangir built it in honour of his mother Mariam Zammani. The burial is constructed entirely of white marble. Though this structure is in a state of disrepair, it is next to a Christian Mission School and a church. Additionally, it is reported that Akbar erected it in remembrance of his Christian wife.
Sikandra (10 km north of Agra on the Agra Delhi highway). From dawn to dusk, this location is open. The mausoleum of Akbar is located in the garden’s center. Akbar began building of the tomb personally, but it was finished by his son Jehangir, who considerably altered the original ideas, resulting in the tomb’s relatively chaotic architectural lines. The tomb complex is entered by four red sandstone gates: one Muslim, one Hindu, one Christian, and one unique to Akbar.
Things To Do In Agra
Adlabs Multiplex. The Interactive Theatre, the world’s first interactive theater, provides each spectator with a wireless remote device equipped with push buttons and a tiny LCD screen that enables them to play in a trivia game based on the film’s topic. The show is called India in Motion, and it is a 25-minute journey through contemporary India in or on a variety of typical vehicles, witnessing historical events at locations such as Mohenjo Daro, Indraprastha, and the Taj Mahal, while riding bumpy elephants with the wind in their hair or swaying boats with salty spray on their faces. Prior to the broadcast, there is an interactive quiz covering a variety of Indian-related themes. ₹150 for a Hindi show and ₹450 for an English show.
Mehtab Bagh. Mehatab Bagh, a Mughal garden, is situated just across from the Taj Mahal. The garden’s centerpiece is an octagonal pool that allows tourists to see the Taj Mahal’s stunning moonlight reflection. Originally constructed in the 16th century by Emperor Babur, the park is also known as the ‘Moonlight Garden’.
Taj Mahotsav. Shilpgram, near the Taj Mahal, has a ten-day festival of art, craft, and culture. Annual, generally during the months of February or March.
Yamuna River. One of India’s holiest rivers, considered a goddess in Hindu tradition. A tributary of the Ganges that originates in the Himalayas and goes downstream via Delhi.
Food & Restaurants In Agra
Petha, a sort of very sweet candy, and Dal Moth, a spicy lentil combination, are Agra specialties. Both of these items are also popular as souvenirs.
Chaat – Agra is a Chaat lover’s paradise. Chaat comes in a variety of varieties, but one thing they all have in common is that they are hot, and you will find a throng outside almost every chaat vendor, particularly popular locations like Double Phatak (near Sikandra) for Mangores. At Sadar and Belangunj, you’ll discover excellent Bhallas and Panipuri. Samosa and Kachori are ubiquitous in the city’s sweet shops. Typical chaat items include Aloo Tikki (made by roasting a mess of boiled potatoes), paneer tikka (cubes of cottage cheese baked with spices in a tandoor), pani puri or golguppa (small round hollow shells filled with a potato-based filling and a spicy sweet blend of sauces), mangores, Samosaes, and Chachori. If you want to have a classic Agra breakfast, make sure to include a taste of fiery Berahi and sweet Jalebies.
Sweets – There are several excellent sweets stores located across the city. The finest place to purchase Agra’s famed petha is at Hari Parwat, a little distance from Agra Fort. Panchi’s, Bhimsain BaidyaNath, and The Pracheen Petha shop are just a few of the well-known establishments. There are several varieties of petha available, but for a genuine experience, go for the plain (ivory white) or the Angoori Flavoured varieties (rectangular and yellow pieces soaked in sugar syrup). Bikanervala, Deviram, Munnalal Petha, Gopaldas, and Ajanta Sweets, Kamla Nagar are other outlets in Agra. Remember to finish your dinner with a Joda(Pair) of Pan, a specialty of the city.
Additionally, there is an abundance of Korean cuisine.
Many eateries are located in the Taj Ganj region, catering to the numerous visitors that stay in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal.
Gulshan Highest (Opposite the South gate of the Taj), +91 8449997950,+91 9808738895, +91 9359719161. A fantastic value-for-money option near the Taj. They provide affordable western cuisine, and their rice pudding/pancakes are excellent. Sit on the roof for a view of the Taj from above the rooftops. ₹25-₹80. 25 for banana pancakes, 60 for curry, and 5 for naan.
Joney’s place, Taj ganj. Ideal for an early breakfast if you want to get up early to see the Taj Mahal at 6:00 a.m. ten slices of toast, ten cups of coffee, and fifteen cornflakes.
Kamat Hotel. Restaurant on the roof with a view of the Taj. There is beer available. Approximately $70 for a veggie curry.
Nice point Restaurant, near western gate of Taj Mahal. 06:00 – 20:00.Serving North and South Indian, Chinese, continental, Mughali, American, and Italian cuisines. There is complimentary wireless Internet access, an LCD television, and a selection of movies and music. Breakfast ₹50, lunch ₹100, dinner ₹150 per person.
Only Restaurant, +91 562-2364333, +91 562-2266508. ₹600-800 for main dish of 2.
Priya Restaurant, Fatehabad road near Shanti Manglik hospital, +91 5622231579, +91 805-7108649. Three-star restaurant with air conditioning, LCD television, and a menu including all cuisines except south Indian. ₹250/person.
The Silk Route Restaurant (TSR), 18-A/7-B Fatehabad Road (Opposite Howard Park Plaza), +91 562 4002786.
Treat Restaurant, South Gate Taj Mahal, +91 931 969 7497, e-mail:[email protected]. Breakfast, lunch, and supper are all included. Between ₹20-₹60 for the main course, excellent Indian cuisine.
Shopping In Agra
Numerous stores in Agra offer stone objects, ranging from jewelry to tiny boxes and plaques with inlay work reminiscent of the Taj Mahal. The greatest of them are magnificent, yet even the most mundane are rather lovely. Additionally, Agra is well-known for its leather items. Consider spending some time at Sadar Bazaar shopping and eating inexpensively.
Take care not to get overcharged. Allow no one to direct you to a store, otherwise the price will increase to meet their fee, which is normally 50%. Be very skeptical of the claims made by these individuals. Strike a hard bargain. Prepare to walk away; you can almost always find the same products in another store or purchase anything you liked during your visit online upon your return. Expect to come across petty and greedy shopkeepers who will tell you any lie in the book in order to make a sale (with initial markups of 1,000-10,000 percent ).
There are several local marketplaces, including Sadar Bazar, a sophisticated market, Raja ki Mandi, Sanjay Place, which houses all of the city’s offices, and Shah Market, which specializes in electronics. These marketplaces are all located on the M G Road. Hospital Road Market and Subhash Bazar, both of which specialize in clothes, are located close the Agra Fort train station. Rawatpara market sells spices from all over the world. Apart from these, the M G Road is lined with other branded dealerships.
Numerous wholesale marble items are available in Gokul Pura Market near Raja Mandi (this location is close to M. G. Road), which is readily accessible by auto rickshaw. Prices are about 25% lower than in the retail market.
When purchasing diamonds, use caution. Numerous stones are false, and the prices are astronomical in comparison.
Nightlife In Agra
A bottle of Indian beer costs between 70 and 100 rupees at a hotel, although Agra has no nightlife other from cultural acts at some of the bigger hotels and restaurants. Once you’ve left the streets of Agra and checked into your hotel, you’re unlikely to return.
Amar Vilas Bar, Taj East Gate Rd. 12:00 – 24:00. Offers beer for ₹200 and cocktails for ₹450. Amar Vilas Bar’s balcony offers views of the Taj Mahal.
Downing Street Bar, Howard Sarovar Portico, Fatehabad Road, +91 562 4048600, +91 562 4048699. Excellent beverage selection and a lovely atmosphere. Downing Street Bar serves a variety of foods from the same kitchen, including pizza and tandoori chicken.
Mughal Bar, 54, Taj Road, +91 562 222 6121, +91 562 222 6129. Mughal Bar is an open-air rooftop bar located inside the property of Hotel Clarks Shiraz. It serves both continental and Indian dishes.
Stay Safe & Healthy In Agra
Don’t leave any cash or valuables in your hotel room. Check all hotel, restaurant, and lounge bills for mistakes.
Never pay anybody in advance for anything, especially taxi drivers. Pickpockets should be avoided.
If you do decide to buy anything, keep in mind that most things are cheap knockoffs of originals that are unlikely to survive long.
During the winter season, the weather in Agra is unpredictable, and temperatures may drop below freezing; be prepared.
Some unscrupulous carpet salesmen utilize the typical ‘bait and switch’ scheme to defraud you of your hard-earned money. If you purchase anything, insist on transporting it personally; otherwise, what you get in the mail may not be what you expected. A carpet store called ‘Kanu Carpets’ is especially notorious for this — it is best to avoid shady-looking shops.
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