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You are here : home > Travel > History and Heritage > Agra

Agra


With a rich historical background, exquisite architecture, monuments, forts, palaces, Persian-styled gardens and much more, Agra makes a great travel destination.

Agra is situated on the banks of the river Yamuna. Mughal Emperors like Akbar, Jehangir and Shahjahan contributed to the splendid architecture here by building many forts and palaces. There are quite a few places of interest in Agra.


Agra fort

Built by Emperor Akbar in 1565, the Agra fort was initially a military establishment. The entrance to the Agra Fort is through a grand gateway called the Delhi Gate. The Diwan-i-Am and Diwan-i-Khas are located within the fort and contain examples of exquisite Mughal carvings.


Other places of interest inside the fort include:

  • The Jehangir Mahal.
  • The Khas Mahal, built by Shahjahan. You will find fine paintings on white marble inside the palace.
  • The Musamman Burj, built exclusively for Mumtaz Mahal, offers a view of the Taj. It is here that Shahjahan spent the last days of his life gazing at the memorial.
  • The Sheesh Mahal, originally used as a dressing room for the ladies, is divided into large halls with tiny mirrors adorning the walls.


Fatehpur Sikri

Initially the capital of Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri is built entirely with red sandstone. The striking feature is the Buland Darwaza (54 meters high), the entrance to the mosque.


Sikandra

Situated four kilometers from Agra, Sikandra is where Akbar built his mausoleum. The structure has Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Jain motifs. Akbar started the construction, and his son Jehangir completed it.


The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is an epitome of love built by Shahjahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal on the banks of the river Yamuna. Read about its history here.


Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb

This is the tomb of Mirza Ghyas Beg (father of Nur Jahan). Built between 1622 and 1628, the tomb has excellent inlay designs and carvings almost comparable with the Taj.

Other places to visit include the Dayal Bagh Temple, Ram Bagh, Mariyam Tomb, Chini-Ka-Rauza, etc. You can also go on an excursion to Mathura, Vrindavan and Gokul where you will find temples and structures that speak volumes about the legends of Lord Krishna.


Festivals at Agra

Agra is popular for its fairs and festivals that are held all through the year.

  • The Kailash fair is a major fair celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva who is believed to have appeared here in the form of a stone Lingam. Check it out in August and September.
  • The Bateshwar fair is a month long festival held annually in November at Bateshwar near Agra.
  • The most popular festival is, of course, the Taj Mahotsav held every spring (in February). The 10-day long celebration showcases the rich heritage, arts, crafts, culture, cuisine, music and dance of Uttar Pradesh. Organized by the Department of Tourism, the event is held every year at Shilpgram (situated next to the Taj). The festival begins with a spectacular procession of bedecked elephants and camels, drum beaters, folk artists and master craftsmen all inspired by the Mughal splendor.


Climate and when to visit

Summers are hot and winters are cold and foggy. The monsoon brings heavy rainfall. Winter (November to March) is the best time to visit.


How to reach Agra

By air, it takes around 30 minutes to reach Agra from Delhi. The Kheria airport in Agra is located close to the city center and taxis and auto rickshaws are available from the airport. The railway station located at Agra Cantonment offers frequent train services to Delhi and other neighboring states. 'Idgah' is the main bus terminal in Agra with services to many destinations.


Travel within Agra

Taxis, tempos and auto-rickshaws are popular modes of transport within the city. You will also find cycle rickshaws in some parts. Prepaid transport is available for excursions in and around city limits. Bicycles can be rented on an hourly basis.


Shopping

Agra is a popular shopping destination for marble and softstone handicrafts, arts, leather ware, brassware, carpets, jewellery and embroidery work (Chikan work). Do not forget to pick up the miniature replicas of the Taj Mahal, which make perfect souvenirs. This apart, you can choose from an array of tabletops, marble items, boxes inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones. You can also shop for Agra's well-know sweets like 'Petha and 'Gazak'.


Remember this!

  • Being an old city, Agra's streets and lanes are narrow and crowded. But the suburb areas being open and spacious have up-to-date, airy and stylish buildings.
  • No diesel or petrol vehicles are allowed to ply in the Taj Mahal area. Battery-operated buses, horse-driven tongas, rickshaws and other pollution-free vehicles are allowed to conserve the beauty of the Taj.

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7 Comments
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Mamsi.4 years ago
Agra is a very beautiful place. When you go there do not forget to buy the famous Agra sweets ie petha. I really love them.
 
 
 
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Swain Raj.4 years ago
Agra is much more than Taj Mahal. It is a great place for understanding the Mughal architecture. there are many places to visit.
 
 
 
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Swain Raj.4 years ago
Agra is much more than Taj Mahal. It is a great place for understanding the Mughal architecture. there are many places to visit.
 
 
 
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shweta.7 years ago
nice description
 
 
 
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