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