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Things to do in Agra

Tourist Attractions in Agra

Attractions

Overview

Agra is a city on the banks of the Yamuna river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, about 210 kilometers which is 130 mi south of the national capital New Delhi and 335km west of the state capital Lucknow.

Located on the banks of River Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh, Agra is a popular tourist destination as it is home to one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. It is a sneak peek into the architectural history and legacy of the Mughal empire with two other UNESCO World Heritage Sites Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. History, architecture, romance all together create the magic of Agra, and hence, makes for a must-visit for anyone living in or visiting India.

Place to Visit

Places to Visit:

  • Mehtab Bagh(directly across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal, the trip takes about 30 minutes from the centre of town by autorickshaw and will cost about ₹200). These botanical gardens give you an opportunity to view the Taj without the crowds of tourists. Alternatively, walk past the entrance and straight to the sandy banks of the river: the view of the Taj is every bit as lovely (perhaps more so, since the barbed wire fence surrounding the gardens will be behind you), although you may have to deal with aggressive touts.
  • Ram Bagh(Aram Bagh). The first Mughal gardens, built by the first Mughal Emperor Babar, 500 m North of the Chini Ka Rauza.
  • Soami Bagh(10 km north of Agra). The white marble samadhi of the Radha Soami religion. Construction started in 1904 and is not expected to be completed until sometime in the next century. Visitors can see pietra dura inlaid marblework actually being worked on. Soami Bagh is 2 km north of Agra and can be reached by bus or cycle.
  • Balkeshwar Temple(At Balkeshwar, at river side of Yamuna). A temple of Lord Shiva.
  • 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). Listen to the aarti as some claim it purifies your soul. It is the most visited temple by locals, and during festive seasons it’s so crowded disrupting the traffic in the nearby areas.
  • Prithvinath Temple(At Shahganj. On road to Jaipur.). edit
  • Rajeshwar Temple(At Village Rajpur. On road to Shamshabd.). edit
  • Rawli Maharaj Temple(At Collectrate crossing, beside the railway track). Very old temple.
  • Shyam Ji Maharaj Temple(At Bijlighar).
  • Akbar’s Church(Church of Akbar). Akbar’s Church dates back to 1598 and was built under the patronage of Emperor Akbar by Jesuit Fathers from Goa. Akbar’s son Jahangir helped in the further expansion of the church. However his son Shah Jahan demolished the church in 1635, only to rebuild it a year later. Again in 1758 the church was looted by Persian invader Ahmed Shah Abdali. In 1769 the church was rebuilt. In 1835 the church went through further extension.
  • Cathedral of Immaculate Conception(Roman Catholic Cathedral of Agra) (Near Akbar’s Church). Cathedral of Immaculate Conception (Roman Cathedral of Agra) is near the Akbar’s Church. Constructed in 1848 it dominates the nearby Akbar’s Church. It is built in Baroque style.
  • St John’s Church(Near Mariam’s Tomb). Oldest Protestant church of Agra. (
  • Chini Ka Roza(Chini Ka Rauza). A memorial dedicated to the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan, Allama Afzel Khal Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz, notable for its dome of blue glazed tiles.
  • Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb. Empress Nur Jehan built Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb, sometimes called the Baby Taj, for her father, Ghias-ud-Din Beg, the Chief Minister of Emperor Jahangir. Small in comparison to many other Mughal-era tombs, it is sometimes described as a jewel box. Its garden layout and use of white marble, pietra dura, inlay designs and latticework presage many elements of the Taj Mahal. ₹300 for foreigners.
  • Gurudwara Guru ka Taal(at Delhi-Agra Highway, between Transport Nagar and Sikandra).
  • Jama Masjid. A large mosque attributed to Princess Jahanara Begum, built in 1648 during the reign of the father Shah Jahan. Notable for its unusual dome and absence of minarets.
  • Mariam’s Tomb(West from Akbar’s Tomb on Agra-Delhi highway). Constructed by Jahangir in the memory of his mother Mariam Zammani. The grave is made of white marble. Though this building is in a ruined condition, yet it has in its vicinity, a Christian Mission School and a church. It is also said; Akbar himself made that it in the memory of his Christian wife.
  • Sikandra(10 km north of Agra on the Agra Delhi highway). Open from sunrise to sunset. The tomb of Akbar lies here in the centre of the large garden. Akbar started its construction himself but it was completed by his son Jehangir, who significantly modified the original plans which accounts for the somewhat cluttered architectural lines of the tomb. Four red sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex: one is Muslim, one Hindu, one Christian, and one is Akbar’s patent mixture.
  • Jaswant Singh ki Chatri(Rajwara, Balkeshwar, east bank of Yamuna). Jaswant Sing ki Chatri is the only Hindu monument built in Agra during the Mughal rule. It is a memorial cenotaph dedicated to Rani Hada, wife of Amar Singh Rathore. Upon her husband’s death, Rani Hada committed sati. Raja Jaswant Singh, the younger brother of Amar Singh built the chatri in 1644-58 CE.

How to Reach

How To Reach

By Train:

Agra is well connected to the railways. Some of the trains which connect Agra with Delhi at this station are Taj Express, Shatabdi Express, Gondwana Express and Jhelum Express. Commuting from the railway station to the rest of the city is very simple as lots of options are available.

Distance from Agra to nearby cities/places: Agra to Firozabad- 40 km Agra to Mathura- 48 km Agra to Bharatpur- 53 km Agra to Aligarh- 78 km Agra to Gwalior- 108 km Agra to Etawah- 111 km Agra to Alwar- 146 km Agra to Farrukhabad- 155 km Agra to Faridabad- 155 km Agra to Mathura- 70 km

Why Should Go?

Why should I go?

Built by the grieving Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal’s unrivaled beauty explains why it’s regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world. A visit to India wouldn’t be complete without it. Other must-experience destinations in Agra are two other UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the sandstone Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.

Agra is an ancient city on the banks of the River Yamuna. It finds mention in the Mahabharata but gained importance as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 – 1658. It is on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit with Delhi and Jaipur. It is famous for its Mughal architecture and for being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal – a monument of incredible elegance and architectural perfection. Agra has many other famous archeological sites and is famous for its marble inlay work and its leather industry that manufactures shoe uppers for some of the best shoe companies in the world.

Agra is like a storybook city that unravels the history of the Moghul empire as you visit one archeological wonder after another. It has much more than the spellbinding Taj Mahal. Akbar’s citadel, Fatehpur Sikri takes you through the everyday life of the royals at that time. The Agra Fort is another fascinating site to visit. And don’t forget to buy the specialities, Petha and Dal moth.

Agra’s cuisine is derived from its Mughal past. Mughlai cuisine mainly consists of meat enriched with creamy, boldly flavoured curries, with lots of dried fruits and spices. Vegetarian dishes, using paneer instead of meat are equally loved. Mughal cuisine is available in restaurants all around the city. Petha, a sweet made using ash gourd, is one of the famous dishes of Agra, and is available in many varieties. Another dish that is endemic to Agra is Dalmoth, which is a dry snack made with spicy fried dal (lentils), nuts and raisins. The breakfast specialties include Bedai, which is a puffy kachori (made with all purpose flour, which is deep fried) with spicy filling inside and is generally served with spicy aloo sabzi and dahi.(Curd) Equally popular as a snack is Chaat, a collective term which includes snacks like Dahi-bhalla, Raj kachori, samosas, and gol gappas, among others. Paratha, a pan fried flat wheat bread which is stuffed with potatoes, cauliflower, carrots or paneer, is also popular, and eaten accompanied with curd, pickle and chutney.

Getting Around

Getting Around:

Tongas, electric buses and electric tempos are readily available, and the best way to get to the Taj, where no cars are allowed. Auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws are available every where, remember to agree on fares clearly in advance. Foreigners shoukd bargain everywhere and bargain hard. Tempos have been replaced by auto-rickshaws, which mainly run on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).

As polluting vehicles are banned around Taj Mahal, one needs to use Tonga or electric auto while travelling in the range of Taj Mahal. Camels are also available.

Weather

Weather:

The city features warm winters, sweltering and dry summers and a monsoon season. The Agra district, from its proximity to the sandy Thar Desert to the west, is relatively dry, and has greater extremes of temperature than districts further east. The hot west wind, Loo blows mainly during April, May, and June with great force and can cause fatal heatstrokes.[62] The monsoon rains usually begin in the first week in July; and generally end in mid-September. However, the monsoons, though substantial in Agra, are not quite as heavy as the monsoon in other parts of India. The weather moderates by the middle of October.

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