Top attractions in Agra
Agra, located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is famous for being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. However, there are several other notable attractions in Agra that are worth visiting. Here are some of the top attractions in Agra:
Undoubtedly the most iconic attraction in Agra, the Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a masterpiece of Mughal architecture. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, it is renowned for its stunning white marble structure and intricate carvings.
Also known as the Red Fort of Agra, this massive fortress was built by Emperor Akbar and later expanded by his successors. It showcases a blend of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles and features impressive palaces, mosques, and courtyards. The fort offers panoramic views of the Taj Mahal from some of its vantage points.
Located just outside of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is an abandoned city that served as the capital of the Mughal Empire during the reign of Emperor Akbar. It is known for its well-preserved buildings, including the Buland Darwaza (Gate of Victory), Jama Masjid, Panch Mahal, and the Tomb of Salim Chishti.
Often referred to as the “Baby Taj,” this tomb is a beautiful mausoleum commissioned by Empress Nur Jahan for her father. It is known for its intricate marble inlay work, delicate carvings, and serene gardens. The tomb is considered a precursor to the Taj Mahal and showcases similar architectural elements.
Located across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal, Mehtab Bagh is a serene garden complex that offers a breathtaking view of the Taj Mahal at sunset. It is a popular spot for photographers and visitors looking to capture the beauty of the Taj Mahal in a tranquil setting.
Agra is home to several notable mosques, and Jama Masjid is one of the most important ones. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan, it is one of the largest mosques in India and showcases impressive architecture, including intricately designed domes and minarets.
Akbar’s Tomb, Sikandra
Situated in Sikandra, just outside of Agra, this grand mausoleum is the final resting place of Emperor Akbar. It combines elements of Islamic, Hindu, and Jain architecture and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.
These are just a few of the top attractions in Agra. The city also offers vibrant bazaars, delicious cuisine, and a rich cultural heritage that make it a fascinating destination to explore.
Things to do in Agra
Apart from visiting the famous attractions, there are several other things to do in Agra that can enhance your experience and make your visit memorable. Here are some suggestions:
Explore the Old City
Take a stroll through the bustling streets of the old city of Agra, particularly in areas like Kinari Bazaar and Sadar Bazaar. Experience the vibrant atmosphere, interact with locals, and shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, jewelry, and traditional Indian garments.
Attend a Mohabbat the Taj Show
Mohabbat the Taj is a famous cultural show that depicts the love story behind the construction of the Taj Mahal. The show incorporates live performances, dance, music, and elaborate costumes, offering a glimpse into Mughal history and culture.
Enjoy Mughlai Cuisine
Agra is known for its delectable Mughlai cuisine. Indulge in iconic dishes like biryani, kebabs, tandoori chicken, and the famous sweet delicacy called petha. Visit local restaurants or try street food stalls to savor the flavors of Agra.
Take a Tonga Ride
Experience a traditional mode of transportation in Agra by taking a tonga ride. These horse-drawn carriages provide a unique and nostalgic way to explore the city. You can hire a tonga near popular attractions like the Taj Mahal or Agra Fort.
Visit Local Workshops
Agra is known for its exquisite handicrafts, including marble inlay work, leather goods, carpets, and embroidery. Visit local workshops to witness artisans at work and learn about their craft. You can even purchase unique handmade souvenirs directly from the artisans.
Attend a Yoga or Meditation Session
Agra offers various yoga and meditation centers where you can participate in classes or workshops. Engage in these calming practices to rejuvenate your mind and body amidst the serene surroundings.
Take a Boat Ride on the Yamuna River
Enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the Yamuna River and admire the scenic views of the Taj Mahal from a different perspective. This activity is especially enchanting during sunrise or sunset.
Visit Wildlife SOS
Wildlife SOS is an animal rescue organization in Agra that focuses on the conservation and welfare of wildlife. You can visit their Elephant Conservation and Care Center to interact with rescued elephants and learn about their rehabilitation.
Remember to check the timings, availability, and any necessary permissions for the activities you wish to pursue in Agra.
Agra Tour Packages
FAQs on Agra Tourism
Agra is well-connected by air, train, and road. The city has its own airport, the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Airport, which has domestic flights connecting Agra to major Indian cities. The Agra Cantonment railway station is the main railhead, with regular trains to and from major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai. Agra is also easily accessible by road, with national highways connecting it to nearby cities.
The best time to visit Agra is during the winter season, from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and suitable for outdoor activities. The temperature is cooler, ranging from around 8°C (46°F) to 25°C (77°F) during this time. However, it’s important to note that this is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds.
Agra can be explored in a day if you have limited time. However, to fully appreciate its attractions and experience the city’s charm, it is recommended to spend at least two to three days in Agra. This will allow you to visit the major landmarks, as well as explore the local markets and cuisine at a relaxed pace.
Yes, most of the major attractions in Agra have entry fees. The Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, and Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb all have separate entry fees for Indian and foreign tourists. The fees may vary, and there are often additional charges for photography and videography.
Yes, there are certain guidelines to be followed while visiting the Taj Mahal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a mausoleum, so visitors are expected to maintain a respectful demeanor. Some common rules include not carrying large bags or luggage, not carrying food items inside, and not touching or defacing the monument. Photography restrictions may also apply in certain areas.
Yes, witnessing the Taj Mahal at sunrise or sunset is a popular and recommended experience. The changing light conditions during these times create a magical ambiance and enhance the beauty of the monument. However, it’s important to note that special tickets, known as sunrise/sunset tickets, need to be purchased in advance to enter the Taj Mahal during these hours.
Agra is generally considered safe for tourists. However, it’s always advisable to take basic precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings, using reliable transportation, and being aware of your surroundings. It’s also recommended to follow any local guidelines or advice provided by your accommodation or tour operators.