A world heritage city AGRA – A Traveler’s indispensible Destination
AGRA at a glance
Agra is located nearly 205 km away to from New Delhi. The city of AGRA and one of the seven wonders TAJ MAHAL are under UNESCO World Heritage sites. With a population of around 1.7 million people, it is in one of the densest city of Uttar Pradesh province and India.
Agra has a long history of rulers but known mostly for Mughal emperors. Mughal made this city their capital and developed it. They built many buildings of exotic architectures.
Why visit Agra
One can’t miss out on an aura of Mughal era and time bygone. Besides Taj Mahal, there are many other places of tourist interest like Mankameshwar Shiva temple, Akbar’s tomb of Sikandra, Fatehpur Sikri and scores of many other places of historical importance, to see. Also a fact can’t be missed that this city commercially and industrially, has become a significant place in India. In addition, great properties like malls, hotels and residential towers have come up, and this growth of modern India should be seen to believe.
Places not to miss
Taj Mahal can be one and only reason to visit Agra.
The epitome of love Taj Mahal was built between year 1632-1653,by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, was made with handpicked white marbles and artisans from Iran, Turkey and Italy. Located on banks of river Yamuna, this spectacle is a sight to behold. Taj’s interior is done by inlay work of precious stones, and designs are chiseled in marble. There is big dome and about 22 small domes in this majestic structure. Verses of Quran are etched under each dome. Under big dome lies tomb of Mumtaj Mahal , dear wife of Shahjahan. Taj is visited by millions each year from across the world. All really want to cherish the photos with nears and dears, with Taj Mahal in background. Taj Mahal’s beauty is truly majestic that tells the saga of true love.
Famous as Red Fort, this fort is another feather in cap of Mughals. This structure was there since tenth century which was rebuilt by Great Mughal Akbar in mid of 16th century, and later converted to a Fort by his grandson Shahjahan. He made several changes in the fort and used marble and pietra dura inlay which was Italian style carving on the walls incorporating semi precious jewels. This fort built with sections like Diwan-e aam which was court for all, Diwan e khas a court for special audience, Palace of Jehangir, and Shish mahal a mirrored palace, to name a few.
Itimad ul Daulah Tomb
Nurjahan was Queen of Emperor Jahangir, her father was Mirza Ghiyasuddin Beg who was in Jahangir’s court too. She built this marble mausoleum of her father. Though it is a smaller structure but considered a ‘box of jewels’. With beautiful gardens, waterways, marble work, pietra dura inlay work, this is worth a visit.
Mughal emperor Akbar built a new city about 22 kms from Agra and named it Fatehabad, later which came to be known as Fatehpur Sikri. A world heritage site, Fatehpur Sikri has many historical features like Buland Darwaza a huge main gate, a step pond Baoli, Raja Birbal’s palace, there is a Dargah, a tomb of Sufi saint Salim Chishti, whom Akbar revered and got his son Salim, later on named Jahangir, through his blessings. Akbar built great red stone buildings there and interior was done with carvings, inlays and great stone work. This city later on was abandoned because of lack of water at Fatehpur Sikri and shifted to Agra Fort. But still a Mughal marvel of architecture one must visit to see.
Agra is full of star hotels and budget hotels suiting all kinds of budgets. Since Agra witnesses countless tourists year round, it is advised to make room bookings beforehand.
Air India and other major airlines connect Agra to many cities of the country such as Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Khajuraho
There are many fast trains to Agra from Delhi and other places of India. In fact, Agra has three main railway stations for convenience of tourists.
Delhi to Agra Road/ Yamuna Expressway is very good to drive by car, taxis and luxury buses are available as well.
Local taxis, auto rickshaws and tempos are easily available.
Agra is a place to visit at least once in a life time, because of its historical importance and for TAJ MAHAL alone.