Agra is one of the most populated cities in India situated close to Delhi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. This city is one of the 75 districts in one of India’s largest state and sits on the banks of the famous River Yamuna. Many tourists flock to this city with top historical monuments in India. It has ancient history and modern residences together which attracts several global tourists.
The Taj Mahal is one of the top reasons to visit Agra. But this city is houses architectural monuments such as Agra Fort and a small city called Fatehpuri Sikri which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These structures, cuisine, architecture and shopping showcase the Mughal influences from the fifteenth century. Here are few but famous reasons and destinations to visit near Agra for your tour.
Top 10 Best Reasons to Visit Agra
1. Taj Mahal – One of Seven Wonders of the World
The white marble architectural wonder is renowned world over as the monument of love. The City of Agra is synonymous with the Taj Mahal – a symbol of love of emperor Shah Jehan to his dearest wife Mumtaz Mahal. The white dome structure attracts several tourists, photographers, and history buffs to click pictures nearby. The picturesque gardens around the white structure adds value and beauty to the entire visit. This is definitely one must visit place at Agra.
2. Agra Fort – A UNESCO World Heritage Site to Celebrate
This strong defense fort is constructed in red sandstone with walls running 2.5 kilometers. The Agra fort has fought many battles and won against many attacks during its time. The UNESCO World Heritage Site finally got built at the third generation of Mughal rule under emperor Shah Jahan. He spend the last days of his life during old age imprisoned inside this red sandstone structure. He could see the Taj Mahal, his favorite structure from here and breathed his last there.
It is said that several structures within the red fort got destroyed while some of them still remain. Famous gates such as the Lahore Gate and Delhi Gate are well known structures at the Red fort. If you visit Agra then this is a must visit site in Agra.
3. Ram Bhag - Persian Style Gardens
This is one of the first and earliest gardens of the Mughal rule which dates back to Barbur. Stone paved divisions was one of the Persian style of gardens. This was also the tomb of Barbur as he was laid to rest there but was later developed once again by Jehangir. This is more like the Ram Bagh gardens that we see today. It is believed that Noor Jehan, the wife of emperor Jehangir designed the Aram Bagh gardens. Earlier it was known as Aram Bagh but now it is known as Ram Bagh Gardens. This is one of the best places to visit in North India.
4. Mehtab Bagh – Mesmerizing views of Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is visited and photographed by millions of people each year. However, the view of this marble structure on the banks of River Yamuna from across it is an unforgettable memory. The garden Mehtab Bagh which was the final garden designed and constructed by the Mughals. This provides mesmerizing views of the Taj Mahal. Emperor Shah Jehan selected this beautiful location as the best view point of his favorite marble construction – a symbol of love all over the world, for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
The Garden has earned the name ‘Moonlight Garden’ because of the mesmerizing views especially at evening time and during night. The width of the garden is roughly matches the Taj Mahal’s width. It was constructed in a ‘Charbagh’ Mughali style. It is also believed that the emperor wanted to construct another Taj Mahal in complete Black with precious black stone but he never could complete it. His son, Aurangazeb took over the throne and got his father imprisoned. It provides one of the best views ever of the Taj Mahal.
5. Fatehpuri Sikri – a Miniature City
This city and historical structure is one of the top destinations to visit in Agra. This miniature city is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site and is constructed with a lot of red sandstone. This massive monument was the capital city of the Mughal Empire back in the sixteenth century. It was one of the first constructions of the Mughal Dynasty. There are great structures within the palace given below.
6. Bulund Darwaza – Largest Entrance Gate in the World
The entrance to the Fatehpuri Sikri is a historical monument which is one of the best places to see in Agra. The Bulund Darwaza is one of the highest gateways in the whole world. Visitors get to learn about the grandeur and lifestyle of the kings during the Mughal rule on this trip to Agra.
7. Jama Masjid – Mosque inside Fatehpuri Sikri
Some of the prominent and famous palaces are within the Fatehpuri Sikri in Agra. Another place to visit inside this walled in city is the Jama Masjid. This mosque was another construction by Emperor Shah Jehan for his eldest daughter, Jahanara.
8. Panch Mahal – A Palace of Five Stories
A visit to this city without seeing the Paanch Mahal, a palace consisting of five stories, is incomplete. There is intricate work to find here in this red colored palace monument.
9. The Tomb of Salim Chisti
This Sufi saint is very significant in the construction of the red sandstone fort city called Fatehpuri Sikri. This saint called Shaik Salim Chisti gave a prediction to Emperor Akbar regarding the heir to the Mughal Dynasty after which many structures and palaces were constructed here. The reamains of the Sufi Saint has been laid in a tomb known as the Tomb of Salim Chisti in Fatehpuri Sikri.
10. Agra Petha – A Sweet Dish in Agra
While sightseeing some of the best destinations in Agra taste the sweet dish called Agra Petha. This sweet is prepared with sugar and a fruit called Ash Gourd. As you eat it it simply melts away in your mouth. This is one of the most popular sweets in Agra and also famous all over the country as Agra Petha. There are now several variations offered by premium hotels but the best is always the original sweet that you taste on a hectic sunny sightseeing day. This is the best way to finish your trip to Agra by eating a lot of sumptuous Agra Petha.
Other Reasons to Visit Agra
1. Go Shopping in Agra
Agra has so many different reasons to visit including shopping. You can find miniature Taj Mahal in marble stone. There are also flower vase, ashtrays and other things in marble you can find here. there are many markets for fabric, footwear, leather goods like handbags, slippers, boots, belts or leather jackets to. This city is also very famous for carpets, rugs, wall hangings, and mats. There are street marketplaces and even big shopping malls or showrooms to purchase furniture, etc. in Agra.
Get Detailed Guide: Shopping in Agra
2. Taste Local Cuisine in Agra
The city of Taj Mahal is also famous for the lip smacking street food you can find locally. Many travelers find Agra food as the best street food in the country. In addition to the famous Agra Petha served in Agra, the Mughali cuisine is something you must taste when you visit Agra. They serve wheat parathas stuffed with any variety of veggies - potato, carrot, etc. for a healthy breakfast. Some non – vegetarian food such as kebabs are garnished with dried nuts and offers a great taste. Other famous food items found in Agra include sweets and snacks such as Shawarma, Dalmoth, Bhalla, and Jalebi.
Get Detailed Guide : Famous Restaurants in Agra.
3. Luxurious Stay at Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel
Spend time in luxury at the Oberoi Amarvilas Luxurious Hotel situated very close to the Taj Mahal. The luxury rooms give an amazing view of the top part of the marble monument from almost all rooms. There are four excellent dining sections serving unique dishes on the menu to select from. The 5-star luxury accommodation provides free parking, and wifi for guests during the stay. The interiors of the rooms redefine luxury and pampers your senses with decor, furniture and private bathrooms. The common facilities also includes Oberoi Spa, Fitness Gym, Ticketing and Car Rentals at the tour desk. This beautiful site spread across a vast area is situated only 13 kilometers from the Kheria Airport.
4. Celebrate the Taj Mahotsav Fair
This is a 10 day long colorful festival you must take part in if you visit Agra in February. It starts on the 18th and continues over a week. The animals like camels and elephants are decorated with colors and dressed specially. You may also get a chance to ride on their backs! The musicians and folk dancers are also brightly dressed for the celebration. This week celebrates the Taj Festival in Agra where you get to see various talents, culture, artistes from different states, etc. you can also find various handicrafts and fabric works that Lucknow is famous for such as Chiakan work on fabric and Banaras Silks, etc. It is a great time to shop while sightseeing the Taj and celebrating one of the biggest carnivals in the country.
Get Detailed Guide : Fairs and Festivals in Agra