city of Mughal monuments, Agra gives travellers a number of reasons to visit
here over and again. Though Taj Mahal has always been the centre of
attraction in the city, there are a number of other monuments and cultural sites that
still need to be explored during your travel. The medieval city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh has a
history dating back to the period of Mahabharata; Agra is referred to as
Agravana in the Hindu epic. Watching the Taj Mahal when the sun dawns gently
over it is an experience of a lifetime. To enjoy the royal spectacle, you
will have to leave your hotel quite early, but the effort would reward you
with a travelling experience you will never forget. Apart from sightseeing, the city
also offers you wonderful shopping tour options and you can always buy something
to take back home. While you are travelling to Agra, do remember to choose a hotel
that stands within 1-2 km from the Taj.
Attractions in Agra
Though it is chiefly the Taj Mahal that brings travellers to Agra, there
are a number of other tourist attractions in the city, standing as a mute
testimony to the bygone era. Some of the most visited places of sightseeing in the
city are as follows.
Those who have heard of Taj Mahal must be knowing that it was built by the
Mughal emperor Shah Jehan in the memory of his ever-faithful wife, Mumtaz
Mahal, who passed away at a young age of 38 while delivering their 14th
child. Very few people know that Taj Mahal was to be constructed at
Burhanpur, but due to lack of an efficient transportation system Agra was
finally agreed upon.
Jama Masjid (or Jami Masjid)
The mosque, built by Shah Jehan's favourite daughter, Jahan Ara Begum, is
known for its unique shape. The mosque has only a dome and no minarets.
Jahan Ara Begum was also imprisoned with his father in 1648.
The red sandstone town of Fatehpur Sikri was Akbar's capital between 1571
and 1585. The was later deserted due to lack of water supply. The Buland
Darwaza and the tomb of sufi Salim Chishti are major attractions here.
Fatehpur Sikri is at 37 km from Agra.
Chini ka Roza (Tomb of Afzal Khan)
This is the tomb of Allama Afzal Khan, a renowned poet-scholar, who was
employed as the prime minister in the court of Mughal emperor Shah Jehan.
The architecture of Chini Ka Rauza features the influence of Persian styles
on Mughal architecture.
Itmad-Ud-Daula (Memorial of Mirza Ghiyas Beg)
If you are an architecture freak and would like exploring Indo-Persian
architectural styles, the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula, built by Noor Jehan in the
memory of his father, is a fine option. The structure also has the privilege
of being the first marble tomb of the Mughal period.
Founded by Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the Agra fort took 8 years to
be constructed and the total building cost came around 3.5 million rupees at
that time. Jehangir and Shah Jehan also added new features to Agra Fort
later. Spend some quality time sightseeing here.
Shopping Options for Travellers in Agra
Agra is famous for its fabulous work handicrafts, made of marble and soft
stone inlay work. Besides inlay work, Agra has an excellent collection of
leather ware, brass ware, metal ware, carpets and Jewellery. Petha and gazak
are the two signature sweets of Agra. The main shopping areas of the city
are Sadar Bazaar, Kinari Bazaar, Raja-Ki-Mandi etc. So, while you travel to Agra, do lay your hands on some of the most exclusive items of art and craft. These items also reflect a unique culture.
Agra Travel (Air/Rail/Road) Information
There are many trains that run from Delhi to Agra like Shatabdi Express,
and Taj Express. Those desirous to travel by bus have ample choice. They can
board bus from Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gwalior and Jhansi. If one intends t
travel by air, then it will be just 30 minutes affair from Delhi.
Hotels for Travellers in Agra
Tourists to Agra can easily combine their sightseeing of Mughal monuments
with staying at some of the world's finest hotels in Agra. Apart from deluxe
and luxury hotels in Agra, travellers also have a wide range of budget and
economy hotels in Agra to choose from. Some famous hotels in Agra are:
» Hotel Amar Vilas
» Hotel Jaypee Palace
» Hotel Mansigh Palace
» Hotel Savoy