Agra - The City of Taj Mahal
One of India's most famous cities, Agra is home to the breathtaking
white marble Taj Mahal, a truly magnificent Mughal riverside
mausoleum and World Heritage Site. Agra lies in the state of Uttar
Pradesh, in North India, and this region is home to no less than
three designated World Heritage Sites, also including the
neighbouring ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri and the red-sandstone Agra
As well as being a major Indian tourist destination, Agra is also a
spreading industrial city and stands just over 200 km / 124 miles to
the south of Delhi, being within easy reach by train.
Agra was established as the Mughal capital in 1526 and is known for
its chaotic and vibrant marketplace (chowk), endless auto rickshaw
touts, plentiful souvenir vendors, historic temples and many grand,
ancient monuments and tombs.
Although many tourists choose to visit Agra as a day trip from New
Delhi, there is really much more to see here that is possible in
just one day. Especially popular in the Agra area are desert camel
rides, the exciting 6-D Adlabs Cinema complex, the white-marble Moti
Masjid (Pearl Mosque), and the magnificent Bageshwarnath Temple,
located next to the Raja Ki Mandi Railway Station. Also worth
visiting in Agra is Akbar's Mausoleum, which boasts three-storey
minarets and many inquisitive, resident monkeys and brightly
Important Note: Taj is closed on Friday.
Attractions in Agra
The Taj Mahal
Famous the world over for its spectacular white-marble architecture,
the Taj Mahal is one of India's most visited landmarks. This
magnificent Mughal mausoleum is now a World Heritage Site and was
commissioned by the Emperor Shah Jahan, as a particularly grand
memorial to the wife Mumtaz Mhal, who sadly died during child birth.
Construction of Agra's Taj Mahal started in 1631 and was complete
some 25 years later, with a team of more than 20,000 people working
on this building, including architects from as far as Europe. Expect
to see elaborate marble inlays ('pietra dura'), literally thousands
of beautiful semi-precious stones and jewels, and reflections in the
watercourse, within the landscaped formal gardens.
Agra Fort / Red Fort
Located alongside the Yamuna River and built in the mid-16th century
by the Emperor Akbar, the Agra Fort was built as a military
structure, being upgraded to the spacious palace complex some years
later. The Amar Singh Gate provides entry to the fort on the
southern side, with the main highlights and monuments including the
Anguri Bagh gardens, Colvin's Tomb, Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private
Audiences), the Government Bookshop, Jehangir's Palace, the Ladies'
Bazaar, the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), the Nagina Masjid (Gem
Mosque) and the Shish Mahal (Mirror Palace).
Agra's Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb is known by many as the 'Baby Taj
Mahal', due to its similar appearance. Built during the early part
of the 17th century and situated on the banks of the Yamuna River,
the Itmad-Ud-Daulah was the first ever Mughal structure to be
completely built with marble and is the tomb of Mizra Ghiyas Beg.
The peaceful gardens boast a series of walkways and inter-connecting
Chini Ka Rauza
Known for its Persian-style architecture, enamel tiles and
elaborate, floral interior, the Chini Ka Rauza is the tomb of Afzal
Khan. Construction of the Chini Ka Rauza began in 1628 and was
finally completed some ten years later. This appealing landmark is
often overlooked and enjoys a particularly secluded situation, with
good views from the upper floors.
Camel Rides at Agra
Many tourists staying in Agra find the camel rides and camel safaris
particularly enjoyable and one of the ultimate Indian experiences.
Camel rides are especially plentiful on the deserts around Rajasthan
and close to Agra, such as the Thar Desert. Be sure to hold on tight
when the camel bends down for you to dismount.
Located on the north-western outskirts of Agra and within the
Sikandra area, Akbar's Mausoleum features a mixture of marble and
sandstone architecture, built as a tomb to the great Mughal Emperor
Akbar. This beautiful landmark features three-storey minarets,
geometric patterns constructed with inlaid white marble, and a
surrounding garden, where both monkeys and parakeets can be easily
spotted in the trees.
How to reach there...
Agra - The
Taj Mahal city is 200 kms from New Delhi (which has international
airport) and a Major destination of world famous golden triangle of
Delhi-Agra-Jaipur. Agra is a major rail junction and attached to all
major cities of India by rail and road.
Hotels in Agra
Mahal - Symbol of Love
Mahal is regarded as the most perfect jewel of Muslim art in India.
This huge mausoleum mosque was built by Shah Jahan, the fifth Muslim
Mogul emperor, in memory of his beloved wife, a Persian princess
born as Arjuman Bano Begum but known as Mumtaz Mahal.
Pushkar Fair begins on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi, which falls in the
month of October-November and goes on for five long days till Kartik
Purnima. The fair is synonymous to a cattle fair.
About Agra - The Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh Tourism, Visit Top Tourist
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