Agra- Home to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
Agra is one of the most visited and unique tourist destinations in India. Indeed being home to the world famous Taj Mahal and numerous other splendid heritage sites such as the Agra Fort, the city attracts millions of visitors each year, both from India and internationally. With a great railway connection from the capital, many choose a quick day trip to visit the key sights, but a good couple of days is recommended to fully experienced everything the city has to offer, as well as the attractions located nearby such as Mathura and Fatehpur Sikri.
This grandiose city located within the northern part of the Uttar Pradesh state, is part of the Golden Triangle, along with New Delhi and Jaipur, and often considered the main places to visit for a first trip to India. Agra, established in the 16th century was at the heart of the Mughal empire, today best remembered for their architectural legacy of fascinating forts, tombs and other majestic buildings.
Top sights in Agra
Agra as one of India’s most visited city, has a variety of attractions to offer its visitors including three UNESCO World Heritage. The Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort are by far the most popular sites within the city limits, and theFatehpur Sikri is the favorite desination in the outskirt of Agra.
- Agra Heritage sites: Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri
- Agra tombs: Akbar’s tomb, Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb, Mariam’s Tomb
- Agra gardens: Ram Bagh Gardens and Mehtab Bagh
- Agra religious sites: Jama Masjid
Some of the most sought after sights in Agra include in alphabetic order:
- Agra Fort: the second most visited attraction in Agra. This red sandstone palaceand defensive structure is a remarkable piece of architecture, often considered a much better preserved version of the Delhi’s Red Fort. It was built by the Emperor Akbar between 1565 and 1571 as a testament of his power. The fort was later improve by Shah Jahan, the grand child of Akbar, but ironically ended up as a prisoner. The entry cost is Rs 300 including a 5Rs levy and there are interesting audio guides available for an extra Rs 100.
- Akbar’s Tomb: located in Sikandra, a couple of kilometres north of Agra, it is dedicated to one of the greatest Emperors. Thetomb complex is at the heart of beautiful garden and surrounded by four red sandstone gates
- Chini Ka Roza: a memorial famous for its dome of blue glazed tiles dedicated to Allama Afzel Khal Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz, the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan
- Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb: often referred to as the Baby Taj, it was built by the Empress Nur Jehan for her father the Chief Minister of Emperor Jahangir. It uses white marble and is surrounded by a lovely white marble
- Jama Masjid: A large mosque built in 1648 during the reign of the father Shah Jahan famous for its unusual dome and absence of minarets
- Mariam’s Tomb: a beautiful white marble grave, built by Jahangir for his mother Mariam Zammani. Later Akbar constructed a school and a church in the memory of his Christian wife
- Mehtab Bagh: perhaps Agra’s most beautiful garden, strategically located on the opposite site of Taj Mahal from the river. This remarkable botanical garden offers spectacular views of the Taj in a more secluded environment away from the tourist crowds.
- Ram Bagh Gardens: famous as the first Mughal gardens, built by the Mughal founder, the Babar Emperor and
- Taj Mahal: the most important touristic site of Agra. Learn more.
- Temples: Balkeshwar Temple (Lord Shiva), Kailash Temple, (Lord Shiva), Mankameshwar Temple, Prithvinath Temple in Shahganj, Rajeshwar Temple in Rajpur Village, Shyam Ji Maharaj Temple in Bijlighar, Mahakal And Mahakali Temple on Sikandra Bodla road, Rawli Maharaj Temple
Sources – http://www.funkyindia.com