Everybody know Agra for housing one of the Seven Wonders of World – Taj Mahal. But this whole city of Uttar Pradesh is known for heritage buildings and ancient monuments. This north Indian city is also popular for UNESCO World Heritage Sites the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Agra is totally a historical gem of India and definitely worth your visit especially in winters. For small weekend getaways and Christmas breaks, plan your itinerary soon.
Including one and only Taj Mahal, check out some of the best places to visit in Agra with shopping area and food to eat.
Feel Eternal Love at Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was designed as the mausoleum and loving memorial of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in Agra. It illustrates an excellent example of the fusion of the best features of the Indian, Persian and Islamic architectural beauty and design.
Visiting Fee: For Indians: Rs. 45/- Foreign Tourists: Rs. 1050/- You have to pay an additional charge of Rs. 200 to see the main mausoleum. Kids Below 15 age can get entry free.
For Reading More about Taj Mahal Click Here » Taj Mahal The Wonder Of India.
Visit Fatehpur Sikri – Heritage From Mughal Era
Fatehpur Sikri is the pride of the Mughal Empire and in Uttar Pradesh showcase a unique blend of architectural brilliance and religious beliefs. It was once the capital of Mughal Emperor Akbar but now it is a UNESCO world heritage site and a famous tourist attraction of Agra especially for history buffs. The city offers a fine example of Akbar’s architectural finesse.
This monument was built by Akbar to honour Sheikh Salim Chisti, later also developed this city and then created Jama Masjid. He also undertook the construction of three palaces for each of his favourite wives. If you are a history buff, then this place is definitely a must-visit for you. For experiencing the spiritual and religious aura of Fatehpur Sikri, one must visit it.
Visiting Fee: For Indians: Rs. 40/- Foreign Tourists: Rs. 550/- Kids Below 15 age can get entry free.
Take Selfies’ at Buland Darwaza
One of Fatehpur Sikri’s most popular tourist attractions is Buland Darwaza. It is India’s heritage city. This 54m tall Buland Darwaza is known as the Victory Gate and is the main gate of entry. This gate was designed to celebrate the triumph of Akbar in Gujarat, the great Mughal emperor.
A deep well is just outside this Darwaza in which local daredevils used to leap into the water from the top of the entrance. The approved entrance is the Shahi Darwaza, where certified guides can be employed.
Watch Mughal Majesty at Agra Fort
Constructed from red sandstone and it resembles the Delhi Lal Qila, Agra Fort is also known as mini Lal Qila. This Mughal castle originated from Badalgarh Fort. It is another UNESCO World Heritage site. Emperor Akbar renovating it as per his requirements after taking it from Ser Shah Suri. The construction took time from 1565 CE to 1573 CE in completion. As you walk inside the massive palace you will witness the grand majesty and royal lifestyle of the bygone era.
The entry is allowed via Amar Singh Gate only. As you enter, you’ll come across Diwan-i-Am or the Hall of Public Audience with numerous pillars which are believed to be made by Shahjahan in the year 1628. As you walk further, you’ll see Royal Pavilions full of elegant mosques comprising of Jahangir Fort, Mina Masjid and Nagina Masjid, palaces like Macchi Bhavan, Sheesh Mahal, Khas Mahal and Zenana Mina Bazaar.
Visiting Fee: For Indians: Rs. 35/- Foreign Tourists: Rs. 550/-
Sit Peacefully at Mehtab Bhag
Between 1631 and 1635, Mehtab Bagh, or the Garden of Moonlight, was created. Situated on the bank of the River Yamuna, the beautiful garden extends over an area of 25 acres. Since its width is exactly equal to that of the Taj Mahal, it is positioned in symmetrical harmony with the Taj Mahal.
In the centre of the garden is a wide octagonal pool. This represents the image of the Taj Mahal so that while in the garden, tourists can appreciate the site of the great mausoleum. A stepped waterfall has carried the water into the tub. Unfortunately, the garden has remained vulnerable to the Yamuna River floods since its inception in the Mughal period.
Visiting here is free of cost
Watch the Grandeur of Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb
Mughal emperor Jahangir, the son of Akbar the Great, conferred the title of Itimad-ud-Daulah on Mirza Ghiyas Beg, the father of his beloved wife Noor Jahan. But the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah was built by their daughter Noor Jahan from 1622 to 1628. The grandness of the tomb is admired so much that it is considered a prototype of the Taj Mahal and therefore, also known as the Baby Taj or the Jewel Box.
The tomb is located at Moti Bagh on the east bank of river Yamuna. It is built over a red stone plinth that stands amidst the famous Persian Gardens called Char-Bagh. The garden consists of shallow water streams built upon paved pathways linked with tanks and cascades. These pathways divide the garden into four parts giving a charming view to its visitors.
Visiting Fee: For Indians: Rs. 25/- Foreign Tourists: Rs. 300/-
Apart from this, you can also Visit Chini Ka Rauza which is located just one km from the Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb.
Visit Jama Masjid
Also popular as Friday Mosque, Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques built by the Mughals in India. Constructed under the reign of Shah Jahan in 1648, Jama Masjid is dedicated to his favourite daughter Jahan Ara Begum. The Masjid is mainly built of white marble and red sandstone and again combines architectural grandeur with a religious significance.
Its dome and minarets signify the typical Mughal style of architecture and its artistic brilliance. The entire Jama Masjid complex is a great place to attain peace, harmony and tranquillity and provides sightseers with an atmosphere to breathe in comfort.
Visiting this Masjid is free of cost.
Where to Shop at Agra
Agra is known for numerous varieties of unique and extinct crafts which are nowhere to be seen these days. One of the most commonly bought collectables is called ‘Bric-a-Brac’ which is a small marble replica of Taj Mahal. The markets of Agra are unique in their way and known for a different product and home to many people like the artisans, jewellers, embroiders, carpet makers and weavers who come here to showcase their precious talent.
Most of the major shopping complexes are situated near the Taj Mahal, the most famous ones being Sadar Bazaar which is famous for leather shoes, and chat Gali, Kinari Bazaar, Raja Ki Mandi and TDI mall and Munro Road.
You can also Savour Agra ke Pathe, buy Chiken Kari kurta, small replicas of Taj Mahal and enjoy picnics at panoramic Baaghs. This place definitely worth your visit whether you want to do a small winter holiday or weekend trip of the honeymoon. Agra won’t disappoint you.
Also Read: 10 Tourist Places to Visit in Uttar Pradesh