Are you planning a trip to Agra? We have handpicked some of the best places to visit in Agra so that you don’t have to do any research. Agra is home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. But Taj Mahal is not the only monument that Agra is famous for.
Agra also hosts some of the other architectural marvels like Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. All three monuments are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra city is situated on the banks of the river Yamuna.
Agra served as the Capital city during the reigns of sultan Sikandar Lodi. After Sikandar Lodi’s death, his on Ibrahim Lodi controlled the empire from Agra before he lost the first battle of Panipat to Mughal Badshah Babar.
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It is believed that the golden age of Agra started with the Mughals. Agra was earlier known as Akbarabād. Akbarabād remained the capital of the Mughal sultanate under the rule of three Mughal emperors, Akbar, Jahāngīr and Shāh Jahān. After the end of the Mughal empire, the Marathas were in control of the city and named it Agra. Later on the the reigns of the city were passed onto the British Raj in 1803.
Apart from some of the most beautiful monuments of the world, Agra also has a lot to offer to all foodies. Agra is well known for it’s Petha, chaat and lassi. If you ever get a chance to visit this historic city, don’t forget to try these local delicacies of Agra.
Best Places To Visit in Agra
Visit Taj Mahal
One of the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal is also known as the “Symbol of Love”. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of her third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The architectural beauty of this monument, leaves everyone spellbound. All domestic and International travellers make it a point to visit Taj Mahal as least once. It is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture and mesmerises everyone who has been fortunate enough to visit this world wonder.
Taj Mahal has also been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Even some of the most renowned authors of the world have written some beautiful lines about this architectural marvel. Rabindranath Tagore described it as “a teardrop in the cheek of eternity” while Rudyard Keepling said it is “the embodiment of all things pure“.
It took 10 years and hard work of 20,000 artisans to construct this masterpiece. The design and patterns show signs of Persian and early Mughal architecture. While earlier Mughal monuments were constructed using red sandstone, Shah Jahan paid special emphasis on building Taj Mahal using white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones. Taj Mahal is without doubt one of the best places to visit in Agra.
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Learn About the Historical Significance of Agra Fort
Agra fort was the main residence of the Mughal emperors till 1638. Later, the capital was shifted to Delhi from Agra. Realising the importance of strategic location of Agra, Akbar made it the capital of his empire in 1558. Akbar had Agra Fort built from red sandstone, which was brought from Barauli area of Dhaulpur district, in Rajasthan. The inner core of the fort was built using bricks, while on the exterior red sandstone was used.
Close to 4000 artisans worked daily for 8 years on building this fort. Akbar’s grandson Shah Jahan further made some changes to the structure of Agra Fort, which resembles its current look. The fort is spread across in an area of 94 acres. Two of its gates are the most popular ones, “Delhi Gate and the “Lahore Gate”. Delhi Gate is considered the grandest of the four gates and is an architectural masterpiece. If you have interest in history and architecture, then Agra fort should be in your list of best places to visit in Agra.
The place is very important in terms of history and was also declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
Admire Architectural Finesse of Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri is a small town in Agra district. The name of the city is based on the name of a small village, Sikri, which occupied this place earlier. The city served as the capital of the Mughal dynasty from 1571 to 1585.
Earlier excavation activities conducted by ASI have revealed that the city had habitation, temples and commercial centres here before Akbar made it his capital.
Babur also loved this place for its lakes and serene environment. He used to call it Shukri. He even defeated Rana Sanga on the outskirts of this city. Akbar’s son Jahangir was born in the village of Sikri in 1569.
After Jahangir’s birth, Akbar gave the order of building a religious compound to honour the Sheikh who had predicted Jahangir’s birth. Akbar also started construction of a walled city around Sikri to celebrate Jahangir’s second birthday.
Later on, the city came to be known as Fatehpur Sikri, the “City of Victory”, after Akbar’s victorious Gujarat campaign in 1573.
Some of the important buildings in the city, both religious and secular are:
- Buland Darwaza
- Jama Masjid
- Tomb of Salim Chishti
- Ibadat Khana
- Birbal’s House
- Panch Mahal
- Hiran Minar
Visit Another Architectural Masterpiece – Akbar’s Tomb
As the name rightly suggests, it is the tomb of the Mughal emperor Akbar, which was completed by his son Jahangir in 1613. It again can be considered as a Mughal architectural masterpiece. It is located at Sikandra, in the suburbs of Agra. In the vicinity lies the tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani, Akbar’s wife and the mother of Jahangir.
The South Gate of the tomb is the largest and is the normal point of entry to the tomb. The building has been mainly constructed using red sandstone and has been enriched with marble.
Although Agra is primarily known for its rich culture and historical monuments, in the city lies some of the best traditional shopping centres and markets. You would be able to buy beautiful items of art and craft and masterfully designed souvenirs from these Bazaars. The local cuisines are famous too, especially Petha, Dalmoth and Gajak.
Some of the main markets in Agra include:
- Sadar Bazaar
- Subhash Bazaar
- Kinari Bazaar
- TDI Mall
- Raja Ki Mandi
- Shah Market
- Shahganj Bazaar
- Shoe Market
These are some of the best places to visit in Agra for Shopaholics and foodies.
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Best Time To Visit Agra
The city experiences mild winters, hot and dry summers and a monsoon season. Best time to visit Agra is between autumn and winter season when the weather is pleasant. Between October and March, when the region experiences the winter season, you can enjoy the beauty of Taj Mahal when the weather is perfect for sightseeing.
August marks the beginning of the monsoon season in Agra, so if you want to witness Taj Mahal in its rain-washer splendour then this is the best season for you to visit Agra.
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