In and Around Agra (°C - °C)
When Agra becomes the topic of conversation, the Taj Mahal comes to mind immediately. The marble palace draws tourists by the thousands every day. It is one monument that is worth the hype. However, the Taj Mahal is not the only place of interest in Agra. The Mughals have left a lasting legacy in the city, including fascinating mausoleums and tombs. For those interested in getting into the thick of the action can visit the bustling marketplaces in the area. Upon arrival, one is immediately greeted by rickshaw-wallahs, unofficial guides and souvenir vendors. While some are genuinely helpful, others are persistently annoying. Most tourists choose to take a whistle-stop tour of Agra, after a lengthy stay in Delhi. However, there is quite a lot to see in the vicinity. If one looks carefully, there is a lot that can be appreciated. A day of sightseeing could take you to Fatehpur Sikri and the pilgrimage centre of Mathura. Agra is perched on a land bend in the Yamuna River. The fort and the Taj Mahal are 2km apart and both overlook the river on different sides. The city is well-connected, with the bus terminus and train station located a few kilometres in the southwest. It is interesting to note that the artisans and labourers who worked hard to erect the Taj have built their homes south of the mausoleum. This has led to the creation of a network of alleys referred to as Taj Ganj – a popular living hotspot for budget travellers. Some of the best historical sites are located in this quaint city. Apart from the monumental Taj Mahal, there are other places of historical significance one can visit. A visit to one of the finest Mughal forts, Agra Fort, should form part of any travel itinerary to the city. The monumental red sandstone fort is embedded in history. A visit to the Taj Mahal is not complete without taking a tour of the Taj Museum, which is located in the same complex. The museum is home to a wide selection of Mughal miniature paintings as well as a few silver and gold coins. Why not take a tour of Akbar’s marble and sandstone tomb? On entering the large courtyard through the beautiful gateway, one can behold the three-storey minarets and other intricate patterns. It is located 10km west of the Agra Fort. A trip to Agra should be planned between November and March. The weather is perfect for sightseeing during this time. Try and avoid visiting the city during the hot summer months between April and October. There are a number of premium and budget hotels in Agra. For those looking to stay close to the station, there are a number of OYO rooms near Agra city railway station. For tourists looking to find accommodation close to the main hubs can book an OYO room in MG Road or near TDI Mall. There are a few hotels near historical places of interest, like Akbar’s Tomb and Itmad-Ud-Daulah Tomb.