Agra In Five Chapters

Best time to visit Agra (3)

Agra isn’t just a popular tourist destination, but a historical gem that marked history in every era and still carries traces of its lost heritage. As thousands of tourists flock to the Taj Mahal every year, Agra has quite rightfully come to be equated with the white-marbled architectural landmark. Yet, the place is a layered jewel that showcases many more of its beauties to the right eye.

How To Reach Agra:

By Air

The city has a military airbase, which doesn’t connect it with any place in India. The closest domestic and international airport to Agra is at Delhi, the Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is well-linked with all prime Indian and foreign destinations. Travelers can hire a cab, book a taxi or take a bus to reach Agra from here. 

By Rail

There are major rail networks that run through Agra making this city easy to reach from major cities like Delhi and Chennai too. It serves as a railway junction so there are around 40 trains and a luxury train called Palace on Wheels that connect to Agra. 

By Road

Agra is well connected by state and roadways buses to several cities and towns like Delhi, Gwalior, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Jaipur. There are basically two prime bus terminals in Agra, namely Idgah Bus Stand and ISBT and buses here are available for all major destinations. Those driving from Delhi to Agra can take NH 2 route while those traveling from Jaipur can take NH 11 road.

Top 5 Places To Visit In Agra

Here is a list of 5 places you should visit in Agra, to truly experience the place like a tourist and a local.

1. Taj Mahal

How can one visit Agra and not pay a visit to this architectural gem?

 One of the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal is a living witness of fine Mughal craftsmanship. The complex is surrounded by well-kept gardens and there is a marble water tank in the middle. A visit to the place is necessary to get a complete experience of what Agra has to offer.

Timings: An hour before sunrise and about 45 minutes prior to sunset
Closed on Fridays (The mosque inside is open)

Entry fee: Indian- INR 45 ( Additional INR 200 to see the main mausoleum)
SAARC AND BIMSTEC- INR 535 ( Additional INR 200 to see the main mausoleum)
Foreigner- INR 1050 (Additional NR 200 to see the main mausoleum)
Children below age 15- Free

2. Agra Fort

Agra fort was primarily begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565 as a military structure and was later transformed into a palace by his grandson Emperor Shah Jahan. The Amar Singh Gate, which was originally built to confuse attackers with its design, is now the point of entry to the fort. The red sandstone and marble architecture of the fort exhibits the grandiosity of Mughal architecture and leaves you awed.

Timings: All days of the week
6 am- 6pm

Entry fee:
Indian- INR 35
SAARC AND BIMSTEC- INR 35
Foreigner- INR 550
Children below age 15- Free

3. Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri, 40 km away, is a fort on an elevated rocky place. It is the pride of the Mughal Empire and a unique blend of architectural brilliance and religious beliefs. This monument was built by Akbar to honor Sheikh Salim Chisti, whose prediction of the birth of a Mughal heir came true while Akbar was visiting the then city of Sikri. In honor of the prophecy, Akbar built this city and Jama Masjid.  He also undertook the construction of three palaces for each of his favorite wives, one a Hindu, one a Muslim and one a Christian. 

If you are a history buff, then this place is definitely a must-visit for you. Otherwise, the spiritual and religious aura of Fatehpur Sikri is blinding, and you should pay a visit to this place to go down the historical lane and connect with yourself.

Major Attractions: Diwan-I-Am, Turkish Sultana, Daulat khana-I-khas, Palace of Jodha Bai, Hawa Mahal And Nagina Masjid, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, Panch Mahal,Tomb of Salim Chisti, Buland Darwaza.

Timings: All days of the week
From sunrise to sunset 

Entry fee: Indian- INR 50
Foreigner- INR 485

4. Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid at Agra, also known as ‘Friday Mosque’, 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 onion- shaped dome and tapering minarets signify typical Mughal style of architecture and its artistic brilliance. The entire Jama Masjid complex exudes peace, harmony and tranquillity and gives one an atmosphere to breathe in solace.

Things to keep in mind before visiting:

Visit during the early hours to avoid crowds

Wear appropriate clothing to enter the mosque

Timings: All days of the week.
6:00 am – 8:00 pm 

Entry Fees: Free 

5. Itimad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb

Alternatively called ‘Baby Taj Mahal’, the tomb of Itimad-ud-daulah is often regarded as a copy of Taj Mahal. It is the tomb of Mir Gheyas, who was a minister in the court of Shah Jahan. The tomb was one of the first few structures to make use of pietra dura and the first to be built on the banks of the River Yamuna. The tomb’s architectural design reflects the transition from the first phase of the Mughal architecture to the second. It basically consists of Indo-Islamic architecture, with the use of arched entrances and octagonal shaped towers.

Visiting Itimad-ud-daulah’s tomb is like taking a closer look at Agra’s history.

Timings: All days of the week
6:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Entry fee:
Indian- INR 20
Foreigner- INR 210

A staycation in Agra is like an overwhelming confrontation with India’s history and its royal heritage. It has so much to offer from mouth-watering cuisine to shopping landmarks, cultural destinations to warm locals. The list is never-ending as Agra just continues to surprise us!

Gauri Babele

Hey! I'm Gauri. Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice. An engineer turned writer. Loves animals tolerate humans. Has a thing for pizza and old books. Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.

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