Agra is a beautiful city located on the banks of River Yamuna in the Indian state Uttar Pradesh. The city was once the capital of Famous Mughal Rulers. Currently, it is one of the prime tourist attractions of the country as it has some most notable Mughal-era buildings like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri. All of these places are now UNESCO World Heritage sites.
How to Reach
Agra can be reached from the capital city of India New Delhi. The distance of Agra from New Delhi is 233.1Km via Taj Express Highway or Yamuna Expressway. By road, this is the shortest route from New Delhi to Agra. A local cab will charge around Rs 3000 for a whole day Agra tour from Delhi. It will take around 4 hours to reach Agra from Delhi via this road. The road has many lanes so that it is impossible to get slowed down on this road due to traffic. Moreover, the condition of this road is perfect. Hence, you can expect a speedy, no disturbance journey here. However, there is one disadvantage here, though nominal, this route has toll taxes.
Other than private cars, there are also train and bus services available from Delhi to Agra. A train will take around 2 hours to reach Agra from Delhi. The fare is around Rs150 per person. Bus fare is around Rs. 400 per person.
Top Places to Visit
It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in India.
If you are visiting the Taj Mahal in your own car then you have to get down from your car 1 Km before the main building because the parking space of the Taj Mahal is 1 Km ahead of the main building. From there you can avail battery operated cars, buses, local horse carts or rickshaws to go to the adjacent ticket counter of the Taj Mahal. The bus rate is Rs10 per person and the battery-operated car rate is Rs20 per person. The entry fee for the Taj Mahal is Rs50 for Indian tourists, Rs1110 for foreign tourists and Rs540 for citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries. There is one additional charge of Rs200 for visiting the main mausoleum which is optional. Children up to 15 years are free to enter the premises.
Taj Mahal is an integrated complex of structures. The main building of this complex is the famous ivory-white marble Mausoleum which the 5th Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had built in the memory of his loving wife Mumtaz Mahal to house her tomb. This is a UNESCO world heritage site and also was declared as a winner of the new 7 wonders of the world. The place attracts 7-8 million visitors from all over the world throughout the year.
If you are visiting the main mausoleum then you have to purchase disposable shoe cover which will be charged Rs20 per pair.
After entering through the main entrance you will see a long passageway passing through a well-manicured garden. In the middle of the passageway, there is a beautiful water fountain. On a public holiday or Sunday, you will see a large crowd roaming here and there and taking pictures in front of this wonder of the World.
The view of the Yamuna River and surrounding from the basement of the main mausoleum needs a special mention.
This is another UNESCO world heritage site. The fort was once the main residence of great Mughal emperors and it was built and redesigned by three great emperors of Mughal dynasty Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan.
After you enter through the main entrance the 1st building you will see is the Jahangiri Mahal. It was built by Emperor Akbar. The building was built with red sandstone. It is a two-storied building and was once the main residence of Emperors Akbar and Jahangir. You will be amazed by the beautiful architecture of this palace.
Moving from this palace you will come to the Diwan-i-aam or the public Audience hall. This is a beautiful hallway famous for notable artwork on its pillars.
Behind Diwan-i-aam, there are the main imperial buildings built by Emperor Shah Jahan. The garden in front of the buildings is known as anguri bag. Behind it, you can see the residence of Emperor Shah Jahan and his two daughters Jahanara and Roshanara. Unlike the Jahangiri Mahal, these buildings are built by white marble stones.
Throughout the year you can see a large number of tourists visiting this beautiful fort and enjoying themselves.
In the evening you can be entertained by a light and sound show here.
You can also purchase the entry tickets of these two places online. We will share the respective links in the description box.
Fatehpur Sikri is a town in Agra district of Indian state Uttar Pradesh. The city was founded by Mughal Emperor Akbar after his victory over Gujarat. The main place to visit here is the Fatehpur Sikri fort.
Fatehpur Sikri Fort
If you are traveling Fatehpur Sikri in your own car then you have to park the car just after entering through the outer gate of the city. The parking place here is a large complex where you can get every facility. From this parking place, you have to avail of government buses to go to the main fort entrance. The bus fare is Rs10 per person.
The entry fee to Fatehpur Sikri fort is Rs.50 for Indian tourists, Rs.610 for foreign tourists. Children up to 15 years are free to enter the premises.
After entering through the main entrance you will see Diwan-i-am or the public audience hall of Emperor Akbar.
Behind Diwan-i Am there is a big open space. In the middle of this open space stands the Diwan-i-Khas or the hall of private audience. The building is famous for its beautifully decorated central pillar. The pillar has a square base and an octagonal shaft.
On the left of Diwan-i-Khas is the treasury building of Emperor Akbar.
Behind it, you can see Anup Talao. It is a tank in front of the khwabgah. The tank is made up of red sandstone.
In front of Anup Talao, there is the Panch Mahal. The Panch Mahal was built by Akbar. The palace was near the harem and was a summer retreat for royal family members. Going from bottom to top each floor is smaller than the other. There are 84 pillars on the first floor. Each pillar had a jali work from where women can have a glimpse of the city.
Besides the Panch Mahal, there is Khas Mahal or the Emperor’s private palace. It is a two-storied building. This building is connected to the Ladies harem.
At the center of the ladies’ harem stood the palace of Jodhabai, the Hindu Rajput wife of Emperor Akbar. The palace has notable Gujarati influence in its architecture and is built around a courtyard. Special care was being taken to ensure the privacy of this Palace. In this Palace complex, you can see the summer and winter Palace of Jodhabai. These two are double-storied structure famous for intricate Jali work. On the third side, you will see the Temple where Jodhabai used to worship God.
At the ground floor of this complex, you can be entertained by an audio-visual show which tells the story of Fatehpur Sikri.
On one side of Jodhabai’s Palace, you can see the horse stable. At the end of the horse stable, there is Birbal’s Palace. The palace was built on the basis of Mughal and Persian architecture and is of two stories.
On the other side of Jodhabai’s palace, there is another palace which was belonged to the Christian wife of Emperor Akbar.
From the back of the harem complex, you can clearly see the entrance of the fort.
In front of the Panch Mahal, you can see Pachisi Court. Akbar built a Pachisi court here to play the Pachisi game. Emperor Akbar used to play this game with his queens and other important royal members.
This fort is now a UNESCO world heritage site and experiences thousands of visitors every day.
Tomb of Salim Chisti
The Tomb of Salim Chishti is the best example of Mughal architecture. The complex was built during the years 1580 and 1581, along with the imperial complex at Fatehpur Sikri. On south, it is facing towards Buland Darwaza. It is the burial place of the Sufi saint, Salim Chisti. Akbar constructed the mausoleum as a mark of his respect for the Sufi saint.
Where to Stay
Agra is a place where you don’t need to think about a hotel or resort. There are numerous hotels and resorts of different budget range are available all over the city. You may also book hotels online.