Agra is the most visited tourist destination in India well known for housing the UNESCO World Heritage Sites notably the Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. These glorifying monuments of the mughal-era have magnificent architectures and are rich with historical significance. The Taj Mahal which is among one of the wonders of the world is the major reason for attracting millions of tourists from around the world to travel to Agra. While you are visiting this city to witness the grandeur of the Taj Mahal, you can explore many other gems the city has to offer.
When To Visit:
The best time to visit Agra is during winters which fall between October to March. Since your visit will include exploring the monuments in the city these months are very pleasant and apt for sight seeings. Still, if you are planning to go during summers, I would suggest you to visit the monuments early mornings or in the evenings. Avoid the afternoon time as it can be unbearably hot & humid.
Places To Visit In Agra:
The Taj Mahal being one of the Seven Wonders of the world is a must visit tourist attraction in this city. This majestic monument was built by Shah Jahan as a symbol of love and tribute for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It took about 20,000 people & 22 years to complete. As you pass the grand entrance gate you will feel mesmerized by the beauty of this white marble mausoleum and it’s perfectly fine layout. Take a stroll on the pathways and capture perfect and memorable moments with this picturesque castle. The artworks done on the marbles are amazingly crafted with beautiful patterns & floral designs. Being the most popular tourist attraction, Taj Mahal is always jam-packed with visitors throughout the year. To avoid the crowds, visit it during the early sunrise hours and witness this extremely marvelous mausoleum unfold its beauty before you.
Daytime: Sunrise to Sunset everyday except Fridays (when it’s closed for prayer).
Night Time: 8:30 pm to 12:30 am.
For foreign nationals the ticket is priced at 1000 rupees (15 USD) which includes a bottle of water, shoe covers & a tourist map of Agra.
For Indian nationals the ticket is priced at 40 rupees. You will need to purchase shoe covers separately.
During your visit you will be allowed to carry your camera & mobile phone with you. Edibles, torch & sharp objects are not allowed inside.
The Agra Fort is an impressive historically significant monument in Agra built by mughal emperor Akbar in the year 1573 within a span of eight years. Constructed of red sandstone, this monument has a remarkable architecture comprising of many palaces, gardens, lawns, courtyards, corridors, mosques, audience halls and chambers. The Agra Fort used to be main residence of the mughal emperors before they moved to the Red Fort in Delhi. The gardens and palaces are very attractive. You can also enjoy the cool breezy views of the Taj Mahal from the windows from the top of this monument. This place is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Agra. A guided walking tour will be very informative to understand all the historic elements in this monument.
Agra fort is open 6 AM to 6 PM everyday for visitors. They also have a light and sound show after sunset from 6:30 PM onwards (the exact timings may vary).
For foreign nationals the ticket for Agra Fort is priced at 550 rupees (8 USD) while for Indian nationals the ticket is priced at 40 rupees.
The Fatehpur Sikri is a palace city located at about 40 km from Agra is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was designated as the capital city of the mughal empire by the emperor Akbar during the years 1571-1585. This amazing tourist attraction is built of red sandstone and is a perfect example of Indo-Islamic architecture. It constructed on a 40m high ridge and is surrounded by walls on the three sides while the fourth side has a lake view. You may have a tour of Fatehpur Sikri starting from the entrance also known as the Bulandh Darwaza which is a majestic gate having beautiful carvings and inscriptions. Within the enormous layout of this palace city there are many popular structures such as the tomb of sufi saint Salim Chishti, Jama Masjid, Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of public audience), Birbal’s home, Hiran Minar (Elephant tower) and Paanch Mahal(five-storied pyramidal palace).
Fatehpur Sikri is open from 6 AM to 6:30 PM everyday for visitors except on fridays.
For foreign nationals the ticket for Fatehpur Sikri is priced at 260 rupees (4 USD) while for Indian nationals the ticket is priced at 20 rupees.
I’timad-Ud-Daulah is famously known as the Baby Taj Mahal in Agra and is located at the river bank of Yamuna. This monument was built by the most influential mughal empress Nur Jahan for her father. The delicate layout of this monument is surrounded by beautiful persian styled gardens. The walls of the monuments are built of white marbles covered with intricate carvings and geometric patterns.
I’timad-Ud-Daulah is open from 8 AM to 12 AM everyday for visitors.
For foreign nationals the ticket for I’timad-Ud-Daulah is priced at 210 rupees (4 USD) while for Indian nationals the ticket is priced at 20 rupees.
The Mehtab Bagh located at the banks of yamuna river is another perfect and picturesque garden with a back drop of the stunning Taj Mahal. This garden is also called the Moonlight Garden and is the last of the eleven gardens built by the Mughal emperors in the early 1500s. Here you will find a wide variety of trees and plants divided into many scenic sections. This beautiful garden also gives you an opportunity for spending fun and peaceful time viewing the Taj Mahal away from the huge crowds.
The Mehtab Bagh is open from 6 AM to 6 PM everyday for visitors.
For foreign nationals the ticket for Mehtab Bagh is priced at 200 rupees (4 USD) while for Indian nationals the ticket is priced at 15 rupees.
Where To Stay in Agra:
It is highly recommended to stay at an accomodation which is near or at a short walking distance from the Taj Mahal since all the major attractions such as Agra Fort, Mehtab Bagh and Itmad Ud daulah are easily accessible from this area. Agra has many stay options including budget hotels, homestays, hostels as well as fine luxurious hotels. Below are some of my favorite picks for a pleasant stay while visiting Agra;
Hostel: Zostel, Hotel Safari
Budget Hotel: Hotel Safari, Treebo Maniram Palace
Mid – Range Hotel: Hotel Safari, The Gateway Hotel, The Coral Court Homestay
Luxury Hotel: Trident, Double Tree By Hilton, Oberoi Amar Vilas
You can also book your Hotel Accommodation by entering details in the box below to find the best deals;
The lovely city Agra is very rich in heritage, architecture and has a lot of exploration sites with historical significance of the Mughal era. There are many interesting stories and sagas residing within the magnificence of these sites. So, if you are planning a visit to Agra for the Taj Mahal, add a day or two to your itinerary and visit the above mentioned places in this beautiful city of Taj.
Have you been to Agra, or plan to make a visit? Do share your experience/opinion here, I would love to hear from you 🙂
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