Agra has three UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort in the city and Fatehpur Sikri nearby. There are also many other buildings and tombs from Agra's days of glory as the capital of the Mughal Empire. These sites are some of the wonders of the world and no trip to India is complete without at least one visit to the Taj.
Agra is located at a distance 60 km from Mathura and 205 km from Delhi. The beautiful city was founded by Badal Singh and established in 1475. Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal (symbol of undying love of Mumtaz and Shahjahan) is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world.
Tourist Attractions in Agra:
Taj Mahal: The Taj Mahal is an immense mausoleum of white marble, built between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife. Taj Mahal means Crown Palace; one of the wife's names was Mumtaz Mahal, Ornament of the Palace. The Taj is one of the most well preserved and architecturally beautiful tombs in the world, one of the masterpieces of Indian Muslim architecture, and one of the great sites of the world's heritage.
Please note that the Taj Mahal is closed every Friday
Agra Fort: The fort is similar in layout to the Red Fort in Delhi, but considerably better preserved, Emperor Akbar, king at 14, began consolidating his empire and, as an assertion of his power built the fort in Agra between 1565 and 1571, at the same time as Humayun's Tomb in Delhi. Emperor Shah Jahan added to the fort and ended up a prisoner in it. The fort has a beautiful view of his masterpiece, the Taj Mahal, on a clear day.
The Buland Darwaza: The Buland Darwaza is a gateway, located in Fatehpur sikri. It is situated at a distance of 45 km away from Agra. The Buland Darwaza was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1573 and is a fine example of Islamic architecture. The name Buland Darwaza means 'high Door' as the height of this door is 40.74 meters. It is a magnificent structure built in red sandstone with decorated in white marble. It is the entrance gateway to the Jama Masjid in Fatehpur.
Sikandra: (10 km north of Agra on the Agra Delhi highway). Open from sunrise to sunset. The tomb of Akbar lies here in the centre of the large garden. Akbar started its construction himself but it was completed by his son Jehangir, who significantly modified the original plans which accounts for the somewhat cluttered architectural lines of the tomb. Four red sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex: one is Muslim, one Hindu, one Christian, and one is Akbar's patent mixture.
Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb: Empress Nur Jehan built Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, sometimes called the Baby Taj, for her father, Ghias-ud-Din Beg, the Chief Minister of Emperor Jahangir. Small in comparison to many other Mughal-era tombs, it is sometimes described as a jewel box. Its garden layout and use of white marble, pietra dura, inlay designs and latticework presage many elements of the Taj Mahal.
Jama Masjid: A large mosque attributed to Princess Jahanara Begum, built in 1648 during the reign of the father Shah Jahan. Notable for its unusual dome and absence of minarets.
Mariam's Tomb: (West from Akbar's Tomb on Agra-Delhi highway). Constructed by Jahangir in the memory of his mother Mariam Zamani a title bestowed upon her,. The grave is made of white marble. Though this building is in a ruined condition, yet it has in its vicinity, a Christian Mission School and a church. It is also said; Akbar himself made that it in the memory of his Christian wife.
Chini-Ka-Rauza (China Tomb): China Tomb is another famous tourist attraction in Agra. It is dedicated to the memory of Afzal Khan, who was the prime minister in the court of Akbar. China Tomb is located about a kilometer north of Itmad-ud-Daulah tomb and is rectangular in shape. This Tomb is the best example of polychrome glazed tile decoration.
Gardens: Soami Bagh, Ram Bagh and Mehtab Bagh.
Temples: Balkeshwar Temple, Kailash Temple, Mankameshwar Temple, Prithvi Nath Temple, Rajeshwar Temple, Shyam Ji Maharaj Temple, Mahakal And Mahakali Temple, Rawli Maharaj Temple
Golden Triangle Tour (Food tours and sightseeing in Agra, Jaipur and Delhi): A short tour of Delhi, Agra & Jaipur in 3 or more days is very popular among tourists as Golden Triangle tour. A typical tour will cover sightseeing in Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur and Delhi in that order and includes transport via car, plane or train, food and lodging in these three cities.