Top 5 Places to See in Agra A city known for its ancient charm, Agra is a city in Uttar Pradesh (North India). It makes for a splendid picture in architecture and ambience. Glorified by Mughal-era structures and culture, Agra is nestled on the banks of the river Yamuna. Thronged by tourists all through the year, Agra is made up of some of the best known and beloved historic buildings in the world. The 4 best tourist places to visit in Agra (yes, Taj Mahal is at the top) are:
Built in the memory of Shah Jahan’s queen Mumtaz Mahal, this monument of love need no introduction. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and holds an impressive aura around its opulence. Built of marble and inlaid with semi-precious stones, this monument is one of the most beautiful and thought-provoking buildings in all of India. Completely symmetrical and fascinating, you will find verses from the Koran inscribed on it and 22 small domes that indicate the number of years the imposing structure took to build. Decorated with precious stones and delicate inlay work, the Taj Mahal definitely takes pride of place in the list of things to see in Agra.
Akbar’s latter capital, Fatehpur Sikri is an opulent structure, and is one of the three World Heritage Sites in Agra. Later abandoned by Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri flaunts an imposing Buland Darwaza, which was built to commemorate Akbar’s victory over Gujarat. Built of red and buff sandstone and decorated with black and white marble inlay work, the Buland Darwaza and Fatehpur Sikri as a whole is a sight to behold.
Agra Red Fort
A UNESCO world heritage monument, Agra Red Fort stands as a glorious tribute to the erstwhile Mughal Empire’s heydays. Spread over a gigantic area of 3,80,000 sq. meters, this fort was built by Emperor Akbar in the year 1556, and later renovated in 1573 with red sandstone. The fort, which is at a distance of 2.2 km from Agra, is an absolute fortress, fortified on all sides with 70 feet high compound walls. Visiting Agra Fort is one of the foremost things to do in Agra.
Referred to as the Walled City, Agra Fort has four gates on the four sides out of which the most famous being the Delhi Gate and the Lahore Gate. This fort hosts numerous palaces and notable among them being the Shish Mahal and Khaas Mahal. Reception rooms Diwan-i-Khas and Diwan-i-Aam to several historic Masjids like Moti Masjid and Nagina Masjid are other worth seeing spots in this fort.
Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb mausoleum is an architectural wonder in Agra after the famous Taj Mahal. Its elaborate carvings and artistic inlays are a treat to watch. It is referred to as the “Baccha Taj”- a smaller version of the Taj- and considered the draft of the Taj Mahal itself. This red sandstone tomb is one of the worth visiting places in Agra near Taj Mahal which should not be missed from the itinerary.
This pure white tomb located on the banks of Yamuna River is a perfect reflection of the Islamic style of architecture and the layouts. The ornately sculpted arches, immaculate minarets, intricate inlay work, stunning floral works and artistic use of marble to accentuate the beauty of the edifice is seen to be believed.
Located to the north of the complex of the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort, Mehtab Bagh is a square-shaped garden complex on the banks of the River Yamuna. It is in perfect sync with the Taj Mahal on the opposite bank of the Yamuna River. It is a popular spot for the photographers for a captivating view of the sunset. It is one of the top places to visit in Agra in evening thus remains flocked by travelers throughout the year.
This spectacular garden sports four towers right at each corner of an octagonal tank. The reflection of the Taj Mahal in the tank, particularly on full moon nights, is a sight to behold. Blooming flower plants and medicinal herbs besides fruit-bearing trees abound the garden. It is a perfect symbol of the Mughal architecture with a layout of 4 gardens. The large water tank on the east of the structure ensures that the whole area is properly irrigated.