Being the home town of The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Agra is one of the most popular cities and a hot tourist destination. It is located in Uttar Pradesh state, north India, about 200 km away from Delhi. There are three recognized UNESCO world heritage sites in Agra which include the well known Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort. Having served as the capital center of the Mughal Empire that shows it becomes a city of glory in India, there are so many tombs and buildings of great significance. However, apart from these, there is nothing more why you would want to find yourself in Agra. The city is of late facing serious pollution issues especially due to litter and smog.
You will be greeted by many hawkers and touts at most of these monuments, palaces/ temples, temples, and mosques who might make your trip less fascinating. The two main sites in Agra are the Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal and are incomparable to any other nearby attraction. There are official guides who will take you to these attractions and at a small fee; you will enjoy the company of a knowledgeable English guide.
You will be fascinated by the Taj Mahal and the moment you set your eyes on this immense mausoleum, you will realize why it is a great wonder of the world. Emperor Shah Jahan built the mausoleum for his most favorite wife and the building is characterized by white marble.
Taj Mahal in Indian means the Crown Palace and it is one of the most architecturally beautiful and well-preserved tombs in the whole world. It is a masterpiece that shows the Indian Muslim architecture in its true colors. Viewing sessions of the Taj Mahal are provided during the day and night apart from Fridays as it is a Muslim Sabbath. The interior of the Taj Mahal is very dark and you will find it very useful to carry along a flashlight with you. Good light will also enable you to appreciate the gem found inside fully. There are no lights at the Taj Mahal so you can’t expect the best experience at night and cameras don’t even give the best shot.
Agra Fort is the next most important attraction in Agra which has a close resemblance to Delhi’s Red Fort but it is much better preserved. The place is more of a palace and a defensive structure at the same time and mostly constructed using red sandstone. There are also attractive gardens to visit in Agra like the Soami Bagh and Ram Bagh gardens. Next to the Yamuna river is the Mehtab Bagh gardens where you can go to relax after visiting the Taj Mahal.
Temples in Agra also form a big part of the attraction with the leading ones being Balkeshwar Temple, Mankameshwar Temple, and Kailash Temple. Another fascinating sight is Sikandra which houses Akbar’s tomb, Itmad- Ud- Daulah’s Tomb, Mariam’s Tomb, Jama Masjid mosque, Chini Ka Roza memorial center and Gurudwara Guru Ka Taal.