Explore Agra, India
When you try to explore Agra which has three UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort in the city and Fatehpur Sikri nearby you will discover that There are also many other buildings and tombs from Agra’s days of glory as the capital of the Mughal Empire.
The sites are some of the wonders of the world and no trip to India is complete without at least one visit to the Taj.
Cars are not allowed near the Taj Mahal complex, but the rest of Agra is easily traversed by car. Rentals are available from various rental agencies.
It is possible to hire a car with a driver.
What to see in Agra, India. Best top attractions in Agra, India.
Agra’s top two sights by far are the incomparable Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
The fort is similar in layout to the Red Fort in Delhi, but considerably better preserved, as much of Delhi Fort was razed by the British after the Mutiny. As much as palace as a defensive structure, it is also constructed mainly from red sandstone.
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.
You can get to the fort by Rickshaw from Taj Mahal.
There are also audio guides available at Agra Fort which you can rent for a cost in English and other foreign languages (German, French, Spanish, etc) in Indian languages such as Hindi or Bengali.
What to do in Agra, India
Adlabs multiplex. Interactive Theatre, which is the first ever interactive cinema theatre in the world, each viewer holds a wireless remote unit with push buttons and a small LCD screen, enabling them to participate in a trivia game about the theme of the film. The show is called India in Motion, a 25 minute show where the audience will pass through today’s India in, or on, a variety of typical vehicles and see the historical events at sites like Mohenjo Daro, Indraprastha and the Taj Mahal, experiencing the bumpy elephant rides with the wind blowing through their hair, or the swaying boat with salty spray on their faces. Before the actual show there is a interactive quiz on various topic relating to India.
Agra Food Tour. Explore sights and cuisine of Agra via food walks and photo tours. These food walks are an excellent way for tourists to taste some great local food in a safe way. Photo tours can be customized to help the guests make most of their Agra trip and take great pictures.
Taj Mahotsav. 10 day festival held in February/March every year at Shilpgram, near the Taj Mahal. It is a festival of art, craft, culture, etc.
Discover Agra in Battery Powered Rickshaws. Experience not just the heritage monuments but also the city’s culture, cuisine, craft and life of the local people.
Taj Mahal Photo Shoot. These photo shoots are an excellent choice if you want to get a photographer to take your pictures in front of Taj Mahal and other monuments in the city. The local guide/photographers take you to some of the best spots and take pictures there. Itinerary can be customised to a certain extent.
What to buy
Agra has many shops selling various stone products, from jewelry to small boxes and plaques with inlay work resembling that on the Taj. The best of these are wonderful, and even the run-of-the-mill ones are rather pretty. Agra is also famous for its leather goods. Consider spending time in Sadar Bazaar for some shopping and enjoying cheap food.
Beware of being overcharged. Do not let anyone lead you to a shop, because the price goes up to cover their commission, typically 50%. Be very wary of the promises these people make. Bargain hard. Be prepared to walk away, you can nearly always get the same items in another shop. Also remember that in these globalized times, you can always order stuff you liked in your visit over the internet after you return. Expect to encounter petty and greedy shop owners who will resort to every lie in the book to make a sale (with initial markups of 1000-10000%).
Go to the taj mahal east gate market because there you will find more than 50 souvenirs shops, you will find there good products at very reasonable prices because competitive market. Please visit and save your money. And don’t listen to your tour guide, they try to mis-guide you because of their commission.
Many local markets are there: SADAR BAZAR..a sophisticated market, Raja ki Mandi market, Sanjay Place for all the offices, Shah Market for electronics. All these markets are situated along the M G Road. Hospital Road Market and Subhash Bazar for clothing situated near Agra Fort railway station. Rawatpara market is for spices of all origin. Besides these there are many branded showrooms situated along the M G Road..
Many wholesale marble products are available at Gokul Pura (Market)near Raja Mandi (this place is near to M. G Road) which can be easily reached by auto rickshaw, the price of any product is nearly 25% of that in the retail market.
Be careful with the jewels: Lots of stones are fakes and the price are very high!
What to eat
Agra specialties are petha, a type of very sweet candy, and Dal Moth, a spicy lentil mix. Both are also popular souvenirs.
Chaat. Agra is a heaven for any Chaat lover. Chaat can be of various types but there is one thing common among them all is that they are spicy and you will find crowd outside virtually every chaat stall. Samosa and Kachori are found at every sweet shop that flood the city. Some typical chaat items are Aloo Tikki (pan-fried potato cakes), paneer tikka (cubes of cottage cheese baked in a tandoor with spices), pani puri or golguppa (small round hollow shells filled with a potato-based filling and a spicy-sweet blend of sauces), mangores, Samosaes, Chachori, etc. If you want to savor the typical Agra Breakfast do remember to have a bite of one of those spicy Berahi and round it off with sweet Jalebies.
Sweets. There are quite a few good sweets shops all around the city. There are many types of petha available but, for the authentic experience, try either the plain one (ivory white) or Angoori Flavored (rectangular and yellow pieces soaked in sugar syrup). Do remember to round off your meal with a Joda(Pair) of Pan unique to the city.
There is also an abundance of Korean food at most restaurants.
There are several restaurants in the Taj Ganj area, catering for the many tourists staying around the Taj Mahal.
What to drink
Most hotel staff will be happy to find you a cold bottle of Indian beer, but there is virtually no nightlife in Agra outside of cultural shows at some of the larger hotels and restaurants.
There are several internet cafes / Cyber Cafes from where you can access the internet for sending email or uploading your digital photos.
Day trips from Agra
Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO world heritage site. Built in the the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for about 10 years. Then it was abandoned for reasons that are still something of a mystery. It includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. It is full of well-preserved palaces and courtyards, and is a must see for anyone visiting Agra. In order to get a full idea of this site it is better to take a guide or have a good printed guide. The entrance to the site (even to the yard) is only without shoes.
Mathura is the birth place of Lord Krishna. There are many beautiful temples in Mathura, including the one built at Shri Krishna’s birth place.
Vrindavan is also a religious place around 50 km from Agra, and quite close to Mathura. There are many temples here devoted to lord Krishna, a few of the more famous of which are Banke Bihari & the Iskcon Temple.
Nandgaon was the home of Shri Krishna`s foster father, Nand. On the top of the hill is the spacious temple of Nand Rai, built by the Hat ruler Roop Singh. The other temples here are dedicated to Narsingha, Gopinath, Nritya Gopal, Girdhari, Nand Nandan, and Yasodha Nandan, which is located half way up the hill. Nandgaon springs into action every year around March for the festival of Holi, when many a tourist flock the city for the famous “lath mar holi”.
Bharatpur is about 56 km from Agra and houses the Famous bird sanctuary in which you can see thousands of rare birds including the Siberian Crane. There is the Lohagarh Fort, which remained invincible despite several attacks by the British. Just 32 km from Bharatpur is the Deeg Palace. This strong and massive fort was the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur and has many palaces and gardens.
National Chambal Sanctuary, (70 km away) is a natural sanctuary and the home of the endangered Indian gharial (a relative of the crocodile) and of the Ganges River Dolphin (also endangered).
Feel free to explore Agra.
Official tourism websites of Agra, India
For more information please visit the official government website: