Agra is a city located 206 km from the capital of India, New Delhi. It is a city based mainly on tourism and you have nothing else to do here except for sightseeing. Perhaps you have not heard of Agra until now, but you have certainly heard of the Taj Mahal. Well, this is the city where one of the most famous buildings in the world is. Besides the Taj Mahal, in Agra is also a fort with the same name, Agra Fort. Both buildings were built in the golden age of the city and are specific to the Mughal architecture.
The most important tourist attractions
Completed in 1653, the Taj Mahal was built for Shah Jahan’s most beloved wife, as a place of eternal rest. This mausoleum is part of the 7 New Wonders of the World.
The Taj Mahal lies on the southern bank of Yamuna River, built in marble by the Persian architect Ustād ‘Īsā. It can be seen from the Agra Fort, where Emperor Shah Jahan admired it in the last 8 years of his life, being imprisoned by his son.
It took 22 years for this marble building to be built. The largest dome is 18 m in diameter and 24 m height. Directly under the dome is the tomb of Mumtāz Mahal. Shah Jahan’s tomb was later lifted next to his beloved wife by his son, Aurangzeb, thus breaking the symmetry of the interior. The interior is decorated with semiprecious stone inserts.
1100 rupee/foreigner adult
50 Rupee / Indian adult
Probably the best time to visit is at sunrise, at the opening. Then there are fewer people, and until 9 am you will not be minded by a big crowd. At sunrise, you also have the advantage of the ideal light for photos, and we also have a light fog that gave Taj a mystique air.
Although many people say that the interior is not that beautiful as the exterior, we do not agree. The interior of the Taj Mahal is very carefully worked, giving the eyes a real show. If you go in the morning, there is a great chance to enjoy it at its true value. When it’s overcrowded, many people stop and form a wall blocking your vision.
If you visit at sunrise, you can easily spend two hours, then go to the left-hand side of the museum. It is a small and cozy museum that offers you a series of exhibits, maps, and plans of the construction.
Also called the Red Fort, it was the main residence of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638. The entire fort has a semicircular shape and is located on the edge of the Yamuna River, with walls up to 70 m tall.
Over the years various parts of the fort have been demolished, is the present there are only 30 Mughal buildings on the south-east side.
The northern part of the fort is still used by the Indian army, so the access is done through the southern gate, the Amar Singh Gate.
650 rupees/foreigner adult and 600 rupees on Fridays
50 rupees/Indian adult and 40 rupees on Fridays
Other tourist attractions in Agra
- I’timād-Ud-Daulah – known as “Baby Taj”
- The Mehtāb Bāgh Garden – this is on the western side of the river, opposite to Taj Mahal, an ideal place to see the Taj at sunset.
Sleep & Food
The best time to admire the Taj Mahal is in the morning, at sunrise. At this time it will not be so crowded and you will be able to walk in peace and take photos. For this reason, it may be a good decision to stay a night in Agra near the Taj.
We stayed here for 3 nights so we could also admire Agra Fort in the morning, quietly and without being thrown by the heat. But we think you should stay here for at most 2 nights, maybe even one.
As in any place we ate in India, before choosing where to eat we consult with Tripadvisor to see the impressions of other tourists. To our luck, the “hotel” where we were accommodated had good reviews. The food was ok, and the view to Taj, great.
How do you get here?
Being one of the most visited cities in India, Agra can be reached by plane, train, bus or car.
In Agra, there are 6 train stations spread around and across the city, so you can choose which station is closest to your accommodation. So the train is the way we chose to travel to and from this city.
When booking a train ticket in India you can choose between several categories: Class 1,2 or 3 seats without Air Conditioning or Class 1,2 or 3 with Air Conditioning; Sleeper Class 1,2 or 3 without Air Conditioning or Class 1,2 or 3 with Air Conditioning 😊).
In these two train travels, we had seats in Class 3 and Class 2, both without air conditioning because we traveled in the morning.
In conclusion, Agra was not our favorite city, but we thought it was worth visiting the Taj Mahal.
The next city we visited was Jaipur.