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Agra Tourism And Travel Guide
30° C / 86° F
October to March
1 to 2 Days
Kheria Airport (10 kms)
Agra Cantonment (3.5 kms)
Of course Agra is synonymous with the Taj Mahal, but it would be unfair to say that's the only reason one should visit the city. There's a charm to tourism in Agra that's hard to experience elsewhere in India. It's the charm of an ancient city, steeped in important historical moments, thriving in the modern times. Yes, here you will be awed by the Taj Mahal, that miraculous mausoleum of love, but then you will be equally mesmerised by the splendor of the Agra Fort and the feeling of faith that Fatehpur Sikri brings to the heart.
The Lodi dynasty ruled here for many years after they shifted their capital from Delhi in the 16th century. Later, Agra was renamed Akbarabad when it was ruled by Akbar, then Jehangir, and then Shah Jehan. Each stone in Agra is filled with a distinct Indian Regal heritage and that probably has been inculcated by those who live there. If you are planning to visit Agra, rest assured you will enjoy every moment of this charming city. This travel guide for Agra will definitely help you plan your trip well.
How To Reach
Being such a popular tourist destination, Agra is very well connected. You can reach the city by the banks of River Yamuna, by air, by rail or through the various highways that connect to different cities. Lucknow is about 200 kms away and Delhi is about 150 kms away from Agra.
By Air: The Kheria airport is just 12.5 kms away from the main city. Hop into a cab from the airport and you are there in no time.
By Rail: Agra has 4 stations (Agra Cantonment, Agra Fort, Raja Ki Mandi and Idgah Agra Junction) with various trains pulling into this busy city. If you are in a rush, take the Gatimaan express which will bring you from Delhi to Agra in just 100 minutes!
By Road: Drive down to Agra through the Yamuna expressway or hire a cab or buy a bus ticket. There are various options according to your budget and requirment.
Best Time To Visit
Situated in the northern Gangetic plains, Agra has a quintessential angry Indian summer. You could probably see the Taj Mahal shimmer in the heat and then will have to endure walking bare foot on the marble. We suggest you avoid Agra during the summers. Instead, flock here during the late monsoons and throughout the winters, once the weather has calmed.
But be prepared for foggy and cold winters from Novermber to January, when the warm sunlight of the mornings gives way to freezing winds towards the evenings. Bring plenty of woolens.
Things To Do
Agra has many experiences to offer. Here's listing out some of the best things you can do in the city.
The first thing you do after landing in Agra is head to the busy alleys of Taj Ganj, buy a ticket and then trot past the red sandstone fort walls towards the Taj Mahal. You may have seen pictures of the Taj numerous times, you may even have visit the monument before. But you still get goosebumps every time you stand before the marble white mausoleum standing tall against the blue of the sky.
Initially, Akbar started building the Agra fort as a military barrack but later his son Shah Jehan, built it up to its present palace stature. The Yamuna river flowed by the eastern wall and the Mughal royals used to have their own bathing ghat there. However, the river has since changed it course and Shah Jehan spent his last years as a prisoner in the walls of his own palace looking out at the distant Taj Mahal. The Agra fort is a majestic ruin of a historic past with many triumphs and many misfortunes. Go to the Agra Fort and be lost in the stories.
Built in the honour of sufi saint Salim Chisti, Fatehpur Sikri was originally called Fatehadbad. It was Akbar who decided to shift his capital 23 kms away from Agra to Fatehabad, after his victory against Chittor and Ranthambore. An entire walled city was built but soon Akbar once again decided to shift his capital, this time to Lahore.
However, the remains of the Mughal emperor's architectural ambitions can still be witnessed at Fatehpur Sikri. Just find a cab or take a rickshaw from Agra to this city to marvel at the magnificent Buland Darwaja, gaze at Salim Chisti's tomb and to see the Jama Masjid.
When you are in Agra and have had a busy day monument-hopping, you must remember to settle down for that one regal meal. Come to Eshphan for that. Check the time before you do because this iconic restaurant offers it's mouthwatering delicacies to the general junta only from 6.30 p.m to 9.30 p.m. But whatever you do, don't miss the aloobukhara maaz (Mughlai lamb kebabs stuffed with prunes). It's truly lazeez.
Agra is famous for its leather business. Artisans here manufacture a variety of leather products like bags, belts and shoes. Naturally this is the wholesale market which delivers all across India and abroad. Tourists coming to Agra can not just interact with the artisans and observe their skills, but can also pick out great souvenirs and leather essentials for themselves.