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Home » Uttar Pradesh » agra


Agra

Sargam Tour & TravelsAgra is perhaps best known for its ‘Wonder of the World’, ‘Taj Mahal’. It is situated in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh, about 3hrs of train ride from the Indian Capital of New Delhi. Being one of the most visited places in India, the city is thronged with tourists throughout the year.

Agra and around boasts of Mughal architecture at its best. The city was once the capital of the Mughal Empire during the 16th & 17th century and its huge coffers were widely displayed through its architectural genius.

Agra is a laid back town which is also home to craftsmen specializing in inlay work on marbles, as seen at Taj Mahal. These craftsmen are considered to be the descendants of the workers who originally crafted the beautiful inlay work of Taj. Besides inlay work on marble, Agra is also known for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes.

Agra is one place that beckons any traveler for its majestic Taj, which is perhaps the world greatest `symbol of love`. The city and around (besides Taj) provides a much greater glimpse of the lives and period of the glory of the Mughal empire in India.





Attractions of Agra
Taj Mahal
Probably the first and foremost reason for anyone to visit Agra is Taj Mahal. This monument of love built in marble with inlay work is resplendent with its architectural genius.

It was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan, in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal.The construction of Taj Mahal started in 1631and could only be completed by 1653.

It took thousands of workers, who were imported from all over the country and Central Asia to build this monument. It is also believed that most of these workers had their hands amputated when they finished building the Taj Mahal. This was done to prevent them from making such a monument again elsewhere.

Taj is definitely worth more than a single visit. Its overwhelming beauty and magnanimous structure can be absorbed by sitting in front and just watching it for hours.

Taj Mahal stands on a raised marble platform. The structure has four minarets on each corner, and there are twin red stone buildings that frame the Taj Mahal. The western sandstone building is a mosque, however the eastern is purely for symmetry.

Inside the Taj Mahal are the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. It is said that as many as 43 different gems were used for Mumtaz’s tomb.Taj Mahal is open 6 days a week .It is closed on Friday. On other days its open from sunrise to 7.30 p.m.

The Agra Fort
Akbar, the great Mughal emperor had started the construction of the Agra Fort in 1565. However, additions were made well into the time of his grandson Shah Jahan. Situated on the banks of river Yamuna the Fort was initially designed as a military structure but later used as a Palace during the rule of Shah Jahan.

This colossal fort’s walls are over 20 metes in height and has a circumference of 2.5 km. Within the Fort rests multiple buildings, which in turn forms a small city within a city. The Fort holds within it buildings such as Moti Masjid (a white marble mosque akin to a perfect pearl, however closed to public), Diwan-i-am , Diwan-i-Khas , Musamman Burj (the place where Shah Jahan died in 1666) , Jehangir`s Palace , Khaas Mahal and Shish Mahal.

Fatehpur Sikri
Even though Fatehpur Sikri is a separate town, we have included this as our Agra attraction so that people do not miss it. In order of importance for list of things to see in Agra, this should rank right after Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.

This city lies about 40 Kms west of Agra. Fatehpur Sikri embodies a perfect example of a Mughal city at the peak of the empires success. The city used to be the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1571 and 1585, and today is a much deserted place. However due to the work done by Archaeological Survey of India, the city is able to hold much of its old world charm.

This historic enclosure is open 6 am to 5.30 pm on all days . Outside the city enclosure lays the mosque Jama Masjid and the tomb of Shaikh Salim Chishti. Inside the enclosure you will find the Palace of Jodha Bai, Birbal Bhawan, Palace of Christian wife, Panch Mahal and the Treasury.

It is very helpful to hire a tour guide to walk you through this old charm.





How To Get There - Agra

By Air
Daily flights to Agra’s Kheria airport are available from Delhi. You will also be able to move forward to Khajuraho and Varanasi from Agra. Flights to Delhi is for about half hour plus.

By Rail
Agra is well connected by buses to Delhi (about 3.5 hours), Jaipur (6hours) and Mathura (about 2 hours). Most of these buses leave from the Idgah bus stand in Agra. A bus to Khajuraho takes about 10 hours from Agra.

By Road
Agra is well connected with Delhi by train. Shatabdi Express is the fastest train and takes only about 2 hours to do the distance between Delhi to Agra. There is also a cheaper train which does not take much longer (2 ½ hrs) and leaves from Nizamuddin station in New Delhi. Moreover there are other long distance trains as well that stop in Agra on the way south. It is useful to get your tickets in advance. It is also advisable to check with your travel agents for train timings or check the Indian rail reservation site.
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