Agra is considered as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the India renowned for its spectacular monuments built during the Mughal period. Three of its sites, Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, are designated as UNESCO world heritage sites. Agra is part of the Golden Triangle of Tourism along with Delhi and Jaipur. Delhi is well connected to Agra via Yamuna Expressway and can be reached within 4 hours by Delhi to Agra cabs. Here is the list of best attractions in Agra.
Taj Mahal: It is arguably India’s most famous monument in the world. Amongst the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal who passed away in 1631. The spectacular monument is built with white marble and showcases brilliant Mughal architecture. It has some influence of Islamic, Persian and Indian styles as well. It took 22 years to build this wonderful tomb. Taj Mahal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1983. The white marble used in the construction came from Makrana in Rajasthan and precious stones used for interiors were imported from Afghanistan and Ceylon. The structure displays different shades of colour during different times. It seems pinkish in early morning, milky white in the evening and exudes golden shade when the moon shines at night.
Agra Fort: It is popularly called as the Lal Qila of Agra. It was earlier called Badalgarh Fort and witnessed many bloody battles for its capture. It was almost destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni and was later restored by the Chauhan Rajputs. Mughlas took it from Lodi rulers and started the construction and renovation work. Majority of the additions were done during Shahjahan’s period.
Standing on the banks of Yamuna River and built with red sandstone, it looks imposing and spectacular. When you enter the Fort you will be able to feel the grandness of the bygone era. There’s a huge hall called Diwan-i-Am which was used to attend common public. There are many royal palaces full of elegant designs. Prominent ones are Macchi Bhavan, Sheesh Mahal and Khas Mahal.
Jama Masjid: Tourists will be able to see finest examples of Mughal architecture in the Jama Masjid. The majestic mosque is made of red sandstone and it took around 6 years to be completed. Its onion- shaped dome and minarets depict brilliant Mughal style of architecture. The entire complex reverberates peace, solace and tranquillity.
Akbar’s Mausoleum: Also known as Sikandara Fort, it is located on the outskirts of the Agra city. Its architecture is a unique blend of Mughal and Rajput designs. While the entrance and the design of the Charbagh garden represent Mughal influence, the use of chattris and airy pavilions reflect influences of Rajput style of architecture.
Itimad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb: This tomb was built by Nur Jahan, wife of Emperor Jahangir, in memory of her father Mirza Ghiyas. He was the chief minister in Jahangir’s court and was honoured with the Itimad-ud-daulah title. It is also known as Baby Taj as it looks like the smaller version of the Taj Mahal. Semi-precious stones used in the interiors and lush green gardens are worth seeing. You can enjoy a serene environment here as it is less crowded as compared to the Taj Mahal.