Home to the exquisite Taj Mahal
For most of the time Agra alternated with Delhi as the capital of the Mughal Empire. As such one finds many marvels of the Mughal architecture in and around the city, the most famous of them being the Taj Mahal. Besides the Taj, the Agra Fort (also called the Red Fort) makes an interesting sight. Other major attractions include the tomb of I'timad-udDaulah, Jama Masjid, Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra, Rambagh, the Mughal Garden and Dayal Bagh Temple. Besides the historical monuments, one can also explore Agra’s rich heritage of handicrafts in its markets.
Here we have selected a few of the sights and experiences that you really should see on a visit to Agra.
Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, in mid-17th century, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Though the Taj appears to be amazingly perfect from almost any angle, it is the close-up marble inlay work, which is astounding. Be mesmerized by this outstanding piece of architecture.
Red Fort (Agra Fort)
Agra Fort lies in a bend of the River Yamuna, almost in the heart of the city. Approachable by two imposing gates and constructed of red sandstone, the citadel was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar between the years 1565 and 1573. Encircled by a moat, this dramatic city within a city was the palace of three emperors, Akbar, Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb, each of whom made significant contributions to the wonderful architecture of the inner buildings – a combination of Persian (Islamic) and local Hindu styles.
The deserted red sandstone city, Fatehpur Sikri is also known as the “city of victory”. The city was founded in 16th century by the Mughal Emperor Akbar and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire. It was abandoned shortly afterwards due to water shortages. It consists of beautiful palaces, halls and mosques. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an extraordinary place to wander around. Even after 300 years its buildings are in near perfect condition.