Agra

India /Uttarpradesh /Agra /Agra

The Historical city of Agra has everything to be proud of Housing one of the wonder of the world, Taj Mahal, the city boasts of multitudinous monumental mammoths like the Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri etc. Travelling to the city allows one to go back and live the erstwhile days of the Mughals. This is one of the most historical cities of India and is very well liked with all parts of the country and the world.

The city of Agra is popular for Taj Mahal, the symbol of undying love of an emperor and his wife, Agra Fort, the architectural masterpiece from Akbar the great and many other monumental heritage. These monuments resonate of the bygone years that were filled with sumptuousness and grandeur. Watching the sunrise and sunset at the Taj Mahal is an ethereal view one should not miss. Agra is an exquisite centre of culture and arts. The specimens of art and culture in the great Agra city are not only impressive but are also the mirrors of the cultural and artistic talents of the Indian populace during the grandeur past. This city houses many ancient temples, mosques, forts, several mausoleums, tombs and historical monuments. Agra Fort and Taj Mahal are the incomparable structures in the city.

Apart from the well accomplished grandeur monuments, Agra is renowned for many art performances. Breathtaking traditional paintings, folk dances, folk music, embroideries, unparallel cloth designing and stitching are the reminiscences of the past glory and some of the talents are still preserved in this historical town. Sculptors, jewelers, musicians, painters, carpet makers, artisans, metal workers, weavers and embroiderers were frequent visitors to the Royal courts during the Mughal Period. There were many talented artists and artisans were there among the locals. Balkeshwar Temple located on the banks of River Yamuna, Kailash Temple placed at Sikandra, Mankameshwar Temple at Rawatpara, Prithvinath Temple situated at Rajpur Chungi and Mahakali Temple located at Sikandra are some of the important temples in Agra. These temples are the hub of religious and cultural activities. The city is strewn with small alleys that pave way for the bazaar where shopping for the lovely ‘Mojaris’ is an indispensable activity.

Agra Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Quick Facts-Edit

Category : Historical

Time Zone: UTC + 5:30 Hours

Pincode: 282002

STD Code: 562

Info Website: agra-india.com

Best Time to Visit: Best time to visit Agra is from October to March.

HistoryEdit

The most ancient reference of Agra can be seen in the great epic the Mahabharata and the modern period reference is by Ptolemy. The present Agra city was established by the King of the Lodhi Dynasty, Sikander Lodhi in 16th century. Agra, with all present massive and imposing structural monuments, reached its pinnacle during the Mughal Rule from 1526 AD to 1658.

As the capital of Mughal Kingdom, Agra thrived with many activities and was liberally bestowed with many modern facilities and Royal features. During Mughal period, many extolling gardens, many architectural marvel palaces and artificial lakes were constructed. Agra fort, constructed by the Rajput rulers, were modernized and renovated by Mughal emperors Akbar and Shah Jahan.

All the majestic monuments constructed during the Mughal period were specimens of perfect blend of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles. Itmad-ud-Daulah built in 1628 by empress Noor Jahan and the Taj Mahal, a crowning master piece of architecture built in 1648 by Shah Jahan are exquisite displays of seventeenth century architectural excellence. The city reached greatest height during the period of Shah Jahan and later he himself was responsible for the decline of the Agra city. It was the decision of Shah Jahan to shift the capital of Mughal kingdom to Shahjahanabad in Delhi was the turning point at which the decline of Mughal Kingdom and Agra has started. Even after independence, Agra has continued in the second level of cities, even with the World Wonder Taj Mahal.

Places to Visit

Agra Sightseeing

How to ReachEdit

By Air : Agra has its own airport by the name of Agra Civil Enclaves also    known as Kheria Airport . The ‘Kheria’ airport is only 7 km from the city center and 3 km from Idgah bus stand. It is only 30 minutes’ distance from Delhi. National and other private airlines connects Agra to Delhi, Khajuraho and Varanasi. Taxis and autorikshas are available in large numbers at the airport.
Agra Airport Address : Agra Ho, Agra – 282001
Phone Numbers : 0562-2400409, 2400131, 2400924

 By Train : The Agra city has two railway stations of which Agra Cantonment Railway Station and Agra Fort Railway Station
Agra Cantonment. Agra is a major railway junction on main broad guage routes to the south, east and west.Also being located in the close proximity of the Idgah bus stand makes the travellers life much simpler.
Agra Cantonment Railway Station : Arrival and Departure Enquiry: 131, 133, 134, 0562 2364516/17 ; Reservation Enquiry: 136, 0562 2364244 (manual)
Agra Fort Railway Station : Arrival and Departure Enquiry: 0562 – 2364163 ; Reservation Enquiry: 132, 0562 – 2364131

By BUS : There are three bus stand in Agra – Agra Fort Bus Stand, Agra ; Idgah Bus Stand, Agra ; Foundry Nagar Bus Stand, Agra. ‘Idgah’ is the main bus terminal in Agra. Most of the buses leaves Agra from here. Express and air-conditioned bus services are available from Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gualior and Jhansi. Agra is on the cross roads of national highways 2, 3 and 11 and is well connected to all parts of the country. Idgah bus stand is the main bus stand of Agra, from where one can catch buses for Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Fatehpur-Sikri, etc. Buses for Mathura also leave from Agra Fort bus stand.
Important Numbers :Bus Stand, Agra Fort, Agra: 0562-2164557 ; Bus Stand, Idgah, Agra: 0562- 2166588 ; Bus Stand, Foundry Nagar, Agra: 0562- 2145094.

By Taxi : Agra Cantt Staion Prepaid Taxi stand is located at Agra Cantt railways station.

By Other : N.A.

Top HotelsAdd

Budget  - Up to Rs. 800
  • Hotel Delux Plaza; MG Tower, Fatehabad Road, Agra; Ph - 0562 – 2330110, 2330195; Facilities – Taj view rooms, room service, running H/C water, TV, mini bar.
Economy – Rs. 801 to Rs. 1200
  • NUOVA Hotel; S-23, Shoe Market, Sanjay Palace, Agra.; Ph -0562 3290292, 2521153; Facilities - Attached bath with running H/C water, TV, telephone

Top RestaurantsAdd

  • South Gate Taj Mahal; Fatehabad road near by shanti manglik hospital, Agra.; M - 9319697497; Food Serve : Indian food
  • Priya Restaurant; Near Priya Restaurant, Near TDI Mall, Fatehabad Road, Agra. Ph : 0562 223 1579; Food Serve : All types food available except south Indian.
  • Silk Route; Silk Route, opposite Hotel Howard Park Plaza, 18-A/7-B, Fatehabad Road, agra. Ph - 91 562 400 2786; Food Serve :

Must Eat FoodAdd

  • Petha - Gopaldas Pethe Wale; Rajeev Plaza, Ground Floor, MG Road, Agra- 282004.; Ph - (0562) 4060712, 329311; Cost - Rs 380 for  500 gms; Famous for - Sweets
  • Gazak & Dalmoth - Is available at main shopping areas of the city are Sadar Bazar, Kinari Bazar, Raja-ki-Mandi, Sanjay Place Fatehabad Road, Munro Road, Shilphaat and the Taj Mahal Complex.

Must Do ActivitiesAdd

  • Watch pigeons in fight; Taj Ganj, Agra.; Cost - Free; Visiting Time - 4 PM.
  • Air Safari; 41/142, A/1 VIP Road to Taj Mahal | Fatehabad Road, Agra 282001, India.; Cost - Fee per person is Rs 500/-; Visiting Time : 12:00 AM; Closed Time : N. A.

Must ShopAdd

  • Table Top; Subhash Emporium; 18/1 Gwalior Road, Agra 282001, Uttar Pradesh, India.; M: 0562 2850749
  • Taj mahal Replica & Juti - Is available at main shopping areas of the city are Sadar Bazar, Kinari Bazar, Raja-ki-Mandi, Sanjay Place Fatehabad Road, Munro Road, Shilphaat and the Taj Mahal Complex.

Nightlife (Pub / Disc / BAR)Add

  • Light and Sound Show in Agra Fort; at Agra Fort, Agra; Ph : 236451; Cost: Indians Rs. 40/- , Foriegners Rs. 150/-, Student Rs. 25/-; Food Serve : N.A.
  • The Tequila Mansingh palace; Fatehabad road, Agra – 282001.; Ph - 0562 2331 771; Cost: N.A.; Food Serve : N.A.
  • Agra Club; Mahatma Gandhi Road, Agra.; Ph - 0562 – 2226579; Cost: N.A.; Food Serve : N.A.

SpaAdd

  • Amarvilas Spa Resort; Amarvilas is only 600 metres from the Taj Mahal.; M - N.A.; Cost: N.A.; Services - Massage , therapy rooms and suites ,steam rooms,Treatments incorporate the use of Ayurvedic principles,Recreation facilities include a gymnasium, heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, a library offering a selection of books, music and digital video discs.
  • Spa at the Wyndham Grand Agra Hotel; 7th Milestone Fatehabad Road, Agra, 282 001.; Ph - 91-562-2237000; Cost: N.A.; Services : spa and wellness experiences for the mind, body and soul, discover a wide array of rejuvenating spa treatments focusing on a fusion of traditional Ayurveda and modern western therapies.
  • Radisson Hotel; Taj East Gate Road, Uttar Pradesh, 282001 Agra.; Ph - N.A.; Cost: N.A.; Services : Newspapers, Sauna, Fitness centre, Games room, Spa and wellness centre, Massage

FestivalAdd

Taj Mahotsav; Venue: Shilpgram near Taj Mahal.; Period : 10 days; Details: This most popular festival is held every year between the 18th and 27th of February in Shilpgram in Agra. The festival is themed as the Mughal era, and every year a message is given to the world –in 2009 it was Universal peace and harmony.Hundreds of artists from all over India bring their arts & crafts. Dance and singing performances are held, children ride on camels and elephants and Indian cuisine is there for the ones that are eager to taste.

Kailash Fair; Venue: Kailash temple;  Period : N.A.; Details: The fair is held in the Kalilash temple 12 km to Agra. It is dedicated to the appearance of Lord Shiva in a form of a stone lingam and celebrated on the monsoon months at August and September.

Ram Barat; Venue: N.A.; Period : N.A.; Details: This festival is a part of the Ramlila, the staging of life of Rama that ends with the killing of Ravana on the day of Dussehra. Literally Ram Barat means marriage procession of Shri Ram. Every year a new location is choosen and is decorated with flowers and lights, and many visitors come to see the fair and attend the royal wedding of the divine deities.

Safety / WarningEdit

  • Beware of pickpockets as Agra is a major tourist city in India.
  • Beware of fake items, especially the marble souvenirs. If you buy from roadside sellers, most likely the items are fake and made of chalk instead of marble. Better to buy from reputable shops even though you have to pay more.
  • Remember to always bargain and slash the price as low as possible, because the prices quoted have been inflated many times (especially roadside sellers, camel rides, trishaw rides etc).
  • When locals offer you help e.g. helping you to take photos, it does not come free and they will ask you for money after that
  • The Taj Mahal – is CLOSED on Fridays. All other days of the week, you can visit the world’s most beautiful building from sunrise to sunset…. but NOT on Friday.
  • PLEASE look carefully at the photo ID’s that your guide has on him.

HelplineEdit

  • Police Control Room-City: 100/ 0562- 2575715
  • Police Control Room- Rural: 100/ 0562- 2577554
  • Fire Control Room: 101/ 0562-2362698
  • Crime Police: 1090
  • Ambulance: 102
  • Weather: 0562- 2793239

ItineraryEdit

Day 1
9:00 am – Taj Mahal ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
11:00 am – Agra Fort ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
1:00 pm – Tomb of Akbar the Great;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
3:00 pm – Panch Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri ;Approx. time spent : 1 hrs
4:00 pm – Ram Bagh ;Approx. time spent : 3 hrs
Day 2
10:00 am – Chini Ka Rauza Mausoleum;Approx. time spent : 1 hrs
11:00 am – Guru ka Tal ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
1:00 pm – Mehtab Bagh ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
3:00 pm – Mariam’s Tomb ;Approx. time spent : 1 hrs
4:00 pm – Jama Masjid ;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
Day 3
10:00 am – Mankameshwar Temple;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
12:00 pm – Kalakriti Cultural & Convention Center;Approx. time spent : 2 hrs
2:00 pm – Dayal Bagh -Approx. time spent : 2 hrs

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