As one of India’s most famous cities, Agra is an iconic destination for travelers from around the world. Located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Agra is most famous for the Taj Mahal, one of the most breathtaking architectural marvels in the world. However, Agra is also home to numerous other historical landmarks, delicious food, and bustling markets. Here are some of the top things to do in Agra:
- Visit the Taj Mahal
No visit to Agra is complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the most famous and beautiful buildings in the world. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is a stunning example of Mughal architecture and is recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Visitors can marvel at the intricate details of the marble façade and explore the beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding the building.
- Explore the Agra Fort
Located just a few kilometers from the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort is another impressive example of Mughal architecture. Built-in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar, the Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features a variety of palaces, gardens, and courtyards. Visitors can explore the various buildings, including the Jahangir Mahal, Khas Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal, and learn about the rich history of the Mughal Empire.
- Wander through the Mehtab Bagh
Located on the opposite bank of the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal, the Mehtab Bagh is a beautiful garden that provides stunning views of the Taj Mahal from across the river. Visitors can stroll through the garden and take in the beauty of the Taj Mahal from a different perspective.
- Sample local cuisine
Agra is known for its delicious food, and visitors should be sure to try some of the local specialties during their visit. Some of the most popular dishes include petha, a sweet made from pumpkin, and bedai, a savory pastry filled with spiced lentils. Visitors can also sample delicious street food from the various markets and food stalls throughout the city.
- Shop in the local markets
Agra is home to numerous markets and bazaars, where visitors can find a variety of goods, including handicrafts, textiles, and jewelry. Some of the most popular markets include Kinari Bazaar, Shahganj Bazaar, and Sadar Bazaar. Visitors can bargain with the local vendors for unique souvenirs and gifts to take home.
- Visit the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah
Often referred to as the “Baby Taj,” the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah is another beautiful example of Mughal architecture. Built-in the 17th century by Empress Nur Jahan in memory of her father, the tomb features intricate marble inlay work and beautiful gardens. Visitors can explore the various buildings and take in the beauty of the site.
- Explore the Fatehpur Sikri
Located just outside of Agra, the Fatehpur Sikri is a well-preserved example of a Mughal city. Built-in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar, the city features a variety of impressive buildings, including the Jama Masjid, Buland Darwaza, and Panch Mahal. Visitors can explore the various buildings and learn about the rich history of the Mughal Empire.
- Attend a cultural performance
Agra is home to a variety of cultural performances, including traditional music and dance shows. Visitors can attend performances at various venues throughout the city and experience the rich culture of India.
- Take a Tonga Ride
Tonga rides are a popular way to explore Agra’s narrow streets and bustling markets. Tongas are horse-drawn carriages that are often decorated with colorful fabrics and bells. Visitors can take a ride through the city and experience the charm of Agra’s old-world streets.
- Visit the Akbar Mausoleum
Located in the nearby city of Sikandra, the Akbar Mausoleum is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture. Built-in the 17th century for Emperor Akbar, the mausoleum features intricate marble work and beautiful gardens. Visitors can explore the various buildings and learn about the history of the Mughal Empire.
- Attend the Taj Mahotsav
The Taj Mahotsav is an annual cultural festival that takes place in Agra. The festival celebrates the rich culture and heritage of India and features a variety of events, including music and dance performances, food stalls, and crafts markets. Visitors can attend the festival and experience the vibrant culture of India.
- Take a cooking class
Agra is known for its delicious cuisine, and visitors can take a cooking class to learn how to make some of the local dishes. Cooking classes are offered at various venues throughout the city and provide a fun and unique way to experience Agra’s culinary traditions.
- Visit the Mughal Heritage Walk
The Mughal Heritage Walk is a guided tour that takes visitors through the old city of Agra. The tour covers various historical landmarks, including the Jama Masjid, the Agra Fort, and the Mankameshwar Temple. Visitors can learn about the rich history and culture of Agra while exploring the city’s narrow streets and alleys.
- Explore the Wildlife SOS Bear Rescue Facility
Located just outside of Agra, the Wildlife SOS Bear Rescue Facility is a sanctuary for rescued bears that have been used for entertainment or as pets. Visitors can take a tour of the facility and learn about the efforts to protect and rehabilitate these animals.
In conclusion, Agra is a city rich in history and culture, and there are numerous things to do and see during a visit. From exploring the iconic Taj Mahal and Agra Fort to sampling delicious local cuisine and shopping in the bustling markets, visitors are sure to have a memorable experience in Agra.