Agra is one of the most famous and admired cities all over the world. Being the heart of Mughal architecture, the city features several exotic Mughal era buildings, forts, gardens and most notably the Taj Mahal which is one of the 7 wonders of the world.
The city is located on the banks of the Yamuna river in the Utter Pradesh state of India. The city also was the capital of the Mughal and Lodhi Empire. Due to the uniqueness, heritage, and culture of the city, it is one of the favorite and most visited tourist spots in India with millions of locals and foreigners visiting the country each year. As there is a lot to do in the city, many people especially the foreigners do question about what are the best places in Agra, from where they should start, what are the transport options, etc.
In this article, we have compiled the top 10 best places to visit in Agra along with a lot of crucial information that will help you a lot and will make your trip memorable.
Here are the Top 10 Places to Visit in Agra
One of the most iconic and exotic places all over the world is the Taj Mahal. There are no words to describe the might and magical beauty of this place. The Taj Mahal leaves its visitors astonished. Moreover, it is one of the seven wonders of the world.
It was built by one of the famous and romantic Mughal emperors Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife. The Mahal is surrounded by splendid lush green gardens and the Taj Mahal is considered as one of the masterpieces of the Muslims in India. Also, it should be your priority whenever you visit Agra and take as much as you can so that you may peacefully discover its beauty.
There are a lot of convinces to get to the Taj Mahal. The best travel convenience is to reach Agra by train. Moreover, the timing of the Taj Mahal is 6 am to 7 pm daily. Avoid visiting the Mahal on Friday as it is closed for Friday prayers.
Moreover, the Mahal is famous for its night views where its view becomes magical when the light of the moon reflects upon the white marble of the Mahal. Elements and material from different parts of Asia were brought and some of the best architectures of the Mughal Empire were assigned to design and construct the Taj Mahal. And the result of this uniqueness could be seen today in the Mahal.
The artwork, marble, tiles, archways, paintings, etc. everything is breathtaking and you won’t find similar art masterpieces anywhere in the world. This is the reason that it is declared as the seven wonders of the world. Visiting the Taj Mahal will be the best thing that may happen in your life and will be one of your best memories.
- Timing: 6 am to 7 pm daily (except Fridays)
- Ticket: 50 for Rupees for Indians – 1300 for Foreigners
The second most important building that you should be your second priority while visiting Agra should be the Agra Fort. This is considered another masterpiece of the Indian architecture in Agra after the Taj Mahal. The fort has a tremendous and astonishing design and at the peak times, a whole city lied protected inside the gigantic walls of the fort.
Let’s discuss a little about the history of the fort. The fort was built in the reign of the strongest Mughal emperors, the Akbar during the 16th century. They are had huge strategic importance and some stronghold must be needed in the region to strengthen the hold of the Mughals. The fort also served as the residence and the capital of the Mughal Empire until it was shifted to Delhi.
There are several important buildings located inside the fort and attract tourists from all over the world. You will notice that a whole city used to live inside the fort. Some important places inside the fort include Dewan-e-Aaam, Dewan-e-Khas, Moti Masjid, Akbar Mahal and several Mahals that were specifically designed for the emperors.
Also, some hear touching landscapes can be seen from the top of the fort overseeing the Yamuna River. Also, the fort is nearby to the Taj Mahal and you can even visit both in one day. Moreover, if you want to visit and inspect each of the places peacefully and precisely, it is recommended that you should visit each of these on separate days. Similar to the Taj Mahal, the fort is accessible easily and is open all day. Also, try to visit the fort when the weather is mild, i.e. not too hot, nor cold.
- Timing: Sunrise to Sunset (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM)
- Ticket: 40 for Rupees for Indians – 550 for Foreigners
Unlike the other Mughal era and the other historical places in Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is not a single palace or fort but a whole historical town itself. The tremendous town was built by Mughals as a new town and their new capital. The Mughal King Akbar built this complex to honor one of the admired Muslim Scholar Sheik Salim Chishti. There are various buildings, gardens, palaces, gates, etc. int the complex and left the visitors amazed.
The construction of the complex started in the mid-16th century and took almost 15 years to get completed. Afterward, Akbar shifted its residence from Agra Fort to Fatehpur Sikri and personally oversaw its construction. Several skilled India Architects were given the task to decorate and beautify the complex. Unfortunately, due to constant wars between the Mughals and the Rajputs, Akbar had to soon abandon the complex and shifted to Delhi.
The complex still lies deserted to this date. But there is still a lot to see and learn from the complex. Among several gates of the Complex, the Buland Darwaza is the most magnificent of them all. It leaves its visitors astonished due to its tremendous might, design, and height. The gate was built as an honor as the Akbar defeated the empire of Gujrat. Red sandstone and white marble were used to construct the gate.
Another magnificent place inside the Fatehpur Sikri complex is the Jamia Masjid. It is regarded as one of the largest mosques in the world and is a blend of Mughal and Persian Architecture. The mosque can provide the space for approx. 25,000 worshippers at a time. Other places to see in the complex include IbadatKhana, Tomb of Salim Chishti, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Aam, Jodha Bai Palace, Panch Mahal, NaubatKhana, Pachisi Court, HiranMinar and a lot of other attractions. Moreover, there are a lot of places to stay nearby and complex is really easy to access. Just ensure that you visit the complex during the official timings and mild weather.
- Timings: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Ticket: 35 for Rupees for Indians – 550 for Foreigners
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After visiting the above-mentioned places, if you have some time remaining, then you can visit the magical Mehtab Bagh. The Bagh (Garden) during its peak times was one of the most beautiful and magical gardens in India. Due to several disasters, change of governments, and years of neglection, today this Bagh is just an ordinary Bagh with some glimpse of its past.
The Mehtab Garden is commonly known as Moon Garden in India and was the extension of the Taj Mahal Gardens. It is located on the opposite side of the River Yamuna and Shah Jahan wanted to build another Taj Mahal connecting the Mehtab Garden with it. Unfortunately, the Shah Jahan didn’t remain King long enough to fulfill this desire and was soon imprisoned by his son.
The Bagh is a perfect place for refreshment, beautiful gardens, fountains and plants. Moreover, you can have a magical and heart touching view of the Taj Mahal from the garden. At the peak times of the garden, there were several unique, species of plants, fruit trees, wonderful fountains running from freshwater and several other things that made the garden magical. However, other the neglection by the governments, the floods, and the local villagers have done unbearable damage to the garden.
The Indian Government strived best to restore the garden and several species of plants were plated again that was part of the Garden during the Mughal era. So, whenever you will visit the garden, you predict that if it is so beautiful at present, then how beautiful and majestic it maybe during its peak time. The best time to visit the Mehtab Bagh is in the morning or evening as at this time, the weather is pleasant and you can enjoy peacefully along with it you can also take some beautiful pictures. Avoid visiting the Bagh at day time because the intense heat won’t allow you to stay in the Bagh for a long time.
- Timing: Sunrise to Sunset
- Ticket: 10 for Rupees for Indians – 100 for Foreigners
If you have visited the Taj Mahal till now or not, you probably have heard about it through various mediums. No doubt, it is truly beautiful and majestic but have you ever heard about the Itmad-ud-Daula? Well, this is another astonishing tomb located in Agra that is commonly known as the Baby Taj Mahal in India. Although, it doesn’t reach the might of the Taj Mahal, yet it is another master copy of the Taj Mahal and has a resemblance to it.
It is a tomb that was built by Nur Jahan to honor his Persian Father. Her father was not an ordinary person but a Nobel and man of high deeds. The very first thing you will notice about Itmad-ud-Daula’s Tomb is its beautiful architecture. The tomb located inside an astonishing structure, similar to the palaces that resemble the Mughal Architecture. The main tomb is located on the eastern side, near the Jamuna River, in the middle surrounded by exotic gardens that are based on the Char Bagh pattern.
Although, the place can be easily visited during any time of the year, but due to its location in the Uttar Pradesh of the country, the temperatures here are extremely hot during the summers. Similar to the other places in Agra, try to visit Itmad-ud-Daulainthe evening or morning as the sweltering heat won’t allow you to stay enough or explore the place precisely. During the morning and evening, the temperature is calm and also you can take some exotic photos of the tomb and the sunrise or sunset.
- Timing: Sunrise to Sunset
- Ticket: 15 for Rupees for Indians – 110 for Foreigners
Shopping in Agra
Whenever the word Agra comes to our mind, we probably imagine that there are only Tombs, Fort, etc. in Agra but it is more than that. Other than Mughal architecture, several cultural and traditional places in Agra reflects its true colors and help us to learn more about Indian culture.
The most important yet exciting activities other than exploring historical buildings in Agra are the markets and shopping in Agra. These shops and markets reflex pure Indian traditions and products. There will much for you to buy and you will remember these things and experience the rest of your life. Moreover, the pure Indian traditional food will be available in these streets and you will come to know how tasty Indian food is. Probably this taste won’t be found anywhere in the world nor the hotels in which you are staying in Agra.
Let’s discuss some of the main Bazaars of Agra
– Saddar Bazaar
This is the place that is known for its tasty food items. You can find several shops of coffee, garments, artifacts and the most crucial thing, the leather products. Don’t forget that Agra is known all over India for its leather products and is you are interested, then you will find the best leather products in the Saddar Bazaar.
– Kinnari Bazaar
This spectacular bazaar is located near the main Jama Masjid of Agra and is known for wholesale retailers and shops. We can some traditional handicrafts, glassware, rugs, and other textile products. The best thing about these bazaars is that the prices of these wholesale products are reasonable. Moreover, if you do a bit of negotiation with the shopkeepers, they will easily reduce the prices.
– Subhash Bazaar
This is the place famous for textile products. As you know that the textile products of India are known all over the world and the quality of this textile is admired all over the world. You can buy some saris, clothes, and various other textile products at a negotiable price.
– Mouthwatering Food
India is known all over the world for its tasty, delicious food and so is the Agra. There are several different food items due to which Agra is famous and is available at different places and vendors in the city. The type of food varies from traditional Indian food to some continental and International dishes.
Moreover, the best thing about the food is that they are really cheap and tremendously delicious. Whenever you visit Agra, you must try these special dishes of Agra from different places. Some of the main and famous Agra food items include Petha, Paratha, Mughlai, Bhalla, Tandoori Chicken and much more. It will your life’s best experience and you won’t find similar food anywhere else.
- Timing: All the day till 10-11 pm approx
Aram Bagh is one of the oldest gardens in India that were created by the Mughals. Originally the Aram Bagh was built by the founder of Mughal Empire Babur in 1528. Also, Babur was first buried in this garden temporarily after which he was permanently buried in Kabul.
The Bagh is designed as per Persian Architect and is not only one of the first but also one of the most beautiful gardens in India. There is much to see in the garden like beautiful pathways, fountains, rest places, etc. The Bagh may not be present in its original state similar to the Mehtab Bagh but by visiting the Bagh we can imagine how beautiful it was during its peak times.
Tomb of Akbar
Akbar, precisely known as “Akbar the Great” was one of the greatest and most powerful Mughal emperors of all time. During his reign, he took the Mughal Empire to some new heights and was admired all over India. The Tomb of Akbar is the final resting place of Akbar but is a masterpiece of architecture and design. The tomb is surrounded by several beautiful gardens which were designed by Akbar himself.
The structure of the tomb is built by red sandstone and white marble. Also, several pieces of art and paintings further beautify the tomb. This is the reason that it became the most visited place in Agra and people rush to visit the tomb and discover its spectacular beauty.
The place of the tomb and its design was personally selected by the Akbar himself and was further completed during the reign of his son Jehangir. Although the tomb was neglected for years, it was restored by the British government during the start of the 20th century and further came in protection when India got Independence.
Almost all of the Mughal Emperors have beautiful tombs in different parts of India but the Tomb of Akbar has something different that attracts the people.
- Timings: Sunrise to Sunset (Fridays are Off)
- Ticket: 15 INR for India – 110 for Foreigners
India is known all over the world for its wildlife and rich biodiversity. Countless unique species are living in different parts of India. The government of India strives is best to keep these species protected and secured. This Wildlife SOS is the best example of this effort and reason behind the establishment of this sanctuary.
The Sanctuary was established back in 1995 for the sole protection of wildlife species of India and effectively maintaining their health. Illegal hunting and poaching have destroyed wildlife all over the world and many species are now extinct or near extinct. Some of the protected species in the sanctuary include tigers, elephants, bears, etc. and the employees make their best not only to protect them but also to maintain their health.
The sanctuary is regarded as one of the best places to visit in Agra and we can learn a lot from here. Also, we will have a place for animals in our lives and we will have a better idea about the animal feelings and their protection. You will be amused by seeing these splendid species and some of them might not be seen outside India. So, whenever you visit Agra, keep trying to spare some hours for this place.
- Timings: Sunrise to Sunset.
- Ticket: Approx. 1500 INR
Dolphin Water Park
In the end, if you get tired of visiting monuments and historical places, and need something refreshing, then you should probably visit the Dolphin Water Park. The park is spread over a large chunk of land and was opened for the public in 2002. This is one of the modern and latest innovations in Agra and there is plenty to do in the park-like pools, thrilling rides, roller coaster, and much more. Also, the place is best for kids if they are getting bored with historical places.
Just make sure that you visit the park during the evening timings and the temperature must be normal. Moreover, if you are taking children with you, keep an eye on them and must care for them constantly.
- Timings: 11:30 AM – 6:00 PM
- Entry Fee: Adults: INR 550, Kids: INR 400
So, these were the top 10 places to visit in Agra and will leave you astonished. Mughals are known all over the world for their architectural masterpieces, forts, mausoleums and other artworks. You can easily access all of the above-mentioned places as there are various cheap transport mediums available. You will remember this trip your whole life and the Agra will always have a special place in your heart. Stay Blessed…!