A gem conferred by the Mughals neighboring the national capital.
Agra can well be termed as the city of the Mughals. Situated on the banks of Yamuna, Agra was adored by the Mughals. Even though it was first described in the Hindu epic, Mahabharata, and was ruled over by a few Rajput kings, the city mainly owes its beauty to the mighty Islamic emperors. The famous monuments, mausoleums and other historical sites make everyone imagine the magnificence of the era they must have experienced. Adorned with the crown named Taj Mahal, it is one of the most beautiful cities of India and has three places which have secured their positions in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list which are Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort and the Taj itself which stands to be the winner of the New7Wonders of the World.
At a distance of merely 4 hours from the capital, Agra is one of the most loved spots in India. And with the new semi-bullet train from New Delhi, this time has further decreased to roughly 3 hours or maybe less if you’re lucky.
Tourists mostly get confused with the thought of visiting all the places in Agra in a very less time and if you’re one of those then you’re at the right place. What follows is the guide on how you can witness the best without worrying much:-
- Rush to the Taj Mahal – This is the first thing you need to do after entering the city. Throw your bags into your room and just run because the later you get to majestic mausoleum, the more tourists will be there. And you don’t have to miss out on Taj just because of your laziness. Another advice, DO NOT TAKE YOUR CAR, because if you do you will only get stuck there in the long long jams and nothing more.
- Enjoy the Tanga Ride to Agra Fort – It might sound a little weird but a tanga is the best way to explore Agra. And if you need to head to Agra Fort from Taj, which you will considering the proximity of both the monuments, then it’s a win-win situation for you. The tangavalas will make you explore the various pretty little things of the city. Firstly, they will take you to a shop of handmade items which include uniquely made sarees, bedsheets, showpieces, quilts etc. which are made by the prisoners of Agra Central Jail. Interesting, isn’t it? Secondly, they can tell you about an affordable restaurant which will be delicious enough to calm your taste buds after the tiring day. The third place is a treat for you, which is a famous and the best Petha shop of Agra. And believe me when I say they are the best. They serve various kinds of Pethas and the most that people, especially tourists, like is Chocolate Petha. Yes, I’m serious. And finally they will drop you at your desired destination, the Agra Fort. Also, you will be provided by a lot of information by the tangavala as they know a lot about the city which is quite interesting.
- Witness the Islamic Architecture at Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb – Literally meaning the Pillar of the State, Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb is the first ever tomb to be built entirely by marble. It was built during the reign of Jahangir and was made for his father-in-law, Mirza Ghiyas. Apart from the beautiful Islamic architecture, it also provides some of the most fascinating paintings with a touch of Persian touch on the monument as well. This 21-meter-high tomb is something you shouldn’t miss at all.
- Visit the Former Mughal Capital – Yes, I am certainly talking about the charming Fatehpur Sikri which was dedicated by Akbar to a Sufi Saint, Salim Chishti and stands as one of the most appealing sites ever built by any Mughal emperors. Declared as the world heritage site in 1986, Fatehpur Sikri is not only a blend of various kinds of architecture but also has one of the most scenic buildings but also has a gigantic 6 km wall which shows the power of the Mughal ruler.