Agra

A Complete Travel Guide To Agra

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations when you visit India. Agra holds an important place in history as it is home to some of the magnificent architectural wonders of the Mughal era. Each famous site has a story of its own that the local guides or the local people love to narrate. To truly experience Agra like a local as well as a tourist, we have put together a guide to the eight famous places everyone should consider having on their travel itineraries.

Places To Visit In Agra

TAJ MAHAL

People from all over the world must not have heard of Agra but every one of them must have heard of Taj Mahal….. it is a pure white marble mausoleum that was built by Shahjehan in the loving memory of his beloved queen Mumtaj. Taj Mahal is the icon of love. This wonder of the world is a perfect example of the intricacy and brilliance of the Persian and Mughal architecture.it was constructed by Emperor Shahjehan in the memory of his beloved wife. Today Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it continues to hold the same magical appeal, attracting approximately eight million tourists a year. Viewing of the Taj is advisable only during the sunset and sunrise, except on Fridays. Night viewing of the Taj is not allowed during the five nights of the month; the night of full moon and the nights before and after that.

AGRA FORT

Source: Pixabay

As you enter and start to cross courtyard after courtyard, you realize that Agra has one of the finest forts of the Mughal era in India. This red stone and marble architecture exudes power and grandiosity. Agra fort was primarily begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565 as a military structure and was later transformed into a palace by his grandson Shahjehan. Some of the most iconic structures in Mughal history are still a part of this fort, such as the Shish Mahal, Diwan-e-aam and Deewan-e-Khas. The Amar Singh Gate, which was originally built to confuse the attackers with its dogleg design, is now the sole point entry to the fort.

MEHTAB BAGH

Constructed just opposite the Taj Mahal, Mehtab Bagh is a char bagh comp[lex that is considered as the ultimate viewing point of the mousdoleum. The garden is open from sunrise to sunset and is considered a photographer’s haven because it is the point from where you can take some unique photographs of the Taj with a gorgeous backdrop.

KINARI BAZAR

To experience what Agra felt like many years ago, Kinari Bazaar is the perfect place to visit. Located in the narrow streets behind the Jama Masjid, where multitudes of colorful shops spillover, women bargain and cars dodge one another. This place is where some of the finest jewelry of Agra, as well as fabric, clothing, shoes, authentic snack stalls, and Agra’s famous marble work, can be found. It is also the finest place to go for the tiny titbits for a wedding like beautifully crafted garlands, bridal veils, and groom turbans.

Agra Life And Culture

CULTURE OF AGRA

Agra is one of the most popular historic cities in India.its importance is reflected through the rich historical and centuries old monuments built in the city. The history and mentions of the city date back to the ancient times of the MAHABHARATA with mention of the ancient name Agravana for the modern day Agra. Ptolemy was a roman geographer who first referred to the city by its modern name Agra. Before that the city was known as Arya Griha.

The mughal dynasty has contributed immensely to the heritage of Agra. But it’s not the only dynasty to do so. The city of modern Agra was founded by the Lodhi dynasty which was lead by Sikander Lodhi. It is also believed that the Central Asia ruler Babar who also founded the Mughal Empire spent some years in the city and introduced the Persian style gardens to the city.

Emperor Jehangir who spent most of his time in the north India of the Kaashmir region introduced the city with great palaces and magnificent gardens. Akbar the great built the Agra fort and the city capital Fatehpuir Saikri but unfortunately the place was abandoned and isolated after 15 years.

Agra starts governing itself independently and becomes a centre of discussion when Shahjehan took the throne from his father Jehangir. He was also a lover of architecture and he showed that to the world by building the most icon structure of the Taj Mahal fo his wife Mumtaj whom he believed to admire the most.

Tradition of Agra

The city is blessed with tradition and rich culture. The alleyways of the city and the celebrations will take you back in history and enrich you with cultural events and festivals. If you want to inherit centuries old festivals then you need to be present where they are celebrated from centuries. Agra is a home to the different traditions from different religions.

You can celebrate festivals like the Urs Sufi Saheb, Diwali, Holi, Kailash Fare, Ram Lila and many countless other festivals. The city of love has a lot to offer its elegant structures and old traditions will make you feel the warmth of the place.

Attires of Agra

Looking for interesting and beautiful colored then Agra is your choice. The people of Agra love to wear the colorful and happening cloths. But the city also has integrated modern cloths so you will see a mix of tradition and modern clothing in this city. You will find people wearing sarees, dhoti-kurtas, and salwar kurtas along with the modern jeans and t-shirts. People generally prefer to wear Indian footwear. On different occasions people like to wear traditional costumes like ghagra-cholis and kurta sherwanis during a festival or a marriage function.

People Of Agra

For a large portion of time, the city was under Muslim rule. But the diversity of the city is very impressive and very old. You will find almost all religious people in this city whether it is Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, or Buddhism. The city population is mainly Hindus followed by Muslims. The city is an inspiration of living in harmony and peace.

The people of Agra are very calm and warm in their nature. They are very co-operative and welcome to other people. The city is an epicenter of handicrafts in India. It is also very well known for its hand made carpets and rugs.

In Agra, the most often spoken language is Hindi and Urdu and the city has been home to many poets and writers who have produced some of the best literature in history. But a lot of different languages like Punjabi, and other regional languages are spoken in this beautiful city.

FOOD OF AGRA

Agtras is not only famous for its mesmerizing Taj Mahal but its delicacies too. It is acknowledged as one of the best street food serving spots in the country. The city is densely populated but yet it witnesses many foodies coming from all over the country to quench their insatiable appetite. In this article below listed are the best street foods of Agra.

Indian Traditional sweet food Agara Petha

1. Petha

A trip to Agra is always incomplete without petha. It is one of the most iconic street food in Agra. Petha comes in a wide variety from paan to kesar and if these aren’t mouthwatering enough for you then you can always try the other variants. Being a specialty of Agra, it has people rushing from all parts of the country due to its delicious flavor. Petha is prepared from white pumpkin or ash gourd and mixed with nuts that gives it a unique taste. It comes in two variants, one is dry while the other is dipped in a sugar syrup.

2. Mughlai – the best food in Agra

The Mughlai cuisine is the best food in Agra and is considered as a token of sovenier from the Mughal era. Mughlai cuisine has a vast number of dishes to offer here. It mostly consists of meat and spices and dried nuts.

3. Bhalla

Bhalla is rechristened as aloo tikki in Delhi and most parts of India. It is a dish of fried and mashed potatoes mixed with different spices, chickpeas and is served hot with chutney. It takes the shape of flattened balls. Agra looks breathtaking in the evenings when the sun is sparkling off the Taj. A plate of bhalla and this view insight is a sight to embark upon. It is a favorite among the locals and is considered as a famous street food of Agra.

4. Tandoori chicken

Just as Hyderabad is famous for its biryani, west Bengal for its Rasogulla the same way tandoori chicken is the famous street food of Agra. Served with green mint chutney this chicken is juicy and will surely make you insatiable about it.

Best Time To Visit Agra

October to March is a good time to visit Agra because of its pleasant weather. In summers, temperature can go up to 45C and winters can be as cold as 1C.

MonthHigh/Low (°C)Rain
January20°/ 9°2 days
February26°/ 11°1 days
March30°/ 16°4 days
April37°/ 22°3 days
May42°/ 26°0 days
June42°/ 29°2 days
July36°/ 27°17 days
August33°/ 25°18 days
September32°/ 25°17 days
October33°/ 21°2 days
November29°/ 18°3 days
December21°/ 9°1 days
Monthly weather of Agra

How To Reach Agra

One of the most important tourist destinations in the country (and in the world), connectivity to Agra has been well developed and is continuously improving over time. Most tourists club Agra with Delhi and/or Jaipur and the road/train network is excellent from both of these places, as well from other places in India. Agra is a place of major historical importance and it is well connected to the other cities in India as well. For people coming from long distance, taking a flight to Delhi and driving from there is recommended

By Air

The nearest airport is Kheria Airport (8km) but it has a direct flight only to Gwalior and Khajuraho. If you are coming by flight, the nearest airports are in Delhi (4hrs), Jaipur (3 hours) and Lucknow (7hrs)

By Road

Agra is situated on the Golden Triangle of the Tourist Circuit. It is connected to Delhi by NH2. The Taj Expressway, one of the best roads in the country, connects Agra to Delhi via Greater Noida, and you can easily drive from Delhi to Agra in 3 hours. The Taj expressway is a great way to reach Agra if you are coming from Delhi. However, during the winter months, you should avoid using the expressway early morning and late-night, since it is surrounded by dense fog causing frequent accidents. There are frequent buses from Delhi to Agra – most buses start from Anand Vihar terminus in Delhi.

By Train

There are four major railway stations in Agra, the most common being Agra Fort and Agra Cantt. These stations are very well connected to a lot of major cities, especially other tourist places nearby Agra for eg Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, etc. Taj express and Shatabdi are two of the fastest train on this route, establishing great connectivity with the national capital, and they have a good schedule for visiting Agra.

Shopping In Agra: The best places to shop in the city of Mughals

Most of the major shopping complexes are situated near the Taj Mahal, with Sadar Bazaar, Kinari Bazaar, and Munro Road among the most famous. You have to go to Sadar Bazaar to buy ethnic clothing , footwear and accessories. The Kinari Bazaar offers a wide variety of crafts, marble, glassware, toppings, leather and textiles. These bazaars are not only delicious, but also fair for practicing your negotiation skills.

Sadar Bazar

Sadar Bazaar is one of Agra’s most popular shopping spots located near the railway station of Agra Cantt. All can be found at a single location, from handicrafts, candy, garments to leather bags. In addition to some tasty vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food joints, cafes such as Café Coffee Day are also located near the store.

Subhash Bazaar

Subhash Bazaar is another famous Agra market located in Halwai Gali close to the northern edge of Jama Masjid, near the Agra Fort. One is likely to find a large array of items out of which the most common are silk items and silk saris. One is likely to find some high quality goods at a fair price with the right negotiation skills.

Raja Ki Mandi

It is one of the town’s busiest and busiest shopping centers. Right next to the market is a railway station called Raja ki Mandi railway station too. This market lies in the Agra area of Lohamandi. It is likewise one of Agra’s most successful marketplaces.

Shoe Market

This market lies in the area known as Hing Ki Mandi. This is a very well-known town shoe store. Since Agra ‘s footwear industry is famous, one can get a good pair of shoes on the market. One would probably get a pair of good quality shoes at a reasonable price. Since the market is in a congested area, it is advisable not to drive your vehicle over there. Using Public Transit instead. Wholesalers enter the market to purchase bulk goods, which means you can get quite a good price on the market.

Haunted Places In Agra

You would be surprised to know that the city of Mughals which has a lively atmosphere also has a lot of haunted places too. Even ghostbusters from Oklahoma have visited some of the sites and confirmed about strange aura in the surroundings.

  • Taj Mahal
  • Agra Fort
  • St. John’s college