Agra City Information

Quick Overview:

Agra is one of the most important historical and ancient cities of India. This handsome town situated in the holy region of Brij Bhoomi, on the right bank of river Yamuna. In ancient days the city was fortified hiving sixteen gates and it was the frontier defense of the Aryans.

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Agra City : An Introduction

Agra is the one of the prominent destinations of the World Tourism map with three heritage monuments - The Taj Mahal, Red Fort & Fatehpur Sikri. It is more just a dacadent city of graveyards and stones, but it is a vibrant centre of Culture, Art and Religious philosphies that have enriched mankind and shaped humen thought over centuries. Agra is famous as being home to one of the seven wonders of the world-the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid remainder of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid reminder of the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries.

While its significance as a political centre ended with the transfer of the capital to Delhi in 1634 by Shah Jahan, its architectural wealth has secured its place on the international map. A pleasant town with comparatively slow pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soastone by craftsman who are descendant of those who worked under the Mughals. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes.

Agra was once the capital of the Mughal empire and even today it seems to linger in the past . Not surprising , for the Mughal emperors with their passion for building, endowed the city with some of the finest structures in the world . It is very easy to slip away here through the centuries into the grandeur and intrigues of the Mughal court . Agra is an old city and it is said that its name was derived from Agrabana, a forest that finds mention in the epic Mahabharata.In more recent times Agra came into prominence when Sikandar Lodi made it his capital city in 1501 . The Lodi rule was to end very soon and Agra passed into the possession of the Mughals. It was during the time of the third emperor Akbar that Agra came into its own . He embarked on the construction of the massive Agra Fort in 1565. Though Akbar was diverted into building a new capital at Fatehpur sikri not far away.Agra continued to retain its importance and Shah Jahan, Akbar's garndson ornamented the city with that masterpiece of Mughal architecture - the Taj Mahal and built several other beautiful buildings within the Agra fort.


The Taj Mahal

Undoubtedly one of Agra’s most popular attractions, the Taj Mahal is not just famous in India but is a monument renowned across the world. Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his deceased wife Mumtaz, it is emblematic of the emperor’s deep love for his wife and the grief he experienced at her passing. A landmark monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Taj Mahal is one of the most admired Mughal masterpieces in the world and is nothing short of poetry crafted in marble. The architect of the Taj Mahal was Ustad Ahmed Lahauri and the design is representative of Indian, Persian and Islamic styles of architecture. It took 21 years for the Taj Mahal to be constructed (from 1632 to 1652) with over 20,000 labourers working night and day.

Described as a “teardrop on the face of eternity” by legendary poet Rabindranath Tagore, the Taj Mahal never fails to impress visitors. Take a relaxed stroll through the grounds or just sit and admire the beautiful, reflective pools and exquisite gardens on the premises. To truly experience its ethereal beauty, visit the Taj Mahal early in the morning when it’s relatively quieter and less crowded or on a full moon night when the white marble glows against the backdrop of the dark, night sky.

Opening Closing Time

6 am to 6:30 pm (sunset), every day except Friday when the Taj Mahal is closed

Tourist Places Near Taj Mahal

Agra Fort
One of the famous tourist places near Taj Mahal, India, is the Agra Fort. Situated near Taj Mahal, it was constructed by the Emperor Akbar in the year 1565. However, numerous additions were carried on in this fort, till the time of Shah Jahan. A beautiful example of Mughal architecture made up of entirely of red sandstone, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra
The tomb of Akbar, situated at Sikandra, is the last resting place of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great and is only 13 km from the Agra Fort. The architectural style of this tomb is quite different from almost all the other tombs of the Mughals. This pyramidal tomb was completed by Akbar's son Jahangir in the year 1613 and has the 99 names of Allah inscribed on it.
Fatehpur Sikri
The deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri is situated near Agra. Constructed by Mughal Emperor Akbar, it was completed in the year 1584. Located 35 Km from Agra, it is one-of-its-kind city and is counted amongst the most majestic cities of the Mughal Empire. It's also one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites situated in Agra, other two being Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb
Noor Jahan, the wife of Jahangir, got the Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb constructed in between 1622 and 1628 AD. It was constructed in the memory of her father Ghiyas-ud-Din Beg. Located on the left bank of river Yamuna, the tomb is an opulent structure and is considered to be an antecedent of the Taj Mahal because of its intricate carvings and inlay work.
Mankameshwar Temple
About 2.5 km from Taj Mahal and less than 1 km away from Agra Fort is located one of the four ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva that stand on each corner of the Agra city. It is surrounded by the markets of the Mughal era gone by.
Ram Bagh
Build by Babur in 1528, Ram Bagh is the oldest Mughal garden in India. Located on the banks of river Yamuna, less than 3 km away from Taj Mahal, it was designed so that the wind from the river coupled with greenery would help maintain cool during the peak summer days. The original name of this garden was Aram Bagh or the Garden of Relaxation.
Swami Bagh Samadhi
Swami Bagh Samadhi, the construction of which started more than a century ago in 1904, continues till date. It is often touted as the next Taj Mahal, as a colorful combination of marbles and carvings in stone that are believed to be not seen anywhere in India. The monument holds the ashes of Huzur Swamiji Maharaj or Sri Shiv Dayal Singh Seth.
Other Attractions
Other popular nearby attractions include Jama Masjid, built for Shah Jahan's daughter; Guru ka Tal, a holy place of worship for Sikhs; Chini Ka Rauza, dedicated to Prime Minister of Shah Jahan; Mariam's Tomb, wife of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great; Mehtab Bagh, a moonlit garden; and Keetham Lake.