Formerly known as Agrabad, located around 200 Km away from the capital of India, stands the ancient city of Agra; where ruthless Mughal emperors and their warmonger Generals used to sketch-up their battle plans for conquering the world. Once centre to countless triumph, tragedy and betrayal; today the city is best known for hosting the literal symbol of love and passion; the magnificent Taj.
For offering tourists a pleasant temperature and the perfect weather for sight-seeing, October to March is the best time to visit Agra. You will love to enjoy an afternoon at the Taj complex or walk through the many bazars of Agra buying souvenirs and presents. Definitely the sellers will ask high price from the tourists and you may enjoy practicing your negotiation skills there. If you are visiting in winter (November-February), you should carry worm clothes. Temperature falls to 2 degree Celsius in December-January.
Staying at Agra is no longer inconvenient. Earlier, people were unhappy with the cleanliness. But recently the hotel environment and services are attractive to travellers around the globe. The Average range of hotels for double rooms per night is between $20 to $70. Tajganj and Rakabganj are the convenient places to stay for your visit at Agra. The TajMahal East gate area is the cleanest and least crowded. Substantial discounts are often available during the off-season (from April until September).
While travelling within Agra, you will find buses, taxis, trains, rickshaws, and Tongas (Transport pulled by Horse). Taxis are widely available throughout the city area (in package deals also), which can be a comfortable way to get around the city. Although most taxis have meters, drivers will ask high fares, you better negotiate before beginning a trip. Most drivers cannot speak English, so it would be wise to carry a map with you.
Local dishes in Agra are a complete delight to savor and a strong Mughal signature is very much visible. Mughlai, Indian, Chinese are all available in the restaurants. However, if you want to taste local flavors, don’t miss Petha (a type of sweet candy) and Dal Moth (a spicy lentil mix).
The Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the world, is the mausoleum of Shah Jahan's favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Agra is commonly identified as the "City of the Taj”. You will certainly be amazed with the building materials, its soothing ambience and beauty. The Taj is closed for visitors on Fridays. If you are visiting in groups, you may have to enter through the east and west gate. Independent visitors usually enter through the south gate. Ticket prices are Rs40 for Indians and Rs1,000 for foreigners (May 2016). View more
Agra Fort (sometimes called the Red Fort), is said to be built before 1000 which was renovated by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565. The red sandstone fort was converted into a palace during Shah Jahan's time.The Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), the Diwan-e-Am and Diwan-e-Khas (halls of public and private audience), Jahangir's Palace, KhasMahal, Shish Mahal (mirrored palace), and the MusammanBurj are the notable buildings in the fort. It is a walking distance from Tajganj. For a trip from TajMahal by Cycle-rickshawit will cost you Rs 25-30. Ticket price for foreigners is Rs 300 (you will get a discount of Rs 50 if you show the ticket of TajMahal) View more
Fatehpur Sikri is situated about 35 km (22 mi) from Agra, was built by The Mughal Emperor Akbar. His capital was moved here during his time. Later abandoned, the site displays a number of buildings of significant historical importance. If you want go by Cab from Taj Ganj to Fatehpur, it will cost you Rs 200 and above (depends on Cab Standard). Ticket prices are Rs 40 (for Indian/SAARC/BIMSTEC citizens) and Rs 510 for other foreigners. View more
The Jama Masjid, built in 1648 is a large mosque attributed to Princess Jahanara Begum (Shah Jahan's daughter). Use of red Sandstone and white marble has created this mosque a magnificent one. The environment is special for its serenity. NO entry fee applies here, but photography may cost you Rs 200-300. The mosque overlooks the Agra Fort at Kinari Bazar. It’s a 5.5 Km drive from Taj ganj that will cost you as low as Rs 12 by bus. View more
Built by the Empress Nur Jahan for her father, Mirza Ghiyas Beg, the Chief Minister of the Emperor Jahangir, is sometimes called the "Baby Tāj". It is located on the left bank of the Yamuna river.This mausoleum is set in a large cruciform garden, criss-crossed by water courses and walkways. Entry is free at Baby Taj. It’s only 7 Km from Tajganj. View more