Famous places in Agra other than Taj Mahal
Agra is most famous for the Taj Mahal, but there are other very important historical places to visit in Agra other than Taj Mahal, like Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. We will describe the most famous places in Agra to visit as follows:
Taj Mahal most beautiful building in the world
One of the first reasons why people want to visit Agra Taj Mahal is because all their life they have heard that the Taj Mahal is the most beautiful building ever built by man. So the urge is there in almost everyone that 'I want to see the Taj Mahal'.
You will not be disappointed with a visit to the Taj Mahal. When you enter that big pink marble gate of the Taj Mahal and you are actually standing in front and gazing at that massive beautiful pure white building of the Taj Mahal, a mixture of nice feelings overcomes you, a feeling of awe at seeing such beauty and the satisfaction of having fulfilled one of your life’s ambitions.
One of the thoughts that is sure to cross your mind is how could they have built such a massive beautiful building with superb intricate carvings, so long ago, at an age when there were no electricity nor trucks nor cranes nor any type of hand tools except for chisels and other simple hand tools.
Pictures of the Taj Mahal cannot really give you that feeling of joy you experience when you see actually see the original Taj Mahal in Agra in person. Anyway to give you some idea of what to expect when visiting Taj Mahal, we give a fairly good photo of the Taj below.
The Taj Mahal in the photo above, was built and completed in 1648. This is the citation about the Taj on the UNESCO world heritage site
“An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife. The Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage”.
Taj Mahal means ‘Crown Palace’ . The Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore called it "a teardrop on the cheek of eternity" while the English poet, Sir Edwin Arnold, said it was "Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor’s love wrought in living stones". We have a dedicated page on the Taj Mahal
Agra Hotels to see Taj Mahal
Some of the best hotels in Agra for sightseeing in Agra can be found at the famous online Hotel booking website Booking.com: Agra Hotel Booking website
Agra Fort, the Red Fort of Agra
Agra Fort was built by the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar and is another UNESCO world heritage site in Agra. The caption on the UNESCO site reads
“Near the gardens of the Taj Mahal stands the important 16th-century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques”.
The fort is similar in layout to the Red Fort in Delhi, but considerably better preserved, since some parts of the Delhi Red Fort were destroyed by the British after the Indian Mutiny of 1857.
Fatehpur Sikri Dargah in Agra
Fatehpur Sikri is the third UNESCO world heritage site in Agra and is described thus on their web site
"Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid"
Fatehpur Sikri is a holy place in honor of Salim Chishti (1478 – 1572), a Sufi Saint. Salim Chishti was a Sufi Saint during Akbar's Mughal Emperor's time. Akbar was a follower of this Sufi Saint and he built the city of Fatehpur Sikri near the Sufi Saints home to be his headquarters and moved to live in this city. But due to water shortage the city was abandoned. Now it is a big tourist attraction.
Other interesting places in Agra
Some of the other interesting places in Agra, other than the three main tourist attractions in Agra: Taj Mahal, Agra Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, are as follows:
Sikandra the tomb of emperor Akbar
Sikandra the tomb of emperor Akbar was built (1605–1613) combining the best of Hindu and Muslim architectures in a plot of about 120 acres in Sikandra a village about 10 kilometers from Agra.
Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah
Itmad-ud-Daulah is the tomb of Mirza Ghyas Beg, who had been given the title of I'timād-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state) by Emperor Akbar. I'timād-ud-Daulah was a Persian and the father of Nūr Jahān, the wife of Jahangir, the Mugoul Emperor who would succeeded Akbar the Great. The Craftsmanship at Itmad-ud-Daulah looks as if it was the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. The intricate inlay work known as ‘Pietre Dure’ - the inlay work on marble with precious stones - so characteristic of the Taj-was first used on this building.
Mehtab Bagh, site for the Black Taj Mahal
Mehtab Bagh which means ‘moonlit garden’ is directly opposite the Taj across the river Yamuna. Legend has it that this was the site for the Black Taj Mahal which Shah Jehan wanted to build as a mausoleum for himself. Due to the floods of the river running over these gardens it is not in the best of shape. The view of the Taj from here is fantastic.
Information about Agra City India
Agra is the most visited tourist place in India and the star attraction in Agra is the Taj Mahal. Tourist places in Agra other than Taj Mahal are the Agra Red Fort and Fathepur Sikri. The Taj Mahal has been declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is also a UNESCO declared World Heritage site. Two more world heritage sites are there in Agra, the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. A trip to India is not complete without a visit to Agra and seeing these wonders. The easiest way is for an Agra visit from Delhi, which can be a one day trip from Delhi to Agra or you can choose a leisurely week tour of Agra and Rajasthan on one of the luxury royal tourist trains like the Maharaja Express, Palace on Wheels or the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels.
Nearest Airport to Taj Mahal India
The nearest Airport for Taj Mahal is the Agra Airport called the ‘Kheria Airport’, which is an Indian Air force base, but Civilian flights are available. The Airport is not very popular with tourists. They prefer the train journey from Delhi to Agra. The nearest international airport to Taj Mahal is Delhi International Airport.
When is the best time to visit Taj Mahal
The best time to visit Delhi and Agra and visit the Taj Mahal is during the winter months when the weather is pleasant and you can escape the heat of the summer months.
Delhi to Taj Mahal Agra distance
Delhi to Taj Mahal in Agra distance by road is only about 200 kilo-meters (about 125 Miles) and since the Delhi to Taj Mahal in Agra distance by car can be covered in less than 3 hours, it is possible to do Delhi Taj Mahal in a day trip by driving to Agra from Delhi and returning same day. There are also many busses plying between Delhi and Agra, so it is possible to visit by public busses as well, though the drive time will be more.
Best way to travel from Delhi to Agra
The best way to travel from Delhi to Agra is by Agra Delhi trains. The daily Agra Delhi trains Taj Express and Shatabdi Express. Agra Delhi train travel time is about 2 hours. Train schedule from Delhi to Agra are usually in the early morning for the fast trains from Delhi to Agra and the Agra Delhi trains leave Agra late in the evening.
Delhi to Agra and Agra to Delhi by train is the best way to travel from Delhi to Agra. Delhi to Agra has many trains, so easy to make Agra day trip from Delhi to see the Taj Mahal. The best trains, apart from the 'Palace on Wheels', are the 'Bhopal Shatabdi' (Train #2002) and the 'Taj Express' (Train #2280 -note that the South bound trains from Delhi start from a railway station in South Delhi called H. Nizamuddin). Both are fast trains and take just a little over 2 hours to reach Agra from Delhi. The trains start early by around 7AM and you are in Agra before 10AM. The same trains have same day return journey to Delhi, at around 7PM from Agra. You are back in Delhi before 10PM the same day. This way you get about 10 hours in Agra to do sightseeing in Agra, shopping, lunch, etc. There are many conducted tours from Delhi to Agra, synchronized with the arrival and departure of these trains in Agra and Delhi. Indian Railways themselves give a round trip train ticket to Agra, with the option to include the bus tour of Agra with an English speaking tour guide. Food is served on the trains and included in the cost of the ticket. The seats on these Trains are very comfortable.
How to visit Agra from Delhi
Day tours to Agra from Delhi is possible by driving from Delhi to Agra or by taking one of fast trains from Delhi to Agra. Most of the hotels in Delhi have travel agents in the lobby who can arrange Agra day trip from Delhi. Most of these day tours from Delhi to Agra will start on the popular Taj Express Delhi to Agra or the Delhi Agra Shatabdi Express. You arrive in Agra Cantonment Railway station and from there luxury buses will take around to all the tourist spots in Agra with English speaking tourist guides to explain the history and stories surrounding the popular tourist spots of Agra. The luxury buses will bring you back to Agra rail station in time for the return journey by train to Delhi. These Agra day trips from Delhi starts early at 6.30 AM and you are back in Delhi by 10PM.
Tours to Agra from Delhi by train
The best tours to Agra from Delhi by train are by the luxury royal class trains like The Maharaja Express or The Palace on Wheels or The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels. These are three Royal Class luxury tour trains operating out of Delhi and visiting the most important tourist destinations of Agra and Rajasthan.
All these royal class luxury tourist trains hope to recreate the splendors of the era of the Maharaja’s who used to travel in their own superbly fitted Railway Coaches. The cabins of the Maharaja Express, Palace on Wheels and the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels are all air-conditioned with twin beds and attached toilets. Two fine restaurants, "The Maharaja" and "The Maharani", are there serving continental, Chinese, Indian and Rajasthani cuisines. Both trains depart from New Delhi and during its eight day journey, travels around Rajasthan with stops in Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur, and Agra. Some of the tourist attractions covered are the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, the Ranthambhor National Park, Chittaurgarh Fort, Jag Niwas (Lake Palace), Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the Agra Fort and finally the Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal location in India google map
Taj Mahal is in the city of Agra in India. We have a google map here from which you can see the actual location of Taj Mahal in India.
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