Agra, one of India’s most popular tourist attractions, holds a significant place in history as the place is home to many architectural wonders from the Mughal period.
Be it the white marbled Taj Mahal, the revered Jama Masjid that is striking exemplar of Mughal style or the captivating deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, all these famous places to visit in Agra fascinate tourists from India as well as outside India.
So if you want to truly experience Agra like a local as well as a tourist, this guide to 10 popular tourist places in Agra and around should consider having on their travel itineraries.
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Famous Places to Visit in Agra
1. Taj Mahal
One of the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal deserves to be on top of the list and the reasons are very obvious. There is no one in the nation who haven’t heard about Taj Mahal- a showpiece architecture of fine Mughal craftsmanship. It was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan, in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It’s made out of marble and took 22 years and 20 000 workers to complete.
The complex is surrounded by beautiful gardens and there is a marble water tank in the middle. You can find neatly lined avenues of trees. There are plenty of fountains that are lined in order as well. The whole picture looks so romantic and lovers can enjoy a very good time here.
2. Agra Fort
Apart from Taj Mahal, the city is also famous for the Agra Fort, which is a veritable treasure trove of the Mughal architectural tradition. It is a massive fort that was built with red sandstone in 16th century by Akbar. Later Shah Jahan added more decorations using marbles. There are many buildings inside, including mosques, public and private audience halls, palaces, towers, and courtyards.
It is also called the Red Fort. The Amar Singh gate, which was originally built to confuse attackers with its dogleg design, is now the sole point of entry to the fort.
3. Jama Masjid
Many of you have already heard about Jama Masjid of Delhi, but wait, there is one famous tourist attraction in Agra, also named Jama Masjid, which was constructed in 1648 by the great Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan. The Emperor constructed this mosque for his daughter, Jahan Ara Begum, as he was attached to his daughter very much.
The magnificent red sandstone mosque took around 6 years to be completed. It emerged as one of the holiest and loveliest places of worship in India. Its lotus- shaped dome and tapering minarets signify typical Mughal style of architecture and its artistic brilliance.
4. Mehtab Bagh
Another one of the must visit places to visit in Agra is Mehtab Bagh. Its a little known tourist spot, constructed just opposite the Taj Mahal. Mehtab bagh is a char-bagh (four garden) complex that is considered the ultimate viewing point of the magnificent marble mausoleum. This classic style of Mughal garden lies within a perfect square shape. From here you can take some unique photographs of the Taj with a gorgeous backdrop.
5. Fatehpur Sikri
Listed among the World Heritage Sites, Fatehpur Sikri ranks among the mostly visited spots in Agra. It was founded in 1569 by the Great Emperor of the Mughal dynasty Akbar. The palace city atop a rocky ridge, confined within walls on its three sides and a lake in the foreground, was designed by Tuhir Das using Indian principles of art. This place is connected to all surrounding cities through roadways. This fort is one of the architectural marvels of Akbar. It has a lot of monuments inside the fort.
6. Moti Masjid
Moti Masjid is yet another marble structure located inside Agra Fort. It is built out of pure white marble, which gives the look of pearl color. Infact, it is this pearl color of the mosque that led to its naming as the Moti Masjid. In the centre of the court is situated a marble tank. There is also a sundial made of a marble pillar and octagonal shaped in the vicinity. The first look at this place will remind you of the St Basils Cathedral located in Moscow.
Places to Visit Around Agra
Famed for being the birthplace of the much-loved Hindu god Krishna, Mathura is one of Hinduism’s seven sacred cities and attracts large number of pilgrims, particularly during Janmastami. According to the Garuda Purana, Mathura along with Ayodhya, Avantika, Kasi, Puri, Kanchi and Dwarka are the seven sites which grant moksha. So when you are in Agra, don’t forget to visit this holy place which is just 57 km away from the city.
The village of Vrindavan is where the young Krishna is said to have grown up. Pilgrims flock here from all over India. It is one of the most visited places around Agra. Vrindavan is an important Hindu pilgrimage site, especially for the followers of the Vaishnava tradition, which maintains numerous temples and monastic dwellings known as ashrams. It is located at a distance of 75 km from Agra.
A historic city founded by king Surajesan, Gwalior is galore with beautiful monuments, palaces and temples, giving this city a majestic charm which speaks volumes of its glorious past. Whether someone has a taste for the age old edifices or likes to visit the most recent tech houses, Gwalior panders to everyone’s desires. The city is dotted with a number of tourist attractions. Gwalior Fort is the showstopper of the city and enhances the overall charm of the place. The distance between Agra and Gwalior is 119 km.
Known as the Bird Paradise and the eastern gateway to Rajasthan, Bharatpur is situated 50 km west of Agra. It is one of the best places to visit near Agra, and is mainly known for Keoladeo National Park or Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. There are rare and endangered bird species, both local and migratory. This place is the favourite spot for photographers and ornithologists.
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I hope you this list of famous places to visit in Agra and around will help you when you are in Agra. Explore the places and share your experience with us!