Taj Mahal, Agra
To visit Agra is to take a walk through history. Labyrinthine lanes pulsating with the erstwhile Mughal grandeur caresses remnants of the past and enchants visitors with an unsurpassable aroma of eternal love, the world famous Taj Mahal. Seat of the three Mughal emperors before Shah Jahan shifted India's capital permanently to Delhi, Agra today is just another provincial town nestling on the sandy western bank of river Yamuna. History tells us that Agra was part of Rajput territory before the advent of the Mughals. Today this city experiences myriad footprints of travellers who come here from all pockets of the world to enjoy their vacations. Come be a part of the festival.
You can begin your itinerary with Fatehpur Sikri,
spending the first half of a day there, then move on to Sikandra and the
monuments on the eastern bank of the Ganga for the rest of the day. Give
the western bank, on which sits the Fort and the Taj, the better part of
the next day, for they need maximum attention. The colossal Red Fort is
veiled by numerous markets with distinct names from the Mughal period that
characterise the ambience of this historical city such as Loha Mandi,
Sabzi Mandi and Nai-ki-Mandi, that retain the old flavour. Walk amidst
them to reach the massive complex known for its magnificent architectural
styles, portraying a rare combination of the aesthetic sensibilities of
three different Mughal kings. The Fort, though appearing impregnable from
outside and as such fulfilling its military purpose, was more like a city
on the inside. Wander around the Nagina Mahal, built as a harem for the
royal ladies, the Zeena Meena Bazaar where the queens shopped and the
elegant Diwan-i-Khas, where the emperor dealt with his dignitaries. Don't
miss the exquisite Persian inscription carved out of a single block of
sandstone, that records Jehangir's marriage to Mehrunissa (Nur Jahan).
The Taj Mahal is a short distance from the Fort and can be reached via a road known as The Mall. One of the most famous monuments of the world, the Taj is virtually the raison d'etre of Agra's tourism. A congested network of alleyways around the Taj make up the Taj Ganj area, which may also be considered the heart of the town, as the place that offers many staying options for the tourists. The monument built in white marble stands on the bank of River Yamuna in testimony of eternal love between an emperor, Shah Jahan, and his most favoured queen, Mumtaz Mahal.
Agra meets many needs when it comes to shopping. For starters, there is its souvenir industry, which depends on a high level of craftsmenship. Around the Taj Ganj are many emporiums that display traditional handicrafts from the region such as rugs, leather goods and gem stones, though they are a little expensive this side of the town. You can shop for everything from jewellery and carpets to marble with fine inlay work. Vacationers less inclined towards crafts find Agra useful when it comes to picking up shoes, bags, belts and wallets, since this is large manufacturing centre for exporters. Rarely are these properly retailed, though, so you will have to ask friends or hotel staff to direct you to places for the best leather buys.
Indian Airlines/Alliance Air connects Agra to Delhi, Khajuraho and Varanasi with a thrice a week flight. The airport in Kheria is about 6 km from downtown and tourists can get multiple plying options to reach their desired destination. Agra being an important centre of the Central Railway, is well connected to all parts of the country. The two fastest connections from Delhi are the super-fast Shatabdi Express (journey time 2 hours) and Taj Express (2.5 hours). Both the trains return to Delhi in the evening, making even a day-long excursion to Agra possible. Driving on NH 2 from Delhi is a pleasure because of its four-lane double carriageway with very good and smooth surface. The 200 km distance from Delhi can easily be covered in less than four hours. Good service station/fuel facilities on the entire route, which passes through important industrial centres of Faridabad, Ballabhgarh and Mathura. Regular deluxe coach services operate between Agra and Delhi, Jaipur etc. Many tour operators also run same day and overnight tours from Delhi and Jaipur to Agra with airconditioned and non ac coaches.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Agra
Agra As A Seat of Power
Attraction of The Peerless Taj Mahal
Red Fort Portraying A Magic In Red
Fatehpur Sikri - A Poetry in Stone
Shop A Bit of Agra
Pilgrimage Spiritual Tour
» Splendrous Taj Mahal
Glorious Golden Triangles (I & II)
Delhi : Capital of Hearts
Jaipur : The
Power and Valor of Rajputs
Pradesh : Ecstasy in Hills
Chandigarh : Tradition