Agra Travel Guide
Agra, the city of grand Taj Mahal is situated in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and is 200 km away from Delhi. Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and nearby Fatehpur Sikri are honored as UNESCO World Heritage Site and thus attract a large number of domestic tourists as well as foreigners from far and corner. The other tombs and buildings also silently carry with it the glory of ancient Agra, which was once the capital of Mughal Realm.
History Behind Agra
Though Agra has got its recognition as the capital of Mughal Realm from 1526 till 1658 but the chronicle history of Agra started around the 11th century. The history of Agra deep rooted in 1506 when Sultan Sikandar Lodi, the monarch of the Delhi Sultanate, shifted his capital from Delhi to Agra. With the fall of Lodi Emperor in 1526 by Babur, the first emperor of Mughal in the famous battle of Panipat Agra again became the metropolis of the Mughal and it has been continued for a long period with a small interruption between 1540 ? 1556. Architectural excellences of Mughal have elevated the ancient city Agra to another level. Aram Bagh, which was modeled on the beautiful Garden of Paradise was constructed by Babur. Akbar, the grandson of Babur had renovated the Agra Fort and constructed Fatehpur Sikri just beside Agra, which was renamed as Akbarabad after Akbar's name. World's one of the greatest wonder Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaj in Agra.
Though Agra is put forward to the world for Shah Jahan's Taj Mahal but he too was responsible for the decline of Mughal Emperor. Agra was later conquered by the Marathas. With the advent of British rule it came under British in 1803. After the independence the city was consolidated with Uttar Pradesh and remains as the ancient town of Taj Mahal and other buildings and monuments of glorious past and attracts bulks of tourists throughout the year.
Conveyance Options for Agra Travel
Agra, 200-220 km far from Delhi is one of the popular points of Golden Triangle Tour to Delhi ? Agra ? Jaipur. Agra is well connected via air, road and rail to other cities of India.
How to Reach Agra by Air: Due to seasonal service and extensive lateness the travelers generally prefer to hire a private taxi in order to avoid the delay and seasonal rush. Since November 2008 Air India Regional and Kingfisher Airlines are declared as the official airlines, which serve the city. Both the airlines fly on the route of Agra ? Delhi ? Jaipur Golden Triangle Route.
How to Reach Agra by Train / Rail: Delhi ? Chennai and Delhi ? Mumbai are the two main routes that connect so many trains with Agra throughout the year. Eastern India including Kolkata is well connected with Agra as the eastbound trains of Delhi journeys via Agra. Due to heavy fog in Delhi and Agra the trains run slow during the end of December and the advent of January. There are 3 stations in Agra ?
Reaching in Agra Cantonment: The main railway station, Agra Cantt is spread southwest of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Auto rickshaw, car, cycle rickshaw are the easy available vehicles to reach station in short period of time. Pre paid taxis are also available at the flat rate of 150 rupees to any hotel in the city. The tourists can also enjoy some mouthwatering snacks in the station.
Agra Fort Station: This station is particularly meant for eastbound trains like Kolkata, Kanpur, and Gorakhpur and so on.
Raja Ki Mandi: It is comparatively a smaller station with lesser people. Taj Express and Inter City are the main trains of Raja Ki Mandi.
The popular lines are ?
Delhi to Agra: Around twenty trains run from Delhi to Agra every day. Taj Express and Bhopal Shatabdi Express, the best options, leave Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin at 7:15 am and reach Agra Cantt at 10:07 am and leave New Delhi at 6:15 am and arrives Agra at 8:12 am respectively.
Agra to Jaipur: Train no 2988 takes almost four hours to reach Jaipur from Agra. It starts from Agra Fort Station from 6:25 pm and reaches Jaipur at 10:20pm. There is also another train numbered 2965 that leaves Agra Cantt at 5:40 pm and reaches Jaipur at 10.15pm. AC chair car costs 300/seat.
A Travel Trip from Delhi to Agra:
A one-day trip from Delhi to Agra can bring some changes in a busy life. Bhopal Shatabdi that leaves Delhi at 6:15 am with a delicious breakfast (included in fare) often makes the journey to Agra comfortable. Reaching Agra one can hire taxi, auto rickshaw or rickshaw to enjoy watching the grand Taj Mahal, followed by Agra fort, Akbar's tomb and so on in Agra. If one can manage to visit Fatehpur Sikri in scheduled time it will be an icing on the cake. After enjoying the whole day at Agra one can avail the train at 8:30 pm and comfortably can return to Delhi with again a delicious dinner (included in the fare) in it.
How to Getting Agra by Bus: There are numerous buses, which takes 3 -4 hours from Delhi to Agra and vice versa. The main bus stands are ? Igdah Bus Stand and ISBT. Igdah Bus Stand which is 8 km away from Taj mainly controls the Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan bound buses whereas through ISBT, the inter state bus stand all the buses pass to destination.
How to Reaching Agra By Road:
From Delhi: NH2 takes four to five hours to make up the 200 km distance from Delhi to Agra. If the tourists are coming from Delhi Airport and South Delhi, Aurobindo Marg will be accessible to get NH2 via Tughlakabad. Those who want to avoid the journey through bus can opt for rental car for around 3500 rupees. The travelers who would love to opt for flight should have abundance of time to catch the plane.
From Jaipur: The 255 km ( approx) distance can be wrapped around four hours through NH11 which connects Jaipur with Agra via Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.
Prime Tourist Spots Around Agra
Taj Mahal: - Taj Mahal, one of the greatest seven wonders of the world was constructed between 1631 and 1648 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his wife, Mumtaj Mahal. Taj Mahal also bears with it the elegance of Indian Muslim engeering. Along with the superficial beauty Taj Mahal has something more that makes the place worth visiting. It is Shah Jahan's love for his wife Mumtaj Mahal that inspires him to eternalize their selfless love for each other. The lover in Shah Jahan bleeded and promised to his dying sweet heart to make a tomb of her that the world has never witnessed. The grandeur of Taj Mahal lies not only in architectural beauty but mainly carries with it the endless love between two people. Decorative garden, reflective pools and eye-catching buildings have added some value to its beauty.
The tourists can enjoy Taj Mahal in its different look from morning 6:00 till
7:30 evening except Friday. Ticket cost is 20 rupees per Indian and 750
(including levy) rupees for per foreigner. The opening time of the east and west
gate counter is 6:00 am.
Rules and Regulations of Taj Mahal:
Arms and ammunitions are not allowed in the campus.
Smoking and eating inside Taj Mahal compound is prohibited.
Tourists have to keep their belongings in the official locker outside the Taj Mahal.
Photography is prohibited in the central mausoleum.
Wheelchairs are available at the refundable rate of 1000 rupees at the office of Taj Mahal for the disabled visitors of Taj Mahal. And many more.
Travel to Agra Fort : Though the layout of Agra Fort shares resemblance with Delhi Fort but this red sand stone fort is well preserved the glory of past. Agra Fort was built by Akbar between1565 ? 1571. The visitors of Taj Mahal straight can hire a rickshaw for 25 ? 30 rupees from outside of Taj Mahal and get there within few minutes. Audio guides are available at the rate of 60 for Indian language and 100 rupees for foreign language for better explanation of the history that each and every corner of the fort bears with it.
Travel to Sikandara: Akbar's tomb is preserved in the central of the garden. It is open fir the visitors from sunrise till sunset. Four main gates of Sikandara for Hindu, Muslim, and Christian and for all also bear Akbar?s respect from all religion.
Travel to Itmad ? Ud ? Daulah's Tomb: The tomb of Gias Uddin Beg made by his daughter Nurjahan often is referred as a jewel box among the tombs of Mughal period. Due to the use of white marble, inlay design, pietra dura, latticework it is also honored as the antecedent of Taj Mahal.
Other important tourist attractions are Jama Masjid, Chini Ka Roza and so on. Different gardens and temples of Agra also have their own beauty that makes the tour a complete one. Fatehpur Sikri the ancient town is situated at the edge of Agra and a must visited place.
Adlabs Multiplex is the world's first interactive theater, which allows a ride to the modern world, or the age-old civilization that we have left behind. Hindi show costs 150 rupees whereas the English show costs 450 rupees.
Shopping, Gifts and Mouth Watering Foods: The tourists can buy many small gifts for their family here, like the mini Taj Mahal and other things. Agra is famous for leather. There are also mouth-watering foods for all. Petha and Dal moth are the famous ones. Those who will miss the chatpata chaat of Agra will miss the essence of the town.
Hotels in Agra:
Budget Hotels in Agra: