Of course nobody interesting in Agra sights will want to miss the most famous of its landmarks, the Taj Mahal. But there’s much more to the attractions of Agra than just the Taj Mahal.
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- Seven Agra sightseeing places.
- #1 The Taj Mahal is absolutely magnificent and photos do not do justice to its beauty!
- #2 After that, it is only a short distance to Fort Agra,
- #3 Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah – a truly memorable resting place.
- #4 Mehtab Bagh – you haven’t seen the Taj unless seen from here!
- #5 Chini-ka-Rauza – a hidden gem, still in the rough.
- #6 Wildlife SOS – Elephants from a close up.
- #7 Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity – just true love and care.
Seven Agra sightseeing places.
Indeed these are all great places in Agra to reflect on history and the passing of India´s greatness.
#1 The Taj Mahal is absolutely magnificent and photos do not do justice to its beauty!
It stands calm and breathtaking, on a raised marble platform, by the banks of the Yamuna, testifying to the timelessness of art and love. Its pure white marble shimmers silver in the soft moonlight, exudes a shell – pink glow at dawn, and at the close of the day, takes on the tawny, fiery hue of the majestic sun.
Shahjahan built the monument in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the ‘lady of the Taj’, who died giving birth to their 14th child. It has been called the most extravagant monument ever built for the sake of love. The construction of the Taj commenced in 1631, and was completed in 1653. Workers were gathered from all over the country and from Central Asia, and about 20,000 people were recruited to translate this wild dream into a reality.
The main architect was Isa Khan, who was brought all the way from Shiraz in Iran. After he was deposed and brutally imprisoned in the Agra Fort, by his son Aurangzeb, Shahjahan spent the rest of his life looking wistfully at his wife’s final resting place, just across the river. The Taj remains a symbol of eternal love where the heart – broken Shahjahan was subsequently buried, re-united finally with his beloved Mumtaz.
Visit Taj Mahal: tickets are Rs 1000 for foreigners. The Taj Museum opens at 9am, but the ticket gates are open by 8 am, it´s closed on Fridays. You are permitted to bring your camera into the Taj grounds and take pictures, but not inside the actual building. You are allowed to take a bottle of water with you, but no other food items are permitted. Wheel chairs are available.
Looking for the best hotels near Taj Mahal Agra? The Excellent 5* hotel The Oberoi Amarvilas (Taj East Gate, Agra 282001), is at walking distance from the Taj Mahal, but you can take the free shuttle service too. All the 100+ rooms of this fabulous resort offer a view to the icon.
#2 After that, it is only a short distance to Fort Agra,
yet another marvel in architecture. It is just situated near Taj Mahal separated by a river.
If you visit Agra another must see monument that this city takes pride in is the Agra Fort. Armed with massive double walls, punctuated by four gateways, the fort houses palaces, courts, mosques, baths, gardens and gracious pavilions lie within its premises. The palace is also notable for its smooth blending of Hindu and central Asian architectural style.
Inside the Fort Agra take a look at Maryamuzzamani Palace, Sheesh Mahal and Shah Burj.
Info: open daily, tickets are Rs 500 for foreigners. Tip: bargain a tour guide for Rs 250 or rent an audio guide inside.
#3 Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah – a truly memorable resting place.
The tomb was built for the chief minister of Akbar’s successor, Emperor Jahangir and otherwise known as the Baby Taj. Built between 1622 and 1628 it is said to be the inspiration behind the Taj Mahal.
Its symmetrical buildings looks like a jewel box. White Marble in plenty and red sandstone has been used to build this structure. What makes it particularly interesting are the detailed decorative elements throughout the complex.
The monument is located on the bank of Yamuna River and stands at the center of a large beautiful garden which is criss crossed by water channels and paved paths.
The sunken garden is extraordinary and designed so that you can reach out and pick fruit from the trees easily.
Info: It´s open from sunrise to sunset. Ticktet price is Rs 500, if you take your Taj Mahal ticket you will get a slight discount.
#4 Mehtab Bagh – you haven’t seen the Taj unless seen from here!
Seeing the Taj Mahal from across the river at the time of sunset is amazing, it offers stunning and magical views of the Taj from a very different perspective. At dusk flocks of birds flying up the river as the sun goes down making your pictures even more scenic.
Info: tickets Rs 250.
It´s located opposite to the famous, overrun Taj Mahal and feels like a forgotten footnote in Agra’s history.
The mausoleum built for Afzal Khan, a senior minister to Emperor Shah Jahan, wompleted in 1639. Unlike the other tombs it was build in a Persian form, reflecting the origin of its occupant.
It is less well maintained and much quieter than other tourist places in Agra, but some striking artwork survived on blue-edged glazed tiles on the exterior of the building, and there are fine paintings kept within.
Info: it’s free to visit, but some guides will pester you into paying them to show you around, but there is really no need.
There are more places to visit in Agra than just historical buildings.
#6 Wildlife SOS – Elephants from a close up.
To be able to be face to face with these wonderful creatures is really a lifetime experience. Many elephants that were abused and mistreated find themselves now in the most loving and caring place. If you like help feeding and washing an elephant, a day we’ll never forget.
Please visit this place to support the great work they do for the rescue of elephants and bears.
Info: entrance fee Rs 1500 rupees, but you need to pay an additional Rs 500 to enter the jungle that the wildlife reserve is in.
#7 Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity – just true love and care.
Do make it a point to include this in your travel itinerary of Agra. It’s not just an orphanage it takes in anybody who needs help. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you should make the time to visit this place. To see the work these nuns and volunteers are doing in an orphanage founded by Mother Teresa is a unique opportunity and you will definitely be moved by the love and commitment.
Address: Prem Dan, 8 Ajmer Road, Pratappura, Agra 282001.
Before you start, explore the best rated India travel packages, excursions and activities. Indeed these are all great places in Agra to reflect on history and the passing of India´s greatness.