The ancient city of Agra serves as a land of fascination for travel buffs. Home to some of the world famous architectures, the city in Uttar Pradesh state of India is a must visit in all respects.
Listed below are the 6 best sites to visit in Agra:
1. Taj Mahal
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, this mesmerising structure is an architectural marvel in all respects. Constructed under the aegis of Shah Jahan as a memorial for his beloved wife Arjumand Bano Begum. Taj Mahal serves as a tomb where her body is enshrined. The design incorporates unique amalgam of Persian and Mughal architecture. The dome constructed of marble surmounting the humungous structure is spectacularly designed. The interior chamber is embellished impressively precious and semi precious gemstones. The entire complex is enclosed by well-maintained gardens. The mosque inside the Taj is open for prayers. One look at the building and it is almost impossible to take your eyes off this exquisite struction.
2. Agra Fort
Also referred to as Red Fort, the structure dates back to the 16th century. Located near the gardens of the Taj Mahal, the beautiful structure is constructed of red sandstone. The walls of this fort surround for at least 2 kilometers. Jahangir Palace and Khas Palace are some of the best places inside the fort. The grand hall of audiences, Diwan-i-Khas makes it an eventful structure. Built in 1565 under the aegis of Akbar, the fort is located on the right bank of the Yamuna River. The Sheesh Mahal in this complex is splendid. The complex is beautifully constructed and palatial. The Moti Masjid and Nagina Masjid are the two mosques known for its unparalleled beauty.
3. Fatehpur Sikri
This historic city Fatehpur Sikri earlier served as the capital city of the Mughal Empire for years before Agra took this position. The place is famous for beautiful gardens, planned roads, harems, mosques, and utility structures.
4. Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb
This Mughal mausoleum is widely revered for its brilliant monumental architecture. Constructed in red sandstone, Itmad-ud-Daulah is one of the most popular tourist places in Agra city. Also referred to as Baby Taj, the interiors of this tomb possesses several facets resembling the interiors of the Taj Mahal. There are a number of other buildings outside the complex. Tourists like to visit exquisite gardens dotting the landscape.
The tomb is situated on the banks of the Yamuna River. Encircled by a garden, water courses and walkways in the vicinity adds to the beauty of the river. The interiors of the tomb are well-lit by natural light. The jail has screened allow light to pass through the building. Apart from Noor Jahan’s father, many of her relatives have been buried in the building.
Itmad-ud-Daulah is reckoned across the globe for its marvellous architecture. The building is a live representation of a illustrious chapter of Indian history – the Mughal rule. It reflects their unparalleled sense of aesthetics and architecture. The tomb overlooks the Yamuna River and maes for one of the most picturesque sites to visit in Agra.
5. Sikandra Fort
Situated in the Sikandra Fort, the exquisitely architected tomb of Akbar made from deep red sandstone is one of the best places to visit in Agra. The plush appearance of this beautiful place is timeless. Located in Sikandra, Agra the fort and the tomb are excellent expositions and portray an impressive nice amalgam of Hindu and Muslim architecture.
The magnanimous fort stands tall amidst a lush garden enclosed in four high walls. Each side of the wall is affixed with a colossal gate. The garden of this fort is divided into four distinct parts. Several fountains lined up in the garden adds to the beauty of this fort. Many water channels pass through this garden. Visitors can enjoy a unique pathway to take casual stroll through paved causeways. Sikandra Fort is preserved and maintained in good condition. Hence, it is also ranked as one among the top tourist places in Agra. The wealth of artistry on display will enthrall you. According to sources, Akbar personally designed this fort. Many elements of the design of this fort are a mirror reflection of his personality and brilliant taste in architecture.
The fort is home to the tomb that peacefully resides on an elevated pyramid. The five storeyed colossal structure has been embedded with eye catching intricate carvings which reflect the mastery of the artisans over craftsmanship. The exquisite marble work inlaid into the tomb’s complex is one of the major attractions.
The four magnanimous gateways of the fort are constructed of sandstone. All of these gates lead to the complex. Akbar’s mausoleum is accessed through the southern gate.
6. Mehtab Bagh
This is a beautiful garden complex located in the vicnity of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Its location on the banks of the Yamuna River makes it more beautiful. A Charbagh planned garden has equally proportioned spaces in the garden. A popular tourist place, this square shaped picturesque land is spread over 300 x 300 metres. Mehtab Bagh is the last of the many gardens that were built on the banks of the river during the Mughal empire (rule of Babar).
Envisioned by Shah Jahan, the emperor selected an ideal spot for viewing the Yamuna River. He was looking for a nice recreational garden lit naturally by the soft rays of the moon. Mesmerised by the beauty of this garden under moonlight, Shah Jahan named it Mehtab Bagh. The place houses several pools and pavillions. White plastered walkways enhance the beauty of this place.
Built as an extension of the gardens in the Taj Mahal, it was supposed to be a moonlit garden. The pools around the garden reflected the view of the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan wanted a garden exclusively for himself to watch the reflections of the Taj in the water pools.
For present age tourists, the garden is a horticultural delight. Home to scores of plant species, the Mehtab Bagh has been periodically restored by the Archaeological Survey.
How to Reach
– The garden can be accessed from either side of the river.
– One can also take a ferry ride for a few minutes from the Taj Mahal’s Eastern side to reach this garden.