Review and Ratings (583)
Agra is good for 2 days trip.
Let me first tell you guys that Agra is surely a fantastic tourist place but trust me we could make it feel like home (Delhi), as there are plenty of stuffs to do and visit that may let us feel like home based feeling leaving us with lots of mixed adventures.
Here are some stuffs we did and we recommend you too when you are in Agra:
â€¢ Book a nearby hotel to Jamaal. There is a dedicated lane where lots of top hotel like radisson and oberoys amar vilas is located, that directly takes you to eastern gate of Taj Mahala. You can find all taste and budget of hotel in this lane.
â€¢ Keep a day for Jamaal as it make take your 5-6 hours to completely explore the place.
â€¢ In case you are avoiding having dinner in hotel, that better choice because there is hundred top choices in Agra very near to these places to have good authentic foods. Pacific mall, Pindbluchi and many more authentic places are very near to the location.
â€¢ In morning we recommend to visit to NATURE's WALK and place where you kids and couple would love to go mostly in morning time. It lets you look at Taj from outside with a very closest feeling.
â€¢ Alongwith your visits to Red Fort and other Kilas etc in Jamaal. There are two more places to must visit. One is RAJA KI Mandi. There is a good parking space so don't worry about the traffic and parking and take your car with you. This place will feel you like bazaars in Jaipur or some lajpat nagar type feeling. You can buy some good export footwear from there.
â€¢ and the Second place is SADAR BAZAR, Yes we have one place in Delhi too, but that SADAR is more like CP we have in Delhi. Its a good window shopping place with less traffic, less crowd and big brands, you can find CCD and other PIZZA giants as well. Also make sure you find MAMA's Chicken and Roll point. If you are a non-veg freak, this is a must visit place for you guys in Agra.
Some informations to help you while you visit to Tajmahal:
â€¢ Get your tickets bought from nearest counter, any single person can go and buy for even a group. You don't need to go with all the people of your group or couple to buy the ticket. We were initially told that we have show our proofs while buying the tickets but that's not the case. You need to show you identity etc only when you are going to enter to see the Taj Mahala.
â€¢ Ticket can be purchased from 6:30am in the morning till 5:30pm I guess so its better to get as early as possible but make sure you start your visit to Jamaal in very early morning as this time you will get less crowd and less queue also a very different morning feeling when visiting Taj. As less people you see around, more romantic you may feel while you are near to Taj.
â€¢ Make sure you carry your identity and address proof with you, as many people don't carry it and that create lots of noise and delay in queue.
â€¢ You can carry your purse and phone and camera with you inside the tajmahal, but not a luggage or big bags so avoid them.
â€¢ Make sure to buy shoe covers, before you queue. It cost 5 rupees each pair.
â€¢ Keep a guide with you (I am sure we all know about Agra but its worth to hear their â€¢ stories and keep yourself visit every smaller place of the Tajmahal), especially if you are going with kids.
â€¢ Get your photos clicked by professional once you enter as it takes no less than 35 minutes to get them printed, so you can get it ready once you back from your Taj visit. The general charges for 6 clicks is 300 rupees.
Overall, that is what did and learn throughout the trip and I hope this will help all of your visiting first time to Agra.
Taj Mahal -Inlaid with people
This time it was different:
Prior to visiting the Taj, I had a chance to visit a store called the you. P. Marble Crafts Palace, which I thought would be a place to buy a piece of the local marble art. But on entry, I saw a worker using an archaic sanding disk on some stones rather than a store with products.
Very quickly I was taken in hand by a smooth young man who -with what I was really seeing there. His family was the 17th generation descendants of one of the artisan families that had actually worked on the Taj Mahala. They had worked on the marbles, particularly the inlay work.
One of the amazing things about the Taj is not just the imposing spectacle of its grand appearance, but that when you get up close to it, the amazing detail of the work on the marbles. The marbles are carved into very delicate shapes including a type of lattice called a Jalli. Even more amazing is the enormous amount of inlays of semi-precious stones that cover the marble surface everywhere. This was the work they specialized in.
The marbles were quarried in India, but many of the semi-precious stones were imported from abroad. There were only a specific set of stones used in the Taj.
The family continues to use the same exact stones even now for their artwork: Cornelian, Jasper, Malachite, Lapis Lazuli, Tiger Eye, Paua ( Abalone) shell, Onyx, Turquoise and a few others.
The family is still called upon to do restoration work on the Taj today.
Marbles are cut into desired shapes and then the planned artwork is scratched on to its surface gently. Since the white marble does not show the scratches well, they first stain with natural henna. It provides this elegant orange background to the artisan’s process. As part of the final polishing the henna is then sanded off.
The artwork being done is typically floral with the royal couple’s favorite flowers, -Rose and Jasmine- being common, intertwined with vines and leaves.
The semi-precious stones are used for these flowers and vines. Gaps are carved in the marble delicately and at a very slight depth to accommodate the stones.
But the most amazing part was how the individual petals and leaves of the artwork was made. A flower could be made of 27 to 30 pieces. A single leaf could be made of three pieces with the central vein in the leaf itself being a separate piece. The artists decided the colors to use for the flower and literally cut the semi-precious stones to the exact size and shape and depth necessary for the individual pieces in the flower. They handstand the individual pieces to match the exact shape desired. This was astonishingly detailed work using the exact type of equipment they had used five centuries ago.
Then they glued the cut pieces carefully into the pre-cut spaces one piece at a time to form the complete art. With a little sanding and polishing, the entire piece of art comes alive.
Being lucky to see this before I visited the Taj again, every part of the Taj now spoke to me not so much about Shah Jahan and his wife but all the amazing artists that have worked on this phenomenon.
The value of this monument went up immensely in my mind, knowing the people who inlaid a piece of themselves in this monument.
I am heading to Agra
History of Agra
Situated on the banks of the River Yamuna, the city of Agra has had a long tryst with history that dates back to the Mahabharata. It is during the Mughal rule that Agra assumed importance. Sikander Lodhi is known as its founder. It is here that Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memoriam of his queen Mumtaz Mahal. Under British rule, the region was known as Presidency of Agra and was the seat of the government. It is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are the chief Agra sightseeing attractions.
People and Culture of Agra
Known for its cultural diversity, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians are all found in this city. Agra is the birthplace of two religions—Din Illahi, which gained popularity during Akbar’s reign, and the Radhasoami Faith. Though Hindi is the primary language, Urdu, Brij Bhasa, and English are also widely used. The annual ‘Taj Mahotsav’ is a 10-day event that showcases the folk arts, music, and crafts of the region to locals and those sightseeing in Agra.
Things To Do in Agra
The Taj Mahal, without a doubt, tops the list of places to see in Agra. Built in the mid-17th century, this monument is considered a fine example of Mughal architecture. Besides the Taj, the Agra Red Fort, built by Emperor Akbar, also figures on the list of UNESCO Heritage Site. Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra, Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s tomb, Mankameshwar Temple, Gurudwara Guru Ka Taal, Jama Masjid, and Ram Bagh are some other places to visit in Agra.
The third of Agra attractions on the Heritage list is Fatehpur Sikri, which is about 35 km from the city. The Buland Darwaza is the most prominent of the various historical buildings found here. Among other things to do in Agra, you can go on the Mughal Heritage Walk, which is a 1 km loop.
Food and Shopping in Agra
There can be no better place to taste some authentic Mughlai dishes than in the restaurants and eateries across Agra. Do not forget to sample the Kadhai Paneer, Butter Chicken, Naans, Bedai, Bhallas, Pasanday, Korma, and Tandoori Chicken. A trip to Agra is incomplete if you have not satiated your sweet cravings with some Pethas and Jalebis.
Visitors on an Agra tour love to take home souvenirs in the form of locally manufactured leather products, handicrafts, and stone goods. The Sadar Bazaar area is a great place to shop for trinkets and leather shoes and figures on the list of Agra places to visit.
Accommodation in Agra
There is no need to worry if you are wondering how to reach Agra. The airport at Agra has regular flights to and from cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Varanasi. The city is well-connected by rail to various parts of the country and there are many stations such as Agra Cantonment, Agra Fort, and Agra City to name a few. Three national highways connect Agra to the rest of India along with many state highways. Agra getaways are popular with people living in the Golden Triangle area comprising of Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra. There are plenty of hotels and resorts in Agra to cater to the needs of different types of travellers. They are all centrally located and well-connected to the various Agra tourist places.
Agra seems to be very popular this season!