When we talk about Agra, our mind automatically wanders to The Taj Mahal. Indeed, this is one of the most beautiful man made structures in the world and all the people from all over the world come and visit this monument which is the symbol of Love.
I personally have visited Taj Mahal twice in my life.
but there’s more to Agra then Taj Mahal , let me put some light on those things.
We opted for a road trip from Delhi and hired a car on rent.
mentioned below is a detailed list of all the places I visited on Agra the food I had there etc, it will make u believe that Agra is indeed a place full of magnificent historical sites and its difficult to pin point the best ones.
On the banks of the Yamuna River. It has a rich history dating back to 1630 AD and is actually a tomb that contains the body of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. He had it built as an ode to his love for her. It’s made out of marble and took 22 years and 20 000 workers to complete.
With the Taj Mahal overshadowing it, one can easily forget that Agra has one of the finest Mughal forts in India. Construction of the massive red-sandstone fort, on the bank of the Yamuna River, was begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565.
Further additions were made, particularly by his grandson Shah Jahan, using his favourite building material – white marble. The fort was built primarily as a military structure, but Shah Jahan transformed it into a palace, and later it became his gilded prison for eight years after his son Aurangzeb seized power in 1658.
Listed among the World Heritage Sites, Fatehpur Sikri ranks among the mostly visited spots in India. Situated at an easy distance from the city of Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Fatehpur Sikri is an important specimen of the Mughal dynasty. By going for tours to this historical site, you can get a feel of the rich historical culture of medieval Mughal India.
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Fatehpur Sikri was made the political capital of the Mughal Empire by Emperor Akbar from the period of 1571 to 1585. The capital was later shifted to the city of Agra. There are majestic buildings built by Akbar in Fatehpur Sikri. There is a fort in the site which is a blend of Mughal and Persian architecture. Fatehpur Sikri is considered as one of the architectural legacies of Emperor Akbar. It consists of beautiful palaces, halls, and mosques.
The popular Jama Masjid is located in several cities such as Delhi and Jaipur, however, the one located in Agra has a unique place in Indian and Mughal history in India. As per the location of this Masjid is concerned, it is located near the iconic Agra Fort and the areas of railway station are clear from it. It is also popularly known by another name of “Friday Mosque”. It is among the largest mosque built by Mughals in India.
Also known as the Musamman Burj, the Shah Burj is an elaborate octagonal tower located near the Diwan-e-Khas (hall of private audience) in Agra Fort. The Shah Burj was commissioned by Shah Jahan for his cherished wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Before the Shah Burj was built, in its place stood a small marble palace built by Akbar, which was later torn down by Jahangir who had new buildings constructed in its place.
A little known prime viewing spot of the Taj Mahal exists opposite the monument on the northern shores of the Yamuna River in Agra. It is Mehtab Bagh, a centuries old garden complex, open to the public but little advertised and not easily visited for short term Agra visitors. Translated as Moonlight Garden, Mehtab Bagh is is estimated to have been built by Emperor Babur in the early 1500’s, as the ultimate viewing place of the Taj Mahal. The Mughal garden was built to the identical width of the Taj Mahal complex and is exactly aligned with the marble mausoleum.
Tomb of Itimad Utd daulah – baby Taj Mahal
Itmad-ud-daula has a special place in the chronicles of both history as well as architecture. This is precisely because Itmad ud Daula is the very first tomb in India that is entirely made out of Marble. This is actually a mausoleum that overlooks the River Yamuna and is a tomb of Mir Ghiyas Beg, a minister in the court of Shah Jahan.
Tomb of Akbar – Moti Masjid
The third Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great (1555–1605), himself commenced its construction in around 1600, according to Tartary tradition to commence the construction of one’s tomb during one’s lifetime. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it. After his death, Akbar’s son Jahangir completed the construction in 1605-1613. Akbar was one of the greatest emperors in the history of India. However, during the reign of Aurangzeb Alamgir, Rebellious Jats under Raja Ram Jat, ransacked the intricate tomb, plundered and looted all the beautiful gold, jewels, silver and carpets, whilst destroying other things. There are still signs of burning on the gates. Akbar’s bones were also burnt and the Tomb suffered a lot, until extensive repair was carried out by the British under Lord Curzon. The neighboring Taj Mahal was also looted, and two of Agra’s gates were taken away.
Now, Lets talk about their famous food.
Petha is a translucent soft candy from North India. Usually rectangular or cylindrical, it is made from theash gourd vegetable (also known as winter melon or white pumpkin, or simply petha in Hindi and Urdu).
Dalmoth is a traditional namkeen, or savory dry snack, in Agra, made from fried lentils, nuts, spices, and oil. Crispy, spicy, and a little greasy, it’s the kind of snack you’d enjoy best with a cold hoppy beer—if you weren’t in India! (In this case, a cold lager will have to do.)
Besides above two dish even Mughlai food Is very famous in Agra. You will also get many other national and international cuisines in the city.
Agra also features one of the best Rooftop Dining Restaurants in India which I have discussed in my another post. Mughal Room.
Important Links to Plan your Trip
P.S. The listed above sites are most important sites to visit in Agra other than Taj Mahal. However there are many more historical sites to view if you have enough time.