Posted 31 October 2022

Five Best Reasons Why Agra Is An Ideal Getaway In North India

Agra, an Indian city located by the River Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh, is filled with breathtaking monuments that may leave visitors breathless. It is home to one of the most famous monuments-Taj Mahal, which requires no introduction. Every year, Agra lures numerous tourists worldwide. Because of its popularity with tourists, Agra is included in India's Golden Triangle Tourist Circuit and the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc Tourist Circle. Sher Shah Suri and Akbar were among the kings who held the city for decades before relinquishing it to the British.

King Jaypal ruled the city in the early 17th century. Next, it was later taken over by Mahmud of Ghazni, who burned and razed Agra. The Mughal Period is widely regarded as Agra's ‘Golden Period.’ The city erected a slew of small and large monuments during this time. Emperor Akbar made it an imperial top-level province, and existing monuments were restored to their previous glory. It emerged as a central hub for education, the arts, politics, business, and trade. Agra, which is rich in history and culture, is currently a renowned tourism hub and an industrial and commercial centre. With active forts, tombs, mausoleums, and bustling bazaars, the sprawling and packed city delivers an intensive Indian experience.

So, here is a listicle of the top five reasons to explore the historical city of Agra and why it is an ideal getaway in North India:

1. Taj Mahal - The unmatched beauty

The Taj Mahal, which stands magnificently on the banks of the Yamuna River, is known for its unparalleled grandeur and is considered one of the world's wonders. The Taj Mahal, an enormous monument constructed between 1631 and 1648 by Shah Jahan in loving memory of his wife, is the crown jewel of Muslim art. You should visit both the inside and outside of the monument to witness its architectural beauty and historical significance.

If you’re planning to visit the Taj Mahal in the moonlight, opt for a night tour. Eight batches with a capacity of 50 people can complete the sightseeing of this monument in half an hour.

Taj Mahal entry fee:

  • Foreign tourist: Rs ₹1100+ 200
  • Citizens of SAARC & BIMSTEC Countries: ₹540+ 200
  • Domestic/Indian/OCI Cardholder: ₹50 + 200

Taj Mahal night view entry fee:

  • Adult - ₹510 (Indian)
  • Adult - ₹750 (Foreigner)
  • Child (3-15 Years) - Indian & Foreigner: ₹500

2. Fatehpur Sikri - The old capital of the Mughal Empire

The Mughal Emperor Jalal-ud-din Mohammad Akbar created Fatehpur Sikri, a primarily red sandstone city. It was the Mughal capital from 1571 to 1585, but was abandoned in 1585 due to a severe water deficit in the area. The charm and originality of Fatehpur Sikri serve as an excellent example of the emperor's architectural expertise. Because of Akbar's liberal religious views and a nose for literature and architecture, the buildings of Fatehpur Sikri contain a captivating blend of Islamic and Hindu components in their style and design.

The city is now entirely abandoned but primarily intact. All it needs is a vivid imagination to transfer visitors to the era of gilded tapestries, draperies, sumptuous carpets, and the Mughal monarchy. Sandstone palaces at Fatehpur Sikri sparkle in the grandeur of the evening light; therefore, visitors stay back until sunset. Photographers travel to this location to capture architectural images, and sepia-tone photographs are the most acceptable way to convey the region's spirit. Top monuments at Fatehpur Sikri are Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-khana-I-khaas, Turkish Sultana’s House, The Treasury, Daulat khana-I-khas, Palace of Jodha Bai, Hawa Mahal, Nagina Masjid, The Jami Masjid, and Buland Darwaza.

Entry fee:

  • Citizens of India, SAARC visitors, BIMSTEC countries: ₹50
  • Foreigners: ₹610
  • Indian nationals: ₹50

3. Lip-smacking Mughlai Cuisine

The variety of Mughlai food in Agra epitomises the city's cuisine. If you do not have the chance to sample the city's delectable cuisine, your trip would be incomplete. Agra's rich culture and tradition, which it received from the Mughal monarchs, is not limited to its stunning structures but extends to its cuisine as well. Mughlai cuisine, which includes a variety of kebabs and meat preparations, is popular among visitors. The other most notable feature is Agra's famous Petha, well-known throughout the country. Agra's other renowned delicacies include delectable chaats, desserts, and savoury dalmoth, all of which are readily available around the city. The top spot to go for chaat and Indian street cuisine is the famed Chaat Gali in Sadar. Other well-known street dishes include mangore from Double Phatak (near Sikandra) and pani puri from Belanganj. You can choose from sweet stores like Deviram or Brijwasi if you want to treat yourself to tasty jalebis with rabri or any other sweet. The Mughal Room at Hotel Clarks Shiraz, Taj Mahal Restaurant, Peshawri Restaurant at ITC Mughal Sheraton, The Silk Route Restaurant, Moti Mahal Delux Tandoori Trail, and Daawat-e-Nawab at the Radisson Blu Hotel Agra are some of the good restaurants in Agra that serve exceptional food.

4. Majestic Agra Fort - Prime home of the rulers of the Mughal Dynasty

The Agra Fort was built during a period dominated by invasions and fortifications when large palaces and grander forts symbolised authority. It is also known as the ‘Lal –Qila,’ ‘Fort Rouge,’ or ‘Qila-i-Akbari,’ and is one of the prime structures of Agra. Agra Fort is located on the right side of the Yamuna River and is connected to the city's iconic monument, the Taj Mahal, by a swath of parks and gardens. It was the primary residence of the Mughal monarchs until 1638, when the capital was moved from Agra to Delhi. After the transfer of the capital, Agra Fort lost its significance. Agra Fort is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist spot, attracting visitors from all over the world. Every evening, UP Tourism hosts a Light and Sound Show that gives visitors an insight into the monument's history while also providing a visual treat. However, the Sound & Light show is presently not in operation.

Entrance fee:

Foreign tourist: ₹650

Domestic/Indian tourist: ₹50

5. Go on a shopping spree

Shopping should be the first thing that comes to mind while thinking beyond the Taj Mahal in Agra. Locals and visitors alike can enjoy a fantastic shopping experience in Agra. Visitors to this city can buy handicrafts, artefacts, leather goods, semi-precious stone jewellery, and carpets, among other things. There are so many things to buy in Agra that you'll need to set aside a day or two for a complete shopping haul. Some of the top markets in Agra where you can channel your inner shopaholic are:

  • Kinari Bazaar
  • Shah Market
  • Shoe Market
  • Subhash Bazaar
  • Sadar Bazaar
  • Raja Ki Mandi
  • Shahganj Bazaar
  • Subhash Emporium
  • TDI Mall

How to reach Agra?

  • By air: To reach Agra, one has to fly down to Agra Airport (IATA: AGR, ICAO: VIAG), also known as Kheria Airport. IndiGo and Air India are now the sole airlines that fly to Agra. And IndiGo is the only airline that operates direct flights to Agra. Taxis are the most common means of transportation from Agra Airport to the city centre. Travellers can find taxi ranks when exiting the terminal and hire a cab from there to get to the hotel. Although there are no public or private transport services connecting the airport and the city centre of Agra, certain high-end hotels provide complimentary pre-arranged shuttle pick-ups for their clients.
  • By train: It is relatively easy to reach Agra by train from anywhere because it is positioned in the middle of the following main train lines: Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai. Regular trains run between Agra and Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai. The Bhopal Express, Punjab Mail, Malwa Express, and UP Sampark Kranti run daily from Delhi. After exiting the train station, tourists can take a prepaid taxi, an auto-rickshaw, or a cycle rickshaw to their destination.
  • By road: State and highway buses connect Agra to several cities and towns, including Delhi, Gwalior, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Jaipur. Idgah Bus Stand and ISBT are the two main bus terminals in Agra, and buses to all major destinations are available. Those travelling from Delhi to Agra should take NH 2; those travelling from Jaipur should take NH 11. The recently completed Delhi-Agra Taj Expressway has significantly shortened travel time to the city, making the drive itself a pleasurable experience.

Best time to visit Agra

  • Winter season: The winter season is the best time to visit Agra (October to February). During this season, the maximum average temperature is roughly 32°C, but the minimum temperature can be as low as 2°C in December and January. If you are travelling during these months, you should have at least a jacket to protect yourself from the cold.

    The summer months (March-May) are not the best time to visit Agra. Because daytime temperatures can exceed 45°C, you should always have an umbrella, sunglasses, and hat with you to protect yourself from the sun.

  • Monsoon season: If you enjoy the rain and find exceptional beauty in rain-soaked monuments, you will not be disappointed if you visit Agra during the monsoon. The temperature is not as hot as in the summer, and there isn't as much rain to ruin your plans. It may be relatively humid (and yet unbearably hot), but you can still explore the city.

Conclusion

Agra is one of India's top tourist sites, receiving visitors all year. Whether you are a fan of architecture, gastronomy, shopping, or history, the city has something to offer everyone. So pack your belongings, reserve a trip with IndiGo, and gear up to explore Agra.

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