Ancient temples, alluring mosques, robust forts, enamoring mausoleums, and revered tombs – Agra is a complex maze of enchanting monuments, each with a story of its own. This bouquet of fascinating places draws tourists not just from the different parts of the country but also from the different countries of the globe. In this blog, we take you through different places to see in Agra that are globally acclaimed and never fail to draw tourists:
1. Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal’s beauty is no secret. As pristine as snow, this mausoleum stands tall as the epitome of true love, for it was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, in the fond memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is an unprecedented example of exemplary craftsmanship capturing the intricacies and brilliance of Persian and Mughal architecture, which has been carved out of white marble. Set against the backdrop of River Yamuna, not only is it one of the 7 wonders of the world, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site today.
2. Agra Fort
Another UNESCO Word Heritage site in Agra, this fort is known for its imposing structure which was built between 1558 1573 by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. It was one of the most prominent places in Agra till 1638, when Shah Jahan shifted the Mughal capital to Delhi. Eventually, in 1803, it fell into the hands of the British. It houses the ruins of mosques, public and private audience halls, palaces, towers, and courtyards. Another major attraction is the sound and light show that happens in the evening and recreates the fort’s impressive history.
3. Fatehpur Sikri
Encircled by many of the decent hotels in Agra near railway station, Fatehpur Sikri is another popular place to see in Agra. Founded by Emperor Akbar in 1571, when he decided to establish his capital there, this is now a deserted place. The construction of this UNESCO Word Heritage Site was commissioned by Emperor Akbar in 1569 to honour the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti, who resided at Sikri. A fusion of Indian, Persian and Islamic architectural elements, it houses Jami masjid, Buland Darwaza and tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti; Khas Mahal, Panch Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Anup Talao and Diwan-i-Am.
4. Moti Masjid
Known as the ‘Pearl Mosque’, it is said to have been built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan during 1648-54 AD as a place of worship for the royal members. Radiating like a pearl on a moonlit night, this is regarded as one of the oldest mosques in the city. It consists of three Hindu-style huge domes with an impressive architecture made out of white marble, which is contrasted by the red. It encompasses twenty-one bays an inlaid mihrab (a semicircular niche in the wall) and an intricate prayer chamber. After offering prayers at the mosque, you can head to one of the nearby hotels in Agra near railwaystation for a delectable meal.
5. Jama Masjid
Built by Emperor Shah Jahan lovingly for his doting daughter, Jahanara, over a period of 5 years, this is one of the largest mosques in India. Created using red sandstone, this is a venerated place in the city. Resting atop a high plinth, it comprises of an elevated courtyard flanked by arched porticoes with a fountain in the center. It has a spacious prayer hall along with a façade made of white marble and bedecked with Persian calligraphy. A series of chhatris form the roof of the facade.