Agra

The city of Taj Mahal a trifle cleaner and greener if you have been here before. Agra - the name itself recalls the picture of Taj Mahal, a spectacular monument of love built of white marble. Agra city is not only a reputed tourist Taj Mahal Agradestination but also a shopper's paradise. It offers breathtakingly beautiful handcrafted items that are made of pure leather. Agra is also famous for the replicas of Taj Mahal. Furthermore, it also offers excursions to Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary that make it a complete tourist destination.

Sightseeing at Agra -
Taj Mahal : One of the Seven Wonders of the World built by Emperor Shahjahan. Renowned for its spectacular architecture and aesthetic beauty, the Taj Mahal is also a symbol of enduring love, built by Shah Jehan to house the grave of his beloved wife, Queen Mumtaz Mahal, who died following the birth of their 14th child.

Agra Fort : The 16th century old magnificent Mughal monument... the Red Fort of Agra is a powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 1.5 mile-long (2.5km) enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairytale palaces such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and Sheesh Mahal (The Glass Palace), which, inlaid with thousands of mirrors was once the harem dressing room. Fatehpur Sikri Agra There are also two beautiful mosques including Shah Jahans Pearl Mosque (sadly currently out-of-bounds).

Fatehpur Sikri : The deserted city Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1570 and 1585. It was built under the personal supervision of the Emperor Akbar; he was childless and, having tried all sorts of solutions to his plight, visited a Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chishti, for help. Soon a son was born and, impressed and overjoyed, he started building on the site where he had met the saint. However due to a severe shortage of water the city was abandoned after only fifteen years and the capital was relocated back to Agra. As a result Fatehpur Sikri stands untouched and perfectly preserved; a complete medieval fortress of red sandstone, with vast central squares, exquisitely carved multi-tiered pavilions, cool terraces and formal gardens. Fatehpur Sikri is a 25 miles (40km) west of Agra, on the way to Jaipur.

Sikandra : The Tomb of Emperor is Akbar the Great. Built in Red Sandstone inland with Marble. It is a striking sight.

Fairs-Festivals in Agra -
Taj Mahotsav Held each February in Agra, this festival is a wonderful cultural Red Fort Agramosaic that brings together the cream of Indian arts, crafts and culture. The mahostav was organized by UP Tourism and held as an annual event in and around Shilpgram (next door to the Taj Mahal), this is a fitting tribute to the legendary skills of master craftsmen and other exponents of art, music and cuisine. It kicks off with a spectacular procession inspired by Mughal splendor - caparisoned elephants, camels and drum beaters included.

Reaching Agra -
By Air : Agra is only 30 minutes from Delhi by air . 'Kheria' , Agra's airport is 6 km from the city center.
By Rail :Agra has excellent train services from New Delhi. Shatabdi Express, Taj Express and Inter-city Express from Delhi take 2-3 hours to reach Agra and are good options.
By Road :Many National Highways connect Agra to all major Indian cities and express and air-conditioned bus services are available to and from Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gwalior and Jhansi.


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