Agra is a beautiful city on the banks of the Yamuna River in India. It is renowned for its exquisite monuments and was the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Agra is home to some of the most awe-inspiring architectural masterpieces in the world. Among them is the Taj Mahal, an immense mausoleum of white marble built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is one of the most iconic structures in India and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj combines a variety of styles and influences including Persian, Islamic and Indian architecture.
The mausoleum is carved from white marble and took 22 years to complete with a workforce of 20,000 laborers. The design embodies Islamic geometry and the charbagh (four gardens of heaven) principle.
The Taj emits a peaceful and serene atmosphere that is largely due to the structure’s symmetry and near-perfect landscaping. Four waterways divide the gardens into four equal parts and meet in a raised lotus pond at the center.
The Agra Fort
One of the largest forts in India, Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by Emperor Akbar, it is made primarily of red sandstone with bricks forming its base.
The enclosing walls are 2.5km long and rise 21m high, with the core running parallel to the Yamuna River. It is the perfect example of Indo-Islamic architecture.
Agra Fort is home to a number of magnificent buildings, including Jahangiri Palace and the Sheesh Mahal. These are a blend of Islamic and local Hindu styles.
Agra Fort is also known for its Babur’s Baoli, a water well that takes care of the fort’s water requirements. The fort is open from sunrise to sunset throughout the week and is a great place to visit on national holidays.
The Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the crowning architectural achievements of Mughal ruler Akbar. It is a city fortified by six kilometers of sandstone walls surrounded by an artificial lake.
Built by Akbar as his capital, this complex was renamed by him as Fatehpur Sikri (City of Victory). Its name derives from a village named Sikri that existed here before Akbar’s construction.
The most imposing structure at Fatehpur Sikri is the Buland Darwaza, which was completed in 1575 to commemorate Akbar’s victory over Gujarat. It is a 54-metre-high tower that gradually transitions to human scale inside.
Other major monuments at Fatehpur Sikri include the Jama Masjid and Birbal’s Palace. They blend Islamic and Hindu elements. This complex is a popular destination for travelers visiting Agra and has many medieval stories resounding throughout its monuments.
The Sadar Bazaar
The Sadar Bazaar is the largest wholesale market in Asia. Located next to the Khari Baoli Street, it attracts thousands of shoppers from across the country.
This quaint shopping district is a major hub for craftspeople and is also known for its street food. The local stalls offer Agra-specialty petha (sweet) and chaat snacks.
There is also a shopping mall in this area that offers a variety of goods. It features garment shops, jewelry, household essentials, and religious items.
Agra is known for its traditional clothing, so if you are interested in buying some native Indian styles and fabrics, this is the place to shop. Try a salwar kameez (trousers and long dress) or a dhoti or lungi.
The Kinari Bazaar
The Kinari Bazaar is a famous wholesale market in Agra and offers a wide range of handicrafts, marbles, leather and textiles. Its narrow streets are packed with small shops and stalls selling different kinds of products.
This is a must-visit place for people who love shopping. It offers a great collection of jewelry, embroidered fabrics and lace.
Moreover, it also features a huge food court that offers a variety of foods to choose from. In addition, you can buy garments and household items here.
Located in the city’s old city, the Kinari Bazaar is a favorite for shoppers. It is a great place to shop for wedding accessories, turbans, and groom’s robes.