Agra is the quintessential Mughal City, where the world marvels at the epitome of love, beauty and sacrifice - The Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world. So overwhelming is the magic monument, that Agra has been immortalized ,as the City of the Taj.
As visitors walk down the narrow bustling streets, they can not help but wonder, if the man contentedly smoking a hookah, is a direct descendent of some bygone Mughal. Even the most modern areas of the town, such as the cantonment, dates back over a hundred years.
Main Attraction of Agra
The Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world and the epitome of love, beauty and sacrifice. Built by Shah Jahan in the memory of his queen, Mumtaz Mahal, its construction is believed to have taken 22 years to complete with over 20,000 craftsmen working round the clock. Even as the world is caught in the skirmishes of War and peace, Nuclear and Non-Nuclear; Taj has stood as the epitome of love. One of the most visited and most photographed places in the world, this extravagant monument of love is the culmination point of Indo-Persian architecture.
Agra Fort is situated in the center of the town. Built principally as a military establishment by Akbar in 1565, the red sandstone Agra fort was partially converted into a palace during Shah Jahans time. Though Akbar built the principle structure, his grandsons made many more additions.
This deserted city lies along the top of a ridge. This new capital of Akbar had to be abandoned, only 14 years after it was created, due to lack of water. But the splendid palaces and mosques remain as a vanquished dream. However, this ghost city, is worth a view for its buildings, and can be classified into religious, secular and architectural wonders. The latticework of Jama Masjid and the Dargah of Sheikh Salim Chishti are among the finest in India. The Bais Palace, Birbals House, Mariams House, Panch Mahal, Shahi Darwaza and the Buland Darwaza definitely deserve a visit.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
The eastern gateway to Rajasthan and a popular halting place on the Golden Triangle, Bharatpur is renowned for its World Heritage listed bird sanctuary. Once the hunting estate of the Maharajas with daily shoots recorded of upto 4,000 birds, the Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the finest bird sanctuaries with over 360 species which even non orinthologists visit. Well connected with three most important tourist destinations of India, namely Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, it holds an important place in the Indian history.
Popularly known as Brij Bhoomi, it is a major pilgrimage place for Hindus. Although almost like a forgotten city after the great cultural, rich enduring past it had, Mathura has grown in recent years into a multi-faceted urban sprawl. A city of temples bustling with thousands of devotees, its most popular shrine is the Dwarikadhish Temple. Nearby is Vrindavan where Krishna sported with his gopis and where the Hare Krishna have their headquarters. Dotted with places of religious and historical interest and an important centre for the arts, the regions significance is largely incorporeal.
How to Reach Agra
Agra is well connected by road, rail and air. By air, Kheria airport is 6 kms from Agra and is well connected to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Khajuraho, Jaipur, Varanasi and other important cities. By rail, the nearest and main railheads are Agra Cantt, Raji-ki-Mandi and Agra Fort railway stations which are well connected to Delhi, Gwalior, Bhopal, Bangalore, Jammu Tawi and other parts of the country. By road, Agra is well connected by good motorable roads. For those driving from Delhi, the best route is by Mathura Road via Faridabad. It is well connected to the neighbouring state of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh as buses depart for Khajuraho, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Mathura frequently.