Agra is located on the banks of Yamuna and the Grand Trunk road. The city flourished during the reigns of Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. These rulers had inclination towards art so artists from all across India and from Persia and Central Asia were called to build forts, palaces, mausoleums and gardens that are one of the best places in Agra as well as the whole India to see. Agra was also an important place during the great Mughal (16th and 17 centuries) as it was used as Mughal Court.
Places in Agra
While you holidays in Agra you have many places to see. Taj Mahal is the first and the foremost place with which Agra as well as India is associated with. Then the tomb of Itmad-Udaipur -daulah or the 'baby taj' in marble reveals extensive use of pietra dura. Here is the list of more places to see in Agra.
Taj Mahal: One of the seven wonder's of the World, The Taj Mahal is an integral part of Agar. So while your holidays in Agra this is a must to visit place. Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. To built Taj Mahal 20,000 workers worked together for 12 years and then completed it in 1643. Though the whole Taj is a tomb to see but the its marble screen, tomb chamber and pietra dura are the star features to see in Taj Mahal. Marble screen is the carved screen made from single block of marble made to cover the area around royal tomb. Tomb chamber is the place of Mumtaz Mahal's cenotaph that is raised on a platform. Pietra Dura was inspired by the paradise garden and has carved floral designs. Beauty of Taj Mahal cannot be described in words but seen with eye and felt with heart.
Agra Fort: Another place in Agra to see is the Agra Fort that is situated on the West Bank of river Yamuna and at a distance of just 2.5 km from Taj Mahal. Agra Fort was built by Emperor Akbar during 1565 and 1573. It is declared by UNESCO as the World Heritage site. The Agra fort was captured by Mughal after Panipat because this fort had vast treasure including the famous Koh-i-noor diamond.
The East Bank of Yamuna:During your holidays in Agra you must visit the East banks of river Yamuna in Agra that has beautiful gardens, palaces and tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah and Chini ka Rauza (China Tomb).
Itimad-ud-Daulah's TombThis is a small garden tomb of Itimad-uh-Daulah that was built by his daughter Nur Jahan. The tomb is made of white marble, stoney inlay and coloured mosaics. This actually display a transition from red sandstone architecture of Akbar to refined Marble Taj Mahal.
Places to See Around Agra
It is not just that the amazing city of Agra is dotted with places to see. There are several places around Agra too that you must see. Around Agra is the town of Sikandra. Sikandra's claim to fame is the tomb of Akbar, the great Mughal emperor. The other place worth seeing once in Agra is the red sandstone city of Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri. The deserted city boasts of historical monuments like the marble tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti, Buland darwaza, Panch mahal, Diwan-I-Aam, Diwan-I-Khas besides the Palace of Jodha Bai and Birbal Bhawan.
The pious amongst you must see Vrindavan, Gokul and Mathura; all of these places are around Agra. These places are pilgrim centers famous for their association with Lord Krishna. Amongst the must see at these places ahead of Agra are the temples and the structures. They remind you of the legends of the life and times of Lord Krishna. While in a holy place like Vrindavan you must see the renowned Govind Dev Temple, the Ranganathan temple and the ISKCON temple. In Gokul the Chaurasi Khamba (84 pillars) or the Nand Maharaja's house is worth seeing.
Make your holidays at Agra more enjoyable by seeing these nearby places. These places not only enhance tourism potential in Agra but also are worth seeing holiday spots themselves.
Festivals in Agra
Though you can visit Agra any time of the year but best time to visit this city is either just at the beginning of winter that is Oct-Nov or just before summers Feb-March. Also fairs and festival timings are the best for holidays in Agra.
Taj Mahostava - Taj Mahostava takes place for ten days in the month of February, at a place close to Taj Mahal.
Bateshwar Fair - Celebrated for a month in October or November at Bateshwar, that is located at a distance of 70 Km from Agra. It is a religious fair as this place is home to about 108 temples.
Ram Barat - Ram barat is celebrated before Dushera (Oct or Nov each year in Agra.
Kailash Fair - This fair is celebrated at Kailash Temple at a distance of 12 Km from Agra to honor Lord Shiva. The fair is celebrated during months of August and September.