Best Places To Visit in Agra
Distance (From Agra Canton
ment): 6 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2-3 Hours
Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / Auto
At a distance of 6 km from Agra Cantonment Railway Station, Taj Mahal, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, is located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra of Uttar Pradesh State. Taj Mahal was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 and it is also counted among the seven wonders of the modern world. It attracts around four million visitors annually. Taj Mahal is one of the most admired Mughal masterpieces in the world and it represents the Indian, Persian and Islamic styles of architecture. It is an integrated complex of structures that include a white marble mausoleum containing the tombs of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The mausoleum is built entirely of white marble, set on a high plinth which includes four tall minarets. The interior chamber of the Taj Mahal is an octagon, which is decorated in lapidary work of precious and semiprecious gemstones. The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal is placed in the center of the inner chamber and the cenotaph of Shah Jahan lies west of Mumtaz Mahal. Both the base and casket of the cenotaph are decorated with precious and semiprecious gems.
The most striking feature of this tomb is the marble dome, which is often called an onion dome. Decorated with a lotus design, the top of this tomb features a gilded finial, which is topped by a moon. The finial reflects a mix of traditional Persian and Hindu decorative elements. The exteriors of the Taj Mahal are decorated by paint, stucco, stone carvings. Taj Mahal is open for night viewing on the day of the full moon and two days before and after that. To protect the beauty of the monument, no petrol or diesel vehicle is allowed in the Taj area; hence, tourists have to use cycle-rickshaws, Tongas and electric buses to reach the monument.
Entry Fee: Rs.20 for Indians and Rs.750 for Foreigners. Foreign visitors, who purchase Agra Development Authority's Toll tax ticket of Rs.500 /- for Taj Mahal, need not to purchase any other toll tax ticket, if he/she visits the monuments like Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar's Tomb, Itimad-ud-Daulah's tomb on the same day.
Timings: 6 AM to 6.30 PM. Closed on Friday.
Agra Fort / Agra Red Fort
Distance (From Agra Cantonment): 4.5 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 1 Hour
Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / Auto
At a distance of 4.5 km from Agra Cantonment Railway Station and 2.5 Km from Taj Mahal, The Agra Fort, also known as the Lal Qila or Red Fort, is situated on the banks of Yamuna River in Agra, It is among the prime places to visit in Agra City. Uttar Pradesh. The Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the best forts in India.
Agra Fort was originally a brick fort known as Badalgarh, held by Raja Badal Singh, a Hindu Rajput king (1475 AD). Sikandar Lodi was the first Sultan of Delhi to shift his capital from Delhi to Agra. After Sikandar Lodi died in 1517, his son Ibrahim Lodi held the fort for 9 years until he was defeated and killed in the battle of Panipat in 1526. Several palaces, wells and a mosque were built in the fort during the Lodi period.
After the First Battle of Panipat in 1526, the victorious Babur stayed in the fort, in the palace of Ibrahim Lodi. He later built a baoli (step well) in the fort. The emperor Humayun was crowned in the fort in 1530. Humayun was defeated at Bilgram in 1540 by Sher Shah. After Humayun reestablished the Mughal Empire in 1555, Agra Fort was reconstructed by the third Mughal emperor Akbar on the remains of Badalgarh. He ordered to renovate the fort with red sandstone. Around 4000 workers were deployed and it was completed in 8 years (1565-1573). Aurangzeb imprisoned his father Shah Jahan in the fort for 8 years until he died in 1666 and was buried in the Taj Mahal. The fort was captured by the Marathas and finally the British in 1803 AD. The Delhi Gate and the Lahore Gate are the notable gates. The Lahore Gate is also popularly known as the Amar Singh Gate, the Delhi Gate is considered the grandest of the four gates and a masterpiece of Akbar's time. A wooden drawbridge was used to cross the moat and reach the gate from the mainland. The Amar Singh Gate to the south is the sole entry point to the fort these days.Abdul Fazl, a court historian of Akbar, records that 5000 structures were built here beautifully in Bengali and Gujarati style. Most of these buildings have now disappeared. Shah Jahan himself demolished some of these in order to make room for his white marble palaces. Later, the British destroyed most of the buildings for raising barracks. Hardly 30 Mughal buildings have survived on the southeastern side. Of these, the Delhi-Gate, Akbari-Gate and Bengali-Mahal, are notable structures raised during the reign of Akbar. Within this Fort there are some of the most exquisite architecture of the Mughal Period; like the Moti Masjid, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am and Jahangiri Mahal.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM.
Entrance Fee: Rs.20 for Indians, Rs.300 for Foreigners
Ideal Trip Duration: Full Day
Nearest City to Fatehpur Sikri: Agra (37 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Fatehpur Sikri: November to March
Peak Season: March to May & December to January
At a distance of 37 km from Agra, 223 km from Delhi and 209 km from Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikri is a deserted fort city in the Agra District of Uttar Pradesh, India. UNESCO declared this complex as a World Heritage Site in 1986.
Akbar, the greatest Mughal Emperor, was commissioned Fatehpur Sikri in 1569. The city was constructed to honour Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti, who used to live in a cavern on the ridge at Sikri. Akbar revered him very much as the Saint had blessed him with a son who was named Salim in 1569. Akbar shifted his capital from Agra to Sikri in 1571 and named the city as Fatehabad meaning victorious. This city served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 till 1585 and was later called Fatehpur Sikri. However, 15 years after it was established, the court had to be moved out of Fatehpur Sikri because of acute shortage of water. In 1619 Emperor Jahangir camped here for three months while a plague raged in nearby Agra. The city was refurbished to host the coronation of Muhammad Shah in 1719. After that, the city was largely abandoned until Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India for the British from 1898 to 1905, sponsored an archaeological survey and restoration efforts.
The nearest Airport is Agra Airport (also known as Kheria Airport), 35 km from Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri Railway Station has trains from Agra, Ratlam, Bayana, Kota, Mumbai, Muzaffarpur and Gorakhpur. Agra Cantonment Railway is the nearest major train terminus, which is about 37 km from Fatehpur Sikri. It is well connected by bus with Agra, Jaipur, Kota and neighboring towns. Alternatively, taxis can be hired from Agra city to reach Fatehpur Sikri.
The best time to visit Fatehpur Sikri is from November - March when the temperature is moderate.
Complex Entry Fee: Rs.20 for Indians and Rs.260 for Foreigners. Foreign visitors, who purchase Agra Development Authority's Toll tax ticket of Rs.500 for Taj Mahal, need not to purchase any other toll tax ticket, if he/she visits the monuments like Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar's Tomb, Itimad-ud-Daulah's tomb on the same day.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM. Closed on Friday.
Distance (From Agra Cantonment): 4.5 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 1 Hour
Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / Auto / Walk/Trek
At a distance of 4.5 km from Agra Cantonment Railway Station, Jama Masjid is situated just opposite to the Agra Fort. It is also popularly known as the Jami Masjid or Friday Mosque and is one of the well known Agra tourist places.
Jama Masjid was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his favorite daughter Jahanara Begum's wish, at the cost of Rs 5 lakhs and took a period of 5 years in construction and was completed in 1649 AD. It is one of the largest mosques in India. The red sandstone structure was built in a typical Mughal style. It rests on a high plinth and is approached by staircase. It consists of a spacious elevated courtyard bordered by arched porticoes to the north and south, with a fountain at its centre. The eastern end was once also bordered by an arched portico and a grand entrance, but those were demolished by the British in 1857 while building the railway line to Agra.
The interiors of the western wall have a beautiful mihrab and pulpit in white marble. The Persian inscription in white marble inlaid with black stone on the archway of the central portal is in praise of Jahanara and Shah Jahan. It is said that once surrounded by a market place called Tripolia set in an octagonal (Muthamman) Chowk that was built between the Delhi Gate and the Jama Masjid. But, it was later destroyed in 1871-73 to acquire space for laying down the railway tracks for the city.
Every Friday, large number of Muslim devotees come here to offer their weekly prayers.
Timings: 6 AM to 8 PM.
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
Nearest City to Mathura: Agra (60 Kms), Delhi City (159 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Mathura: August to March
Peak Season: August to September & March
At a distance of 56 km from Agra, 159 km from Delhi, 419 km from Lucknow and 224 km from Jaipur, Mathura is an ancient city and also the district headquarters of Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Mathura is one of the popular tourist places in Uttar Pradesh and also one of the best places to visit near Delhi.
Mathura is one of the seven cities (Sapta Puri) considered holy by Hindus, the other six are Ayodhya, Haridwar, Varanasi, Kanchipuram, Ujjain and Dwarka. Mathura has been chosen as one of the heritage cities for HRIDAY - Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India. Mathura is also one of the popular Delhi weekend getaways for 2 day trip. Mathura is located at the banks of river Yamuna and is popularly known as the Brajbhoomi, the sacred land of Lord Krishna. The Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple is home to a prison cell called Garbha Griha that is believed to be the exact birthplace of Krishna. Large number of devotees visit this temple every year on Janmashtami.
Apart from Sri Krishna Janma Bhumi, Dwarkadheesh Temple, Gita mandir, Kusum Sarovar, Vishram Ghat and Jama Masjid are the top places to visit in Mathura. The Government Museum in Mathura is one of the best museums and attracts people with archaeological interest. The museum has some of the best collections of artifacts from the Gupta and Kushan period (400 BC-1200AD).
Holi and Janmastami are the major festivals celebrated in Mathura. The Holi festival attracts national and international tourists to this town. Tourists can also visit nearby Barsana where the interesting tradition of Lath Mar Holi is observed. Mathura is also known for its milk and is famous for ghee (clarified butter) that is considered one of the best in the country.
Agra Airport is the closest airport, which is 60 km away. Mathura Junction Railway Station is a major rail head with regular train services to Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pondicherry, Vizag, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Trivandrum, Shirdi, Jammu Tawi, Chennai, Hubli, Goa, Patna, Lucknow, Bangalore and Chhattisgarh. Mathura is also well connected by road with Agra, Jaipur, Lucknow, Delhi, Indore and Allahabad.
The best time to visit Mathura is from October to March.
Distance (From Agra Cantonment): 5 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 30 Mins
Place Location: 1 Km From Agra Fort
Transportation Options: Cab / Auto
At a distance of 5 km from Agra Cantonment Railway Station and 1 km from Agra Fort, Sri Mankameshwar Temple is an ancient temple located at Rawatpara near the Jama Masjid in Agra.
Mankameshwar Temple is one among the ancient temples devoted to Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that the Shiva Linga inside the Mankameshwar Temple was created by lord Shiva himself when lord Krishna was born in Mathura. Lord Shiva appeared in Mankameshwar Temple from Mount Kailash in order to visit the child form of Lord Krishna. Lord Shiva thought of creating a Linga here if Lord Krishna played in his lap. However, by watching lord Shiv's unique form, Yashoda asked him to stay away from her child as he would get scared of him. Observing this, lord Krishna played a drama and begun crying by pointing towards lord Shiva, who was residing under a Banyan tree. By seeing this act, Yashoda called lord Shiva and requested him to bless her child. After blessing, lord Shiva returned to this place and created a linga.
The Shiva linga in this temple is covered with silver metal. The temple has sanctum sanctorum which has the statue of Lord Shiva. In the year 2004, statue of lord Krishna was also created in the temple under the guiding principles of Sri Nanaji and Sri Dwarikadeesh Nath of Mathura. Behind the shrine of lord Shiv, there are many small temples within the complex. These temples are devoted to numerous divinities such as goddess Saraswati, Gayatri and Ganga, and god Hanuman, Rama and Narsimha.
It is a ritual in Mankameshwar temple that people must not wear leather items, salwaar suits, pyjamas and pants. People must wear traditional Indian attires only, that is dhoti and sari. Sawan month, Mondays are auspicious and hence majority of believers worship lord Shiva on that day.
Timings: 6 AM to 9 PM.