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What You Should Know More About Agra

  • What you can’t afford to miss

    • Explore a new Agra

    There is much more to Agra than just Taj Mahal. Take explorative walks through the hidden tunnels of Agra’s finest spice markets and indulge in flavorful talks with the locals or visit the ancient mosques and temples of Agra for spiritual oneness. Experience Agra in a different way and gain a better perspective of the essence of the beautiful location. Don’t miss out on the traditional sweets of Agra and do something out of the box for a change.

    • Go on a food trail

    There is a hidden foodie in all of us. Take a gastronomical walk through the local ‘gullies’ of Agra. With the right guide who has proper knowledge of the local famous eateries, you will surely enjoy a part of Agra that you had not expected. Enjoy Agra through the delicious food items of the place.

    • Yoga with the Taj Mahal

    Imagine indulging in a peaceful session of yoga while facing the Taj Mahal. Isn’t that exciting! There are numerous micro-tours that are offered through online forums that assure you such an experience. Master the different Asanas, Dhyanas and Pranayams while you face the breath-taking view of the Seventh Wonder of the World. You will surely get the most relaxing experience that you deserve after a long day of exploring.

    • Get a taste of Agra by visiting its sabzi mandi

    Sabzi Mandi is the vegetable market situated in the heart of Agra city. Witness and understand the art of bargaining, selling and purchasing the local and freshly bred fruits and vegetables of the market. You will surely have a great time interacting with the local vendors as well and how fascinated you will be when they tell you the local names of uses of the specific fruits and vegetables. Don’t miss traveling by a rickshaw while you’re at it.

    • Go on a colonial walk through the streets of Agra

    Like mentioned previously, there is much more to Agra than just Taj Mahal, Panchi pethas, and the beautiful Mughal monuments. There is a wide range of colonial structures that were built during the time of the British era that you can explore too. Single out one day and go on a colonial walk through the old streets of Agra. Discover the numerous bungalows, cemeteries, churches, cathedrals and a number of other buildings in and around the incredible city of Agra.


  • What you will like there:

    • Go on a bike ride through Agra

    You may not have heard of it and may find it rather unusual but that is exactly why you must do this activity. Yes! Go on a bike ride through the streets of Agra. Embrace this European culture and uniquely explore Agra. This sure is a treat for you if you’re a biker and love to travel.

    Imagine exploring the royal heritage and culture of Agra while you ride through the cool and beautiful breeze of Agra. There are several vendors and travel companies that offer this service to its tourists. They give out bikes and cars on rent at extremely affordable prices.


    • Don’t forget to visit the Korai village for a rural perspective

    What many often forget to experience amidst the 5-start luxury experiences of a certain place is the rural reality that lies behind it. That applies with Agra as well. While the city is properly developed and there is nothing that you won’t find over here, there is also a village called Korai located not many miles away from the city. Go on this tour and explore the rural life.

    • Not only dine but also cook with a local

    What’s the best way of exploring the true essence of a specific place? Yes, it surely is through tasting the delicacies that the place has to offer but imagine being a part of the cooking process of it! There are numerous places that offer this service in Agra. Cook Indian dishes at a local’s house wherein the sweet people will not only teach you how it is made but also tell you many tales that lies behind it. Eat with an Indian family for a unique experience in Agra.


  • Website references:

    Government websites: 

    UP Govt Tourism Website

    Books to read: 

    Experience Agra & Around by Road (Know About Series), Agra: Rambles & Recollections of Thomas Smith


  • What is the best time to visit Agra?

    • November to March: This is the best time to visit Agra. The weather is pleasant and temperatures range between 25 to 32 degrees. This is also the peak tourist season for the city and hence hotel prices will be on the higher side.
    • April to October: During this period, the weather is usually very hot with temperature ranging between 35 to 45 degrees. May is the hottest month in Agra with temperatures soaring to 45 degrees. Monsoons arrive in Agra in July and August, with sudden drop in temperature during heavy showers. However, the average high remains at 40 degrees. This is not the peak season and hence hotels rates will be cheaper.

  • How to reach Agra?

    Agra can be reached via the below mentioned points:

     

    • Air: Agra is connected to Varanasi, Delhi and Khajuraho by air. It also receives various stopover flights from other major cities in India. Agra’s Kheria Airport is about 12.5 kms from the city centre; and taxis are easily available from the airport to the city.
    • Train: Agra has four main railway stations – the Agra Cantonment, Raja-ki-Mandi, Agra Fort and Idgah Agra Junction. Agra is on the main train line on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai routes. There are numerous train options connecting these cities every day. There are also superfast expresses that run from Agra to Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
    • Road: Agra is connected by bus to major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow and Gwalior. In case you plan to take the bus from cities other than these, it’s best to look up connecting buses or trains.
  • Which are the best places to visit in Agra?

    There are many historic places to visit in Agra, like;

    • The Taj Mahal
    • Agra Fort
    • Akbar’s tomb
    • Jama Masjid
    • Fatehpur Sikri
    • Itmad-ud-daulah’s tomb
    • Sheesh Mahal
    • Moti Masjid

  • Which are some best resorts to stay in Agra?

    Below mentioned are the best resorts to stay in Agra:

     

    • Luxury resorts: If money is not a problem and you’re looking for something lavish, then you should go for the Oberoi Amarvilas, The Marine, The Trident or the ITC Mughal Agra.
    • Mid-range/budget resorts: Hotel Atithi, Amar, Madhushree, Deviram and Taj Inn are some hotels on the lower price segment that are suitable for families a well as solo travellers. If you are looking for homestays, then you can look at Hotel Sheela. It is right on the footsteps of Taj and boasts of a beautiful garden in the low populated trapezoidal area. Heritage Home is also a beautifully built comprehensive Sikh family house, with spacious gardens.

  • Which are the best places to experience local cuisine in Agra?

    Unlike popular notions, the staple food of Agra is not Mughlai but typically North Indian. Some restaurants offering the local cuisine of the city are;

    • Pinch of Spice: Here you will get a traditional Indian meal with creamy oily dal, spicy paneer, and various preparations of chicken and mutton are few of the dishes served here. Also try the Barra Kebab or the Fish Tikka here. This is a  five star hotel for a celebrity-like stay.
    • Bellevue: Among the only two restaurants in Oberoi Amarvilas open to non-guests, Bellevue offers a fantastic view of the Taj Mahal and with super tasty national and international cuisines to enjoy.
    • Gulshan Restaurant: Gulshan restaurant is a another local food eatery that is light on the pocket and gives you complete value for money. It primarily serves vegetarian set meals or  North Indian thalis.
    • Brijwasi: Brijwasi is essentially a sweet shop which also has a restaurant extension. Similar to Bikanerwala or Haldiram's, Brijwasi is the local favourite for light snacks or meals.

  • What are the best public transport modes to commute around Agra?

    The most convenient transport mode is the autorickshaw. Just outside Agra Cantt Station is the prepaid autorickshaw booth, which gives you a good guide for touring the city. Usually, trips shorter than 3km should not cost more than ?50. You can also book a full-day (eight-hour) Agra tour for ?600. And if you just want to visit the Taj and back with waiting time, they will charge you ?250. Always agree on the fare before entering the rickshaw.

    Note: autorickshaws aren’t allowed to go to Fatehpur Sikri.

  • What are the best places of shopping in Agra?

    There are many markets in Agra both wholesale and retail, for street shopping and eating. Some of these markets also have a historic feel that depicts the old city during the 1700-1800s.

    • Subhash Bazaar: Subhash Bazar is a one stop destination for a wide range of products. It is mainly popular for silk sarees and other clothing. If you like street shopping you might find some good quality garments here at a reasonable price.
    • Kinari Bazaar: Kinari Bazaar is quite an old market of Agra located near Jama Masjid and is popular for wholesale products.
    • TDI Mall: The TDI Mall is one of the best multiplex shopping malls in Agra located near the Taj Mahal. The mall is ideal for shopping, leisure and entertainment with an exclusive space reserved for retail outlets, a state-of-the-art multiplex and multi-cuisine restaurants. The multiplex has been planned in such a way that it offers a common check-in point and concession area.
    • Raja ki Mandi: Raja ki Mandi is a very crowded and popular shopping market in Agra. Located in Lohamandi area of Agra, this is one of the cheapest markets in Agra with shops ranging from garments, sweets, jewellery, household, ladies items, religious items and a lot more.
  • What are the timings to visit Taj Mahal? And how much is the entrance charge?

    • Timings:  Every Day (except Friday), Sunrise to Sunset, depending on the season(usually 8am to 5:30pm). And 8:30pm to 12:30am (Only on the full moon night, two days before and two days after)
    • Ticket Price: Rs 40 for Indian citizens, Rs 1000 for foreigners, Rs 530 for citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries

  • How far is Fatehpur Sikri from Taj Mahal? What’s so special about it?

    Fatehpur Sikri is at a mere distance of 45 kms from the Taj Mahal, taking only about 1.5 hrs to reach by road. The speciality about Fatehpur Sikri is that is was built by 16th century Mughal Emperor, Akbar and served as the capital city of his kingdom. The place houses constructions from the Mughal era like;

    • Red sandstone building clusters in the centre
    • Tomb of Salim Chishti
    • Diwan-E-Khas hall
    • Jodha Bai’s Palace is a mix of Hindu and Mughal styles
    • Buland Darwaza gate is the entrance to Jama Masjid mosque
    • 5-story Panch Mahal

  • How far is Agra from Delhi?

    Agra is at a distance of about 340 kms from Delhi by road and should take you approximately 4 hours to reach.

  • What are some must carry things to keep in mind while travelling to Agra?

    • November – February: It is cold during this time, especially early morning and evening, temperature hovers between 10 to 30 degrees. It is advised to carry warm clothes like shawls, jackets, socks and woolen sweaters. During the day, if it’s sunny a half sweater or jacket should do.
    • March – June: This is summer season and it can get very hot. Hence, travellers are advised to wear light, bright clothes and carry suntan lotions and a hat.
    • July – October: July is the beginning of monsoon, so it’s better to keep an umbrella or a windcheater handy. Crocs, slippers are best for walking.

  • What are the various walking tours available in Agra?

    During the winters, touring the city on foot is a great option. The weather is pleasant and you can save money walking or cycling to places. Some of the great walking tours that you should consider are;

    • The Agra Heritage Walking tour
    • The Private Food Tasting tour
    • The Agra Full Day Tour to Taj Mahal

  • Which are the most important festivals of Agra?

    Agra, as a part of North India and the state of UP, most of its festivals are the same as that celebrated throughout the North. However, there a few that Agra specific;

    • Taj Mahotsav:One of the most famous festivals in Agra, Taj Mahotsav is an annual event, which is organized in the month of February for 10 days welcoming the spring season with zeal. The festival is a display of art, crafts, culture, traditional variety of food, and folk performances. Ghazal and Mushairas (poetry) performances are the other highlights.
    • Kailash Fair: Organized at a location, just 12 km away from Agra, Kailash Fair is held at Kailash temple in the month of August/September for celebrating the appearance of Lord Shiva as a stone lingam.
    • Ram Barat: Organized before Dussehra, Ram Barat is the special marriage procession of Lord Ram organised as a part of Ramleela, which ends on the day of Dussehra, when the Lord kills Ravana.

Listings in Agra