Commonly known as the city of Taj, Agra is a magical destination steeped in history, and completes the trio of Golden Triangle destinations along with Delhi and Jaipur. A popular tourist destination, Agra is home to three World Heritage Sites, displaying fine examples of architecture from the Mughal era.
Here you’ll get the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most famous buildings, the Taj Mahal, rising majestically from the river banks. Spend a few hours exploring the sandstone crescent of Agra Fort, or take a trip out of town to the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. All three of these spectacular monuments are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Agra is also home to the many fairs and festivals, including the cultural Taj Mahotsav, the Ram Barat marriage procession, the literature festival and balloon festival.
Commissioned by the Mughal king Shah Jahan as the final resting place for his beloved wife, Mumtāz Mahal, the magnificent Tāj Mahal (meaning ‘Crown of the Palaces’) was completed in 1653. Located on the south bank of the Yamuna River, the landscaped gardens and marble finish would have been the view of the Emperor Shāh Jahān during his imprisonment in Agra Fort for the last eight years of his life as a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb.
The 22 small domes on top of the gate represent the number of years the monument took to build. Outside, you’ll see inscriptions from the palace Verses of the Quran, whilst inside you can admire the sparkle of semi-precious stones adorning the fine inlay work.
Also known as the Red Fort, the conquering Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great commissioned the renovation of Agra Fort in 1565. This crescent-shaped sandstone fort is a typical example of Mughal architecture. During the reign of Shāh Jahān, the fort was reworked using pietra dura and marble to be used as a palace.
Inside, you’ll find the Motī Masjid (Pearl Mosque), the Dīwān-e-'Ām and Dīwān-e-Khās (halls of public and private audience), Jahāngīr's Palace, Khās Mahal, Shīsh Mahal (mirrored palace), and the Musamman Burj.
You can find Fatehpur Sikri, also known as the City of Victory, around 22 miles from Agra. The city was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, who moved his capital there between 1571 and 1585.
Believed by archaeologists to have been built to provide leisure and luxury to its famous residents, the city was completely abandoned in 1610. The site is perched on a high, rocky ridge and contains various buildings of significant historical importance, including the Buland Darwāza (lofty gateway), mosques, tombs, elephant tower and a drum house for musicians to announce the arrival of the emperor. In Pachisi Court, you can see a square marked out for a version of Ludo, where people would act as the playing pieces.
If you would like to visit Agra, you can choose from one of our suggested tours (including our Golden Triangle tours) or create your own bespoke tour of India.
Visit Agra on our India Golden Triangle Tour, Golden Triangle Tour, Oberoi Hotels Indulgence Tour, Highlights of North India Tour, North India Wilderness Tour or Royal Rajasthan Tour or as part of your own bespoke North India holiday.