Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, one of the seven Wonders of the World and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Needless to say, it features on the itinerary of not just domestic tourists but also foreign travelers. Agra is situated in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and along with Jaipur and Delhi forms the Golden Triangle of Indian tourism.
Believed to have been built in 1475, Agra even finds a mention in the epic Mahabharatha where it is called Agraban (meaning paradise). The renowned second century geographer Ptolemy had also spotted this place as Agra in his world map. The present Agra city was established by Sikandar Lodi of the Lodi Dynasty in the 16th century and was the capital of the Lodi and Mughal dynasties.
The examples of art and culture in this historic city are not only breathtaking, but are also mirrors of the artistic talents of the Indian population during the grand past. The city houses many ancient temples, mosques, forts, mausoleums, tombs and historical monuments. The city has its unique style of traditional paintings, folk dances, folk music and embroideries.
Aside from the Taj Mahal, Agra has two other UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Taj Mahal in the night is a sight to behold but entry is restricted. More details here!
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN AGRA
From budget to luxury, options for accommodation are plenty in Agra. You can opt to check into a homestay or a hostel or if you can afford it, book a room at the Oberoi Amarvilas that offers breathtaking views of the Taj. Budget accommodation can cost you anything from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 and can be easily found around the Taj Mahal. However, accommodation at a low-end or budget hotel is not advisable as it could well be in one of the dirtier parts of the city.
Mid-range hotels charge anywhere between Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000, while tariff at luxury hotels can go Rs 3,000 upwards. The luxury hotels at Agra are among the best in the country and since Agra receives tourists all through the year it is advisable to book in advance.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN AGRA
Best known for its petha, Agra is also known for its pedhas, gajak and dalmoth. Agra is also a favorite destination to sample Mughlai cuisine.