The name Agra has become synonymous with the Taj Mahal, but there must be more to the city, right? Of course there is.
Be it architecture, heritage, culture or food, the city has several other wonders to offer:
This is a famous tourist spot close to Taj Mahal, built by the Emperor Akbar in 1565. Made entirely of red sandstone, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a lovely example of the brilliant Mughal architecture. It remains open from sunrise to sunset and costs a nominal INR 5 for adults while entry for children below twelve years of age is free.
India’s largest mosque, Jama Masjid is a fine example of Islamic architecture. Built from red sandstone, the mosque’s tapering minarets, pillared corridors, and Mughal-style domes are reminiscent of the period it was built in. This important historical landmark is situated right in the heart of Agra and is open all days of the week from 6AM to 8PM. Entry is free for all visitors.
Fatehpur Sikri is a majestic Mughal city located 35 km from Agra, built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1584. It is also one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It opens at 6 in the morning and closes at 6:30 p.m. Entry fee is INR 10 for Indians and INR 250 for foreigners.
Food in Agra
Agra is famous for its rich Mughal cuisine, lip-smacking ‘chaat’, and local sweets. Not only did the Mughals build breathtakingly beautiful monuments in the city, but also gave it a spectacular cuisine. When in Agra, do enjoy the creamy Mughal curries and roasted meats prepared with rich spices.
‘Bedhai and Kachori’ is another famous dish from the city. It’s typically eaten for breakfast and is found at several street stands and corner points. This lovely dish is made of a ‘Bedhai’ – a fried, puffy bread served with a bowl of spicy green sabzi that’s made of potato and curd. Agra’s chaats are also quite popular, the most famous being dahi-bhaal, raj kachori, samosa, and golgappas. The city also offers some delicious dalmoth and paranthas. Agra is unarguably the best known for its Petha – a sweet dish and is available in a myriad of flavours, colors and shapes across the city. You cannot choose to miss Agra’s ‘petha’ on your visit to the city.
Hotels in Agra
The best time to visit Agra is from November to February when the weather is pleasant. There are some fine, luxurious hotels in Agra that offer a pleasant stay. The ITC Mughal in Agra promises a rich, Nawab-like experience in the city to its visitors.
So, pack your bags for a royal, Nawabi-style tour to the lovely city of Agra.