The city of Agra is synonymous with the Taj Mahal- one of the Seven Wonders of the World, renowned for its beauty and historical significance.
Set behind a reflecting pool inside a courtyard defined by 4 minarets, the imposing main building features a massive dome and intricately carved white marble inlaid with precious stones. The entrance to the complex is through a grand ornamental gateway.
Best Visiting Time:
The best time to visit the Taj Mahal is in the autumn, winter and spring months from October to February. The peak summer months of May to July are best avoided because of the hot weather. After the monsoon in the months of October and November, it offer the sight of the Taj at its mesmerizing best, as the gardens are lush with greenery and the Yamuna river flows proudly past the Taj Mahal, swollen with post-monsoon rain. Both these factors enhance the overall experience of viewing the Taj Mahal.
The Taj is opened all days of the week except for Fridays, when it is opened in the afternoon only for those who have to attend prayers at the Taj Mosque. The timings are from sunrise to sunset.
On full-moon nights, and one night before and after a full-moon, the Taj Mahal complex is open for visitors who wish to view the Taj by moonlight - a truly spectacular sight. The moonlight viewing sessions are not permitted during the month of Ramadan and on Fridays.
There is a Entry Fee of Rs 40/- for Indian visitors.No Entry fee for children below the age of 15 years. (Both Domestic and Foreigner).
Entry fee for Foreigners : Rs. 1000/- Entry fee for others : Rs. 530/- (Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries)
Visitors can also book online tickets or e-tickets at IRCTC website www.asi.irctc.co.in or can buy them from the e-ticket windows at the monument. While travelling to the Taj Mahal complex, do note that security restrictions apply at the complex and the only items a tourist may carry into the grounds are the following: mobile phones, still cameras, small video cameras, small purses carried by ladies, and water in transparent bottles.
Agra is famous for leather goods, beautiful carpets, gold and silver jewelry and handicrafts, such as Zari-Zardozi, Marble and Stone Carving and Inlay work. The city is also known for its popular sweets such as Petha and Gajak and savory snacks like Dalmoth.
The Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city.Construction of the massive Red-Sandstone fort, on the bank of the River Yamuna, was begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565. It is known as Red Fort because it is built of a kind of Red Sandstone.
The beauty of this inner quadrangle is its fine proportions and rich ornamentation , enhanced by the wonderful rhythmic play of light and shadow, produced by the bracket form of construction and the admirable disposition of the doors, windows, openings, and colonnades. The northern side of the quadrangle is occupied by a pillared hall.
The outer courtyard of the Jahangiri Mahal facing the river is provided with an elegant porch. The court provides a beautiful view of the surroundings, with the skyline towards the right being dominated by the marble domes of the Taj Mahal.
Inside view of Agra Fort
Within this Fort there lies some of the most exquisite architecture of the Mughal Period; like the Pearl Mosque, Moti Masjid, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am and Jahangiri Mahal.
The Red Fort in Agra remains open from sunrise till the setting of the sun, to welcome the visitors.
The Majestic Fatehpur Sikri or 'the City of Victory' is situated at 37 km west of Agra, was the short-lived capital of the Mughal Empire during the reign of Emperor Akbar. The structures in the city have been designed following the styles of Hindu, Jain and Islamic architecture, using red sandstone, which is also called as 'Sikri sandstone'. It was the first planned city of the Mughals. It is the best example of the Hindu and Muslim architecture. It is regarded as one of the most important buildings amongst a list of World Heritage Structures, which has been brought forward by the UNESCO.
It ranks among the important monuments in the place. This huge gateway has a height of 54 meters and is largest gateway in the world. It was made in the year 1575 to celebrate Emperor Akbar's success in conquering Gujarat and is a fine blend of Persion and Mughal architecture.
Tomb of Saint Shekh Salim Chisti:
The tomb of renowned Sufi Saint Salim Chisti is located here. The single-storey structure is built around a central square chamber, within which is the grave of the saint, under an ornate wooden canopy encrusted with mother-of-pearl mosaic.Mosque is said to be a copy of the mosque in Mecca and has designs, derived from the Persian & Hindu architecture.
The Panch Mahal ranks among the most fascinating buildings in Fatehpur Sikri. Charming in its concept, the Panch Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri is built in five successively receding stories, the structures of which are based on eighty four columns which are located on the ground floor of the building. It was meant to be the shelter of the royal ladies and mistresses. The top story of the building offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
The Diwan-i-Khas served as the Royal Chamber of Emperor Akbar. It is designed according to the Persian Style of architecture and is decorated with fine Sculpture and Precious Stones. There are 4 Kiosks, which are located in the Middle of the Court.
The central pillar of Diwan-i-khas
Hall of Public-Audience
The Jama Masjid:
The mosque is one of the largest in the world. The temple, quite like all other Mughal architecture, is built on a raised platform and has a large central dome with surrounding minarets and other smaller domes. The exalted courtyard is used for religious gatherings now, where devout Muslims gather to pray. Jama Masjid in Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh is built with a combination of red sandstone and fine, white marble.
Jodhabai Palace, Birbai Palace, Ankh-Micholi Treasury, Daulat-Khana, House of Turkish Sultana, Sunehra Makan, Hawa-Mahal, Anup-Talaw.
OPENING HOURS -
Sunrise to Sunset
Free entry: Children below 15 years
Indian Visitor and citizen of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries:
Total Rs.40.00 (Rs.30.00 by ASI as Entry fee and Rs.10.00 by ADA as Toll tax).
Other Foreign Visitor
Total Rs.510 (Rs.500/- by ASI as Entry fee and Rs.10/- by ADA as Toll tax).
(Note: Foreign Visitors who purchase Agra Development Authority (ADA)'s Pathkar (Toll tax) ticket of Rs.500/- for Taj-Mahal, need not to purchase any other Pathkar (toll tax) ticket, if he/she visits the monuments viz. TajMahal, Agra Fort, FatehpurSikri, Akbar's Tomb, Itimad-ud-Daulah's tomb on the same day) .
Sikandra: Akbar's Tomb:
Located at Sikandra, in the suburbs of Agra on the Mathura road, Akbar Tomb is about 8 km away from the City Center. The Remains of the Great Emperor Rest in the Pyramidal Mausoleum with five tiers. A false tomb is placed on the top floor, while the real Tomb of Akbar lies in the basement.
The Magnificent Entrance, The Fine Patterns, The Jali work, all are inspired from Islamic Style, while the calligraphy and the layout of the garden famously known as Charbagh speaks of the Persian Style. The use of Canopies, Airy Pavilions in tiers, and the absence of a dome show influence of the local architecture.
The Vast Garden View in the Evening
Akbar Tomb is open from Sunrise to Sunset. The best time to visit this Place of Peace and Serenity is during the Winters.
Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - Rs. 5 per head.
Rs. 10/- per head as Toll Tax (Agra Development Authority)
US $ 2 or Indian Rs. 100/- per head (ASI);
Rs. 10/- per head as Toll Tax (Agra Development Authority) (Fridays free entry by ADA)
Rs. 500/- ticket of ADA is valid for the monuments of Agra Fort, Itimadi-ud-daula, Akbar’s Tomb, Sikandara and Fatehpur Sikri
(Free entry to children up to 15 years)
The Structure of Itmad-ud-Daulah is much different from The Earlier Mugal tombs built during this period and has a lot of Inlay Carvings.
This tomb, built in the famed Char Bagh style is not a very large structure. The main chamber of Itmad-ud-Daulah is richly decorated with Mosaics and Semi Precious stones inlaid in the white marble. The theme of wine flask with snakes as handles is a recurring one on the engraved walls of this chamber. The marble screens of geometric lattice work allows some gentle lighting.
The tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah is built entirely of white marble.
Located on the left bank of river Yamuna, this mausoleum is set in a large garden with water course and walkways. The base of this tomb is about 50 sq. m in area and is one meter high. On each corners of this tomb there are towers which are about 13 meters high.
The Tomb of Itmad ud Daulah is popularly known as the 'Baby Taj'.
Other Attractions in Agra:
Swami Bagh Samadhi, Dayalbagh.
The Shah Jahan Garden.