Agra is a famous city known for the world-renowned Taj Mahal, but there are many more exciting places to visit beyond this stunning monument. Agra is an element of the Golden Triangle and has a rich cultural and historical heritage with modern and ancient influences. There are many places to visit in Agra, including Mughal-era buildings, forts, parks, and monuments.
Visitors can admire the rich architecture and learn fascinating historical facts about Agra. Here’s a list of the top 10 places to visit in Agra that you should explore during your visit to this beautiful city.
Places to Visit in Agra
Let’s look at the details of various places to visit in Agra!
1- Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a majestic structure that dates back to the 17th century. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built it to pay tribute to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took more than 20 years to complete and required around 20,000 laborers. Visitors can enter the UNESCO World Heritage Site via the west and east gates. It’s worth getting here early to see the building radiate at sunrise.
It is surrounded by ornamental gardens with calming water features that reflect the monument’s beauty. Once inside, admire the perfect symmetry and intricate floral carvings on the white marble, which has semiprecious stone inlays. Don’t miss the Kau Ban Mosque and the Jawab, a building intended to preserve symmetry on the monument’s eastern side.
2- Fatehpur Sikri
Located just an hour’s drive from the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri is a well-preserved red sandstone ghost town that was once the Mughal Empire’s capital 500 years ago. Built by Akbar as a tribute to the famous Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chishti, the city was abandoned after its water supply ran low.
Tourists can still explore the impressive remains of the city surrounded by a fortification wall. Among the highlights are the Jama Masjid, a mosque, and the three palaces, built for each of Akbar’s wives. Hiran Minar, a circular spiked tower covered with stone elephant tusks, is also worth a visit. Don’t forget to visit the Archaeological Museum to discover Mughal-era treasures and beyond.
3- Agra Fort
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Agra that is worth visiting. The fort was built of red sandstone and was the imperial city for many Mughal rulers. Visitors can stroll around this fort and get the feeling of wandering in a city within a city. The fort houses several noteworthy buildings, including Jahangir Mahal, a massive palace that combines Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles.
Visitors can also explore Anguri Bagh, Khas Mahal, Musamman Burj, and Diwan-i-Khas, other stunning buildings with intricate designs and architectural elements. Anguri Bagh is a unique courtyard with gardens that outline water channels. Khas Mahal is a palace with white marble and red sandstone pavilions.
Musamman Burj is an octagonal tower with stunning marble inlay work. Diwan-i-Khas is a gathering hall featuring a pair of black and white marble thrones. After visiting the Taj Mahal, plan a holiday to spend a few hours exploring Agra Fort to experience its grandeur and beauty.
4- Akbar’s Mausoleum
Akbar’s Mausoleum is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Agra. It is the final resting place of Emperor Akbar the Great, who ruled the Mughal kingdom for nearly 50 years. Along with two of his daughters, his remains can be found inside the impressive sandstone and marble tomb.
In addition, the site features Mughal gardens, home to many animals, including deer, antelope, monkeys, and peacocks. The tomb is beautifully decorated with marble inlay in various colors, making it a treat for the eyes. If you have a compass, take it out to observe that the tomb is unique among Mughal tombs as it faces east rather than Mecca.
5- Itimad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb
One of Agra’s stunning structures is the Itimad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb, situated on the banks of the Yamuna River. This Mausoleum houses the remains of a Persian official named Mirza Ghiyas Beg and his wife, who served the Mughal empire. It’s also known as the “Baby Taj” since it’s believed to have inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal.
It is made of red sandstone and marble, featuring 13-meter-high hexagonal towers on each corner. This iconic Indian inlay technique utilizes semiprecious stones to create decorative floral designs in marble. Despite its stunning beauty, the Itimad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb attracts fewer visitors than other attractions around Agra.
6- Jama Masjid Mosque
The Jama Masjid mosque is one of the must-visit attractions in India. Built during the 17th century under the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it’s one of India’s largest mosques. The striking red sandstone structure features white marble inlay with blue-washed ceilings and walls. Tourists can see beautiful inlaid panels like those at the Taj Mahal inside the mosque. While the Friday prayer service draws massive crowds, it’s relatively empty outside of that time.
7- Chini ka Rauza
Chini ka Rauza is a funerary monument that houses the tomb of Afzal Khan Shirazi, located one kilometer north of Itimad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb in Agra. This building was constructed in the 17th century, and it is unique because it was the first monument to use a decoration called Chini. Chini is a decorative style that uses glazed tiles in different colors like turquoise, yellow, green, and orange.
Each tile of Chini ka Rauza was imported from China, which is an impressive feat. Inside, tourists can see detailed paintings and Islamic inscriptions. After visiting Chini ka Rauza, tourists can take a 10-minute walk to see the ruins of the Tomb of Sultan Parwiz, who was the brother of Shah Jahan.
8- Mehtab Bagh
Mehtab Bagh, or Moonlight Garden, is a square garden measuring 300 meters on each side. It’s the area’s only remaining park among almost a dozen Mughal-built gardens. Even the park has beautiful flowering trees and bushes. Moreover, the Archeological Survey of India is working hard to restore Mehtab Bagh.
It has planted Mughal-era plants to bring the site back to its original glory. The landscapes align with the gardens of the Taj Mahal, making it one of the best places in Agra to get a view of the stunning structure, especially at sunset.
9- Subhash Emporium
If you’re in love with marble inlay, then head to Subhash Emporium. It has a reputation as the go-to place to shop for stone handicrafts in Agra. You’ll find tons of marble inlay souvenirs, such as coaster sets, animal figurines, candle holders, and small boxes. The store sells larger items, like lamps, tabletops, and carved-marble trays, that can ship directly to your home.
Subhash Emporium is also worth a visit, even if you don’t want to shop. You can see captivating demonstrations of the art of inlaying small pieces of shiny stone into hard marble, one of the top things to do in Agra.
10- Agra Bear Rescue Facility
India’s Kalandar community used to poach sloth bear cubs and force them to perform painful dances for paying audiences. Even though India prohibited the cruel practice in 1972, the mistreatment continued. Today, around 130 rescued dancing bears play, forage, and climb trees at Agra Bear Rescue Facility. The facility is run by animal rights activists, such as Wildlife SOS, who work to save the victimized bears.
Visiting the center is an insightful experience; all proceeds go toward rehabilitation efforts. A guide expert in India’s vanishing wildlife and conservation efforts can provide information during your tour. You can observe the bears and learn how they are cared for and rehabilitated.
The Bottom Line
Agra has a rich cultural and historical legacy evident in its magnificent architecture and monuments. Agra is a treasure trove of historical and architectural wonders, from the Taj Mahal to the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, and other Mughal-era buildings. Additionally, the city’s vibrant street life, food culture, and spiritual centers give visitors a glimpse into Agra’s everyday life. Whether you are a history lover or a foodie, Agra has something for everyone, making it a must-visit destination.
FAQs on Places to Visit in Agra
The most suitable time to visit Agra is between October and March when the weather and temperatures are pleasant. Avoid visiting during summer as it can be scorching and humid.
Agra has its airport and is well-connected to major cities in India. You can also reach Agra by train or bus. The city is located on the Golden Triangle route, making it easy to combine with Delhi and Jaipur.
Yes, there are plenty of local tour guides available in Agra. They can provide valuable insights into the city’s history, culture, and local traditions while taking you on a tour of the major attractions.
I hope you enjoy our article, do check out more of our amazing articles.