Agra is a bit of everything. There is obviously an architecture exquisiteness associated with land. Beyond that, the land is the epicenter for cultural beauty, heritage experience, shopping, sightseeing, nature and much more. Are you planning to enjoy a holistic Agra vacation?
Top 15 Reasons to Visit in Agra
1. Soak in the beauty of the Taj Mahal
While poets and authors from around the world have explained their view of the monument in flowery words, it is believed that no combination of words can give justice to the beauty of this monument. Take a tour around and inside the monument to embrace the architectural beauty and the significance of the structure.
Visit the museum inside the monument to enjoy the cultural and heritage beauty of Mughals. If you are up for a tad more beauty, visit the Taj Mahal at moonlight. The complex is open for five days a month, for midnight viewing. If you visit on Full Moon day, two days prior and later to it, you can watch the monument engulfed in the azure moonbeam.
The last reminder of eleven parks built by Babur, this stands as an emblem of the realm of ultimate beauty. Agra’s beauty is directly linked with the Taj Mahal. There is beauty in exploring the monument and there is another beauty in enjoying this monument from a distance to see the symmetric beauty. One such destination to catch a panoramic view of the monument is Mehtab Bagh. Visit for a stroll and take pictures of the symmetric beauty of the Taj Mahal.
Mehtab Bagh is famously known as Moonlit Gardens providing splendid views of the white marble structure. International yoga day is celebrated on June 21st when several tourists from all over the world practiced yoga by the Taj at sunrise at the beautiful Mehtab Gardens situated on the western side of the River Yamuna.
Mughals had a unique taste when it comes to aesthetic beauty and this magnificent city of fortification is just another proof. There are numerous backstories as to why this capital city was abandoned within 10 years of use but, it has left us an undisturbed Mughal perimeter to enjoythe architectural beauty of the structures like mosques, palaces, courtyards and much more.
Stay back until sunset to watch the sandstone palaces glow in the beauty of the setting sun.Photo-enthusiasts flock this place to get architectural clicks and sepia-mode pictures are the best to bring the soul of the land to the viewers.
For a smaller city like Agra, it has numerous thriving local lanes of shops and historic markets. Top items to by here are Taj Mahal miniature, marble items, leather articles, zardozi embroidery work, Persian rugs, carpets, and others. When it comes to Indian destinations, there is always a link between culture and cuisine.
If you wish to enjoy all the beauties of Agra, take up food shopping to enjoy street foods in the markets like besan ka cheela, petha, samosa, kachori, and others. Petha is one of the top souvenirs for international foodie travelers.
Majestic fortresses, captivating palaces, and elegant mosques line the streets of Agra. It was one of the cultural centers of Mughal reign and today, it is a historic landmark. The best way to explore the beauty of the land is by taking a guided walking tour through the heart of Agra.
Top monuments to cover are Agra Fort, Shah Jahan Park, Jama Masjid, Taj Mahal, Kinari Bazaar, Moti Masjid and much more. Amidst this sandstone – marble paradise, nature has been very kind to the Mughal gardens here for you to enjoy and relish the day.
6. Visit the Shilpgram
To the west of Fatehpur Sikri, you would find a small craft village along the sides of rolling serene countryside. This craft village has houses, which have replicated the heritage lifestyle of Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and many others with interior crafts, demonstration of cultural activities and so on.
It is not just some open-air sightseeing. You will find professional dancers who will start dancing, singing and performing as you walk across each house. The craft exhibit of this region is the best place to buy cultural souvenirs and handicraft items.
7. Enjoy some moments at the Taj Nature Walk
How about looking Agra over and beyond as a city of Mughals? If you are ready for that prism of beauty, the nature walk is the right activity to enjoy. You get to enjoy exploring the lesser-known sides of the city by embracing the nature around Yamuna River, grass mounds, viewpoints and much more. There are numerous trails, which would take you closer to birds, butterflies, small mammals, and rare flora. You would never see Agra just as the land of Taj Mahal, after a beautiful Nature Walk.
8. Dinner with Taj Mahal at Hotel Amar Vilas
The Oberoi Amarvillas offers luxurious restaurant with choice options for the type of fine dining experience you would like to have. There is a choice to dine in your private balcony with the services of your private butler. Enjoy a romantic candlelit for the two of you by the poolside. There are two well appointed international fine dine restaurants offering authentic Mughali cuisine in pure ambiance.
9. Kalakriti Dance Drama Show
The Kalakriti Dance and Drama show takes place not very far away from the Taj Mahal. The cultural center stages the drama show called ‘Mohabbat – the Taj’. As the name goes, the stage theatrical drama is the story of the marble monument and the love for Mumtaz Mahal by the Emperor Shah Jehan. This is one of the best places to shop for the souvenirs and handicrafts of Agra. There is so much of jewelery and home decor places also here in the huge shopping emporium.
There is a second show called Ustav which is a dance choreography with contemporary notes and folk music of ancient times. It is also set amidst the model of the Taj Mahal made from Makrana marble. For guests who do not know Hindi, there are interpretation available in English and many languages through the usage of headphone. Note that the culture center is not wheelchair – friendly. The Ustav dance drama show is staged at different times, so check before buying tickets.
10. Agra Food - Mughlai Cuisine
The local food of Agra has got influence from the Mughal Era and it is named as Mughali cuisine. This consists of various non-vegetarian dishes with an authentic Mughal style of preparation. These have been handed down from the generations of the Mughal emperors’ kitchens. Check out the local taste of Agra at Panchhi Petha, Ram Babu Paratha Bhandar , Agra Chat House, Deviram sweets and restaurant, Pind Balluchi at Taj Ganj, and few more.
Famous Street food of Agra are Petha, Paratha, Bhalla, Dalmoth, Tandoori Chicken, Jalebi, Shawarma, Paneer Tikka, Bedai
When you visit the Agra Fort then it takes a minimum 3 hours of visit duration. Remain for the evening Sound and Lights Show at Agra Fort at Sunset. This show happens near the Diwan-i-Aam courtyard of the Agra Fort. The timings can change on a day to day basis so check before buying the tickets. You can also get the show in English other than Hindi.
Timings of Sound and Light Show may be vary by 15 - 30 min. So check at booking time. Timing for Hindi Show – 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm and Timing for English Show – 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm.
Ticket for Sound and Light Show are for Indian INR 70/-, For Student INR 40/- and For Foreigner INR 150/-
12. Chill Out at Dolphin – The Water World
This massive amusement water park for adults and kids is located in Agra across fourteen acres of area. There are all types of water fun sports and activities. The water theme park is open from 11.30 am to 6 pm to all local and international visitors.
The entry fee is separate for kids based on height and even offer different swimming pools based on the height, adult and kids. Take 2 -3 hours and visit this Dolphin water World Park in Agra.
13. History at the Taj Museum
The Taj Museum is situated outside of the Taj Mahal towards the main entrance western side. The Viceroy of India Lord Curzon commissioned the foundation of the museum. The history of the Taj Museum, Agra dates back to the year 1906 and includes many important exhibits related to the Taj Mahal.
Some of them are the precious stone samples for the inlay work, precious stone samples previously used, royal orders or Farmans, land records or Sanads, olden photographs of the monument, the layout of the Taj Mahal, etc. Presently, the Taj Mahal Complex, West Jal Mahal hosts the Taj Museum in a double floored structure .
The Taj Mahal shows different colors as the day changes light. The Sunrise Taj Mahal is a splendid sight. The Sunset View of Taj Mahal is one of the best views of the Taj Mahal It is an iconic Taj Mahal view at sunset from a boat ride on the River Yamuna behind the Taj Mahal.
It lasts for roughly 30 minutes. You can also click pictures along with the others on the boat ride. This is one of the best things to do at Agra Taj Mahal. As said before, the myriad beauties of the land will leave you spellbound and rejuvenated. Agra has a spectacular effect on people. However, make sure to visit during the prime tourism season to enjoy the beauty of the land and during any cultural celebrations to embrace the heart of Agra.