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Things to do in agra


The land of the fabled Taj Mahal, the eternal monument of love, Agra in Uttar Pradesh to the north of India, is an extremely touristy city owing to its Mughal roots. A spattering of monuments from the 17th century that symbolize the grandeur and intricacy of Mughal architecture dot the landscape through which one of Hinduisms scared rivers, Yamuna flows. Agra’s busy, narrow streets are bustling with life, from souvenir shops selling miniature replica of the Taj Mahal to silks, among other handcrafted knickknacks, a cycle-rickshaw ride down the streets can be a fun activity in Agra. You get to soak up the sights and smells, stop by to chat up with the locals who will regale you with anecdotes surrounding Shah Jahan, his love for his wife Mumtaz, and then sit down to a plate of the popular local favorite, kachori and sabzi.

Set out on a sightseeing tour of Agra and head first off to the Taj Mahal. Taj is every bit the spectacle it is made out to be. The first sight of the colossal marble structure looming before you can make your heart flutter; that is the sort of impact it has on its visitors, many of whom are not first-timers. The grand white marble mausoleum build by Mughal ruler Shah Jahan in memory of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal who died at childbirth in 1631, is considered the grandest tribute to love. Its massive white dome, the four minarets on each corner of the square courtyard and the intricate inlay of precious gems on its form make it truly remarkable. The area is overflowing with souvenir shops selling pretty marble jewelry boxes and colorful scarves.

Among activities to do in Agra, head next to the red sandstone Agra Fort, perhaps one of the most imposing Mughal structures, and home to the Mughal rulers till they shifted their capital to Red Fort in Delhi in 1638. Explore the fort ramparts with your guide, cross the wide moat that was once filled with crocodiles to safeguard against an attack. You get a view of the Taj Mahal from here. There are several other places to visit in Agra, such as Sikandra which houses Akbar’s tomb and a sprawling garden with black bucks. If you are staying a couple of days in Agra, you must plan a trip to Fatehpur Sikhri, a city founded by Akbar in the 16th century dedicated to Sufi saint, Salim Chishti.