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Agra: An Overview
Home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the medieval city of Agra never ceases to amaze travelers. A mute spectator of a rich and diverse history, Agra beautifully demonstrates the glorious years of the Mughal rule through a fascinating mélange of imposing monuments and historic markers that draws in millions of sightseers every year.
Whether it is the magnetism of the Taj Mahal, the melancholy associated with the majestic Agra Fort, the liberally spread out mausoleums and tombs mesmerizing admirers for centuries or simply the bequest and grandeur left behind by the Mughal rulers, Agra is every bit as good as you have read or heard in the travel guides.
But the historical treasure troves are not the only stand-alone attractions of this city. Get a taste of the the local culture by taking a walk through the bustling marketplaces or chowks amidst all the touting souvenir and travel guides, rickshaw-pullers, infuriating vendors- all of this is an experience in itself.
The city’s grandeur can also be experienced in the many accommodation choices available there. Hotels in Agra are one-of-a-kind and suit the needs and prefrences of all kinds of travelers.
Top reasons to visit Agra
Although, purely associated with the Taj Mahal, the picturesque city of Agra located along the Yamuna banks is the ideal blend of enriching history and urban living that makes it a unique tourist hotspot. Here are the top reasons why Agra deserves a place on your travel priorities:-
• Agra has some of the best and most celebrated heritage sites - One of the seven wonders of the world- Taj Mahal, The UESCO World Heritage Sites- Agra Fort; Fatehpur Sikri… the list is endless! Steeped in the abounding history of the Mughal Era, these priceless monuments and historical strongholds have gloriously survived centuries of cordons and attacks. These architectural marvels are some of the world’s best and most celebrated sites that showcase the grandeur, power, resilience and refined taste of the Mughal dynasty and also symbolize the love and unity shared by the Hindu and Muslims communities during the Mughal Empire.
• It is a notable pilgrimage site and home to one of India’s largest mosques - Agra has a special place in every Islam follower’s heart as it is home to the colossally built Jama Masjid in Fatehpur Sikri. Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the form of a stronghold, the mosque complex also houses other appealing attractions like the final resting place of the famed Sufi saint, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, Buland Darwaza, the main entrance to Fatehpur Sikri and also the world’s highest gateway.
• No shortage of delicious fares - Set aside rich architecture and history, the city of Agra wins over tourist’s hearts with its cultural diversity. This sense of miscellany is best enjoyed in Agra unique food culture. Apart from the wide variety of options for every types of cuisines, your food fest would be incomplete without the specialties of Agra like Petha, Bedhai, Kachori, Dalmoth, just to name a few.
Accommodations in Agra
• The Oberoi Amarvillas - Enjoy your Agra trip king size at the Oberoi Amarvillas, a luxurious property located just six hundred (600) meters from the Taj Mahal and on of the best choice of accommodation in Agra. All the rooms at this property come with regally designed interiors, world-class amenities and beautiful views of the majestic Taj Mahal. Guests can also enjoy four (4) dining options, free wifi, a spa, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, and car rentals, among other services.
• ITC Mughal - A Luxury Collection Hotel- Sprawling across thirty five (35) acres of verdant landscape, the ITC Mughal Hotel epitomizes plush living in the heart of Agra. Its supremely luxurious amenities are every comfort-lover’s dream. Enjoy every bit of your stay in the elegantly furnished rooms replete with the swankiest privileges like en suite bathrooms, complimentary toiletries, well-stocked mini bars, an outdoor pool built generously, four (4) dining options featuring traditional Mughlai and other Indian delights. Main highlight of this property is the classy lounge bar, Maikhana that is set right next to the garden and pool for guests to enjoy and relish refreshing beverages and the sight of the effervescent Taj Mahal.
• Courtyard by Marriott - Plan your stay royally at the Courtyard by Marriott, Another gem of the Agra hospitality landscape, this popular Agra hotel offers sophisticated accommodations and hospitality in the form of well-appointed rooms, a picturesque garden area, an outdoor swimming pool, a wellness center, a spa and top-notch all-day café and dining arrangements. Located close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Taj Mahal, the property is a perfect guest pleaser with top-of-the-line services like 24-hour front desk, a games room, luggage storage, banqueting/meeting space, free parking, free wifi access, laundry, ironing services, just to name a few.
Budget Resort and Home Stay
• Hotel Garden View Resort - Set amidst lush landscape, Hotel Garden View Resort is famous for providing only garden facing rooms with attached balconies. The resort not only offer great views of the surrounding but is also known to ease travelers with ample space to ramble around in the lap of nature. All rooms come equipped with televisions, telephones, attached bathrooms, free toiletries and more. Although, dining options are not available at the resort, there are several eateries near the hotel. For the convenience of guests, room service for food is also available. Other facilities offered here include laundry, medical aid on call, free wifi acess, car rentals and free parking, among others.
• Colonial Home stay - Set in a heritage building, the Colonial Home Stay intends to make its guests feel like royalty. With a range of superlative services to offer, the ever-courteous and warm staff ensures to put-together an unforgettable experience for its guests in the form of comfortable rooms, well-equipped kitchens with microwave and ovens, private bathrooms with bath linens and free toiletries, laundry and ironing services and more. What makes this home stay a real delight to travelers is its exciting range of activities starting from golfing to horse riding and cycling.
• Bansi Home Stay - One of the highly-rated home stays in Agra, Bansi Home Stay is the brainchild of a retired director of the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department. The upscale property is designed tastefully and rightfully justifies its name ‘Bansi’, which is Lord Krishna’s favorite musical instrument symbolizing tranquility and peace. The retreat has a unique charm that feels more like a boutique inn than a home stay. It nestles in a serene neighborhood near Fatahabad Road with five (5) spacious rooms featuring bespoke furniture and beautifully done up Krishna paintings along with private bathrooms that boasts of pressurized solar-power rain style showers. The second floor of the home stay is the most pleasurable space of the property where guests can enjoy food and drinks while watching the busy world go by.