Agra Travel Guide
Area: 10,863 sq. km. (4,194 sq. mi.)
Language: Hindi, English, Urdu, Braj Bhasha
State: Uttar Pradesh
Time Zone: UTC+5:30 (IST)
Religions and Beliefs: Hinduism, Islam and Jainism
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The Mughal Empire’s legacy makes Agra one of the most attractive cities in India and tourists can cover Agra travel highlights in 2-3 days. Here list the best places to visit for first-time visitors including three World Heritage sites. The first you cannot miss is undoubtedly the gorgeous Taj Mahal, a magnificent mausoleum which represents the eternal love of the king Shahjahan to his wife Mumtaz Begum. Agra Fort, a military fortress with more than 500 buildings including palaces, imperial gardens, and masjid is an architectural masterpiece. Also, don’t forget the Fatehpur Sikri featured various architectural styles and exquisite carvings.
Agra is a northern city in India with a semi-arid climate, forming the three seasons of summer, monsoons and winter. With an average temperature of 12 - 15℃ (54 - 59℉), October to March belongs to cool-season with pleasant weather, making it the best time for Agra travel. People can expect mild temperatures and sunny days during this period while at night it can be a little cold. In December or January, the temperature could even decrease to 2℃ (36℉). So in the daytime, people can wear some thin clothes like t-shirts and jeans. And prepare some warm clothes like padded jackets or sweaters.
For Agra travel, foodies cannot miss the mouth-watering snacks and sweets. As iconic street food, Petha is an original sweet made from white pumpkin or ash gourd and mixed with nuts, offering colorful shades and different savors. Mughlai is named after used rulers, the Mughals in the 16th century, being one of the locals’ favorites for its meat-based dishes, creamy, boldly flavored curries and nuts. A plate of Bhalla can tease your taste buds, which is another must-try food made from fried flattened potato mash balls mixed with spices curries. More Agra food you should try include Parathas, Tandoori Chicken, Bedai with Sabzi, Dal Pakwaan…
Esphahan: Taj East Gate Road, the Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra. This is a fancy restaurant with impeccable service, serving the finest Indian cuisines including bharwan aloo, Mughal lamb kebab stuffed with prunes aloo and Bukhara maaz.
Taj Terrace: Hotel Taj Resorts, Near Shilpgram, Eastern Gate of Taj Mahal, Agra. The best place to taste Indian food, continental cuisines, and other Asian country’s cuisines while enjoying the view of the Taj Mahal.
Good Vibes Café: Taj Nagari Phase 1, Agra. Only 15 minutes from the Taj Mahal, the café offers a variety of good Indian dishes, Chinese dishes, and other cuisines at reasonable prices.
Both the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort are must-see spots in Agra and a lot of good hotels are concentrated in these two areas. Especially near the Taj Mahal, from high-end hotels to cheap homestays, you can find everything you want. If you are a visitor for Agra travel, you can consider Trident Agra and Jaypee Oalace Hotel; they are all at Fatehabad Road. Kamel Hotel is popular among tourists, at the south gate of Taj Mahal, Taj Ganj. More budget hotels are located near the Agra Fort. The Old City of Agra area is suitable for travelers who have requirements on transportation as several railway stations scattered in the area.
Although Agra has its own airport Kheria Airport, it only opens domestic routes and there is no international flight available yet. Usually, travelers prefer to fly to some big and international cities like Mumbai and Delhi, and then take trains, flights or buses to Agra. If by air, Air India operates flights from Delhi to Agra, which takes about 30-45 minutes. If take trains, the travel time from Delhi to Agra takes about 3 hours. The main railway stations in Agra are Agra City Station (AGA), Agra Cantt Station (AGC), and Agra Fort Station (AF), about 6km, 5km and 4km to the Taj Mahal. Buses, especially the AC buses, are also a convenient option for travelers to arrive in Agra and it only takes about 4 hours from Delhi.
In Agra, city buses, prepaid taxi, and rickshaw/auto are the most common means of transportation. Generally, from railway stations to the Taj Mahal, it costs about INR 150 by taxi. The flag-down price of the rickshaw is INR 25 within 2km and it costs INR 8/km for the subsequent distance. 25% additional fee will be charged between 11:00 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Shilpagram: Tajganj, near Oberoi Amarvilas. Literally means ‘village of skills’, Shilpagram features all kinds of fascinating handicrafts and visitors can even see the creative making process.
Sadar Bazaar: near Agra Cantt Railway Station, Saudagar Lines, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. Located near a busy railway station, Sadar Bazaar is a bustling market covering all kinds of goods like sweets, leather footwear, bags, purses, garments and handicrafts.
Subhash Bazaar: Halwai Gali, Near Northern gate of Jama Masjid. This is a perfect market for purchasing clothes as embroidered and printed silk products and also leather goods are highlights.