Agra is famous for its quintessential portrayal of true love in the form of a world-renowned monument “The Taj Mahal”, however, there are many more additions than the single monument to the tourist places in Agra.
First things first: Reaching Agra
Agra is easily accessible through all the three basic modes of transportation namely Air, Rail, and Road.
There are more than 50 trains from Delhi to Agra since all trains coming towards South India from Delhi have to pass through Agra. The travel time is around 3 hours.
Package trips are also available from Delhi which covers Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan, starting 5 am in the morning and returning by 10 pm.
Alternatively you can hire a cab to travel and visit places in Agra and return back. One way taxi fare starts from INR 2400 upwards.
As you proceed through this post, get ready to get a peep through to how you can cherish the most out of your next trip to Agra.
The Baby Taj: “Jewel box” of tourist places in Agra
Basically, the tomb Mirza Ghyas Beg, made by Queen Noor Jahan in remembrance of her father is a timeless marvel. The first Mughal structure carved out of marble making use of Pietra dura technique of cutting and fitting polished colored stones, is definitely not as magnificent as the Taj. But has the finest carvings which contribute to its delicate look, making it one of the most sophisticated tourist places in Agra.
It consists of the main building and a number of subsidiary buildings and lawns. The basic structure is of red sandstone with decorations of marble stone brought in from Rajasthan. Other embellishments of semi-precious stones include jasper, cornelian, onyx, topaz, and lapis lazuli. The finely carved marble forms an intricate mesh that lets fresh air inside the mausoleum. Not only Queen NoorJahan’s father and mother but also a lot of relatives are buried here. Another feather in the cap of this monument is the fact that the inner structure of the Taj Mahal was inspired by this Baby Taj structure.
Reaching Jewel Box:
The Tomb is situated along a wide-paved road when going from Agra Fort to Ram Bagh via Ambedkar Bridge on the Yamuna River. It is about 6 kms from Taj Mahal. From near The Taj Mahal, you can first take a shared auto-rickshaw from Taj Ganj Bijali Ghar and then from Bijali Ghar take another auto-rickshaw to the tomb.
Soami Bagh Samadhi: A Mausoleum of Huzur
One of the most attractive tourist places in Agra, Soami Bagh Samadhi is the mausoleum of the initiator of the Radhasoami Faith. With the carvings of colored marble stone, its construction started in 1908 and is still continuing. Located in Dayalbagh on the outskirts of the Agra city, Soami Bagh Samadhi is an extraordinary monument to visit.
The place, now a mausoleum used to be the spiritual abode of Soamiji Maharaja; however, there is a Bhajan Ghar beside it, which houses Satsangs and bhajans. It serves as the headquarters to the Radhasoami religious sect hence devotees regularly throng this place. Interestingly the beauty of the landscape and the monument attracts tourists of other genres also.
Reaching the Samadhi:
Soami Bagh Samadhi in Agra is one of the frequently approached tourist places in Agra, both by devotes and art admirers. It is located at around 15 kms from Agra and local taxis are easily available at a reasonable rate to reach there.
Chinni Ka Rauza: One more Mausoleum Gem in the bag of tourist places in Agra
The Prime Minister of Mughal emperor Shah Jahah, Mulla Shukrullah Shirazi was also a famous poet. His artistic instinct guided him to design his own mausoleum in 1639, which he designed and built with splendor decorations and ornamentation. He adorned his prospective tomb with glazed tiles and the outcome was more than a masterpiece in the name of Chinni Ka Rauza.
The name itself is indicative of its bright colored decorations which embellish the monument equipping it with an aura like no other tourist places in Agra. The monument also showcases the architectural style of using earthen pots to reduce the weight that was followed in Rome and Egypt in those days. Its sultanate styled non-proportional dome is an example of the extremely remarkable, unusually exotic architectural style in which it is built. However, with passing time this monument has shed off a portion of its beauty which is nothing but a loss in the heritage of tourist places in Agra.
Reaching the Mausoleum:
Chinni Ka Rauza can be reached from other tourist places in Agra like the Itmad-Ud-Daulah Tomb from which it is at a mere distance of 1 km on the eastern bank of Yamuna river, and easily reachable through the local conveyance like rickshaw
Taj Mahotsav: Celebration of Heritage
A celebration which makes the tourist places in Agra more ethereal than ever. The festivities of Agra in springtime
are like never before; February boasts of the rich celebration and exhibition of the rich heritage of Uttar Pradesh in Agra. The U.P. tourism organizes a non-stop celebration of the vivid and colorful culture, cuisine, arts, music, dance and handicrafts of the state for a stretch of 10 days. All these are blended in the form of a carnival which gives an insight into the era of magnificent Mughal splendor. All kinds of folk artists, craftsmen participate in the carnival adorned with charm of decorated elephants and camels.
When to visit:
The spring season celebrations generally happen between 18th to 27th of February. Planning a visit to Agra in this season will give you memories for a lifetime
Urs Celebration at Fatehpur Sikri: Connection with the Almighty
Not more than 40 kms from Agra lay the city of tourist places in Agra – Fatehpur Sikri. Urs celebration in the city turns it into the abode of the almighty. The Arabic word ‘Uroos’ in English means ‘ultimate meeting with God’. Fatehpur Sikri celebrates the festival of Urs just before the month of Ramzan. This annual event is a six days celebration charmed with devotion and various rituals.
The Urs fair opens with the beating of large drums in city. The most remarkable thing during this celebration is the soulful music played here, which carries the flavor of music of different eras. Qawaalis and dhikr are the main attractions here and a unique form of singing Badhaawa in which music is given by only using claps comes as an icing over the cake. Apart from these Urs provides an atmosphere of eternal solace and mysticism, where devotees can find peace in all the rituals held there, whether be it the ‘Chadars’ of the mazaar, the colours of procession or the rush for the pious kheer.
Reaching Fatehpur Sikri:
Fatehpur Sikri is a not to miss place while visiting the tourist places in Agra and visiting it in the season of Urs makes the visit even more memorable. The City can be easily reached by a taxi hired for a day trip from Agra.
Apart from all the above, the major attraction of Agra is the holy river Yamuna which flows through the heart of the city and it was her beauty that caught the eye of various Mughal who then built the exotic architectures on her bank.
Additional Notes: An evening spent at the Mehtab garden situated in the bank of river Yamuna gives the most ornamented view of the Taj.
Highlighting other important tourist spots other than Taj Mahal is a great work to do. Basically, Agra means Taj Mahal but there are so many other places too which makes Agra a great tourist spot.
Thanks Shampa for appreciating my efforts. Will try my level best to keep posting more intricate and valuable stuff.