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Agra

Shah Jahan's Taj Mahal has made everything Agra is today, and more. With its UNESCO World Heritage Site status and qualifying as one of the seven wonders of the world, Agra is a prominent feature on every un[travel]ler's itinerary. Glistening white against clear blue skies with a backdrop of the Yamuna River, the Taj certainly lives up to its hype with delicately inscribed marble and green lawns stretching ahead. Get here early for some incredible sunrise or sunset photographs.
Agra's spectacular ancient red-sandstone Fatehpur Sikri and Fort are worth a visit as wellfor its sheer architectural brilliance.

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Things to do

Agra Taj Red Fort and Akbar's Mausoleum - Spend a day in India's most popular tourist destination. Do get an early start to avoid the tourist rush. The Taj Mahal, as famous for its symbolic representation of love as it is for its status as one of the world's seven wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Site status, continues to draw throngs of visitors over the centuries.

Day visit Fatehpur Sikri - Around 37 kilometers from Agra lies the once mega-capital of the Mughal Kingdom - Fatehpur Sikri. Founded in 1569 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, it served as the capital of the empire from 1571-1585 and various constructions were done on this rocky ridge. Shortly after it was completed in 1985, it was abandoned due to the scarcity of water. This walled city was kept in use in irregular periods. The British under Lord Curzon carried out extensive repairs.

Heritage Walk Culture Tour - A walk that takes you through the cultural, religious and structural amalgamation of the city that is Agra. It begins from the Agra Fort Army Gate, which has been home to five different armies since its construction.

Food Walk Agra Food Trail - This tour takes you across 6 old and famous eateries of Agra and is a definite gastronomic delight. The first stop is at Rambabu Paratha Bhandar which was first set up in the year 1930. It serves around 16 varieties of paranthas. Paratha is flat, round snack made up of wheat flour with the stuffing of different vegetable, cottage cheese or spices, or sometimes the mixture of all of these.

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Best time to visit October to April

The home to the first of the 'Seven Wonders of the World', Agra is best visited in the months starting from October to the mid of April. After the rains have halted, October sees clear skies. The months of December and January are peak winter months and it gets pretty cold. But it is a great time to be outdoors, soaking up the winter sun. These are good months to spend a day at the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort. Hot winds blow starting the end of April and lasts until the end of June. These months are hot and dry with scanty rainfall. The rains arrive by July and bring the temperatures down while there's a spike in the humidity.

How to reach

Air

  • Agra’s Kheria airport is also a military base. It is a seasonal commercial airport and is connected only by Air India flights from New Delhi. The flight from Delhi to Agra is less than an hour long. Kheria airport is 13 kilometres away from Agra city. Hire a taxi from the airport to get to the city, which should take you around 10-15 minutes.

Rail

  • Agra is situated on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai route and is well connected to most cities across India. There are regular trains to Agra from cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior and Jhansi. Agra is also well connected to cities in other parts of the country such as Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. There are five railway stations in Agra - Agra Cantt Station (the main station), Agra Fort Railway Station, Raja ki Mandi, Agra City and Idgah Railway Station.

Road

  • Agra is connected to Delhi by NH2 and the new Yamuna Expressway. The drive time is about 4-5 hours depending on traffic and time of the day. Jaipur is connected to Agra by NH11 and is a 4-hour drive. Gwalior, connected by NH3 is a 1.5-hour drive while Lucknow and Kanpur, connected by NH2, are about a 2-hour and 5-hour drive respectively.

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