The magnificent Taj Mahal is what Agra is famous for. However the Taj is not the only attraction. The capital of mighty Mughals for a long time, Agra has a number of other beautiful monuments including a magnificent fort and a sprinkling of fascinating tombs and mausoleums. The Mughal emperor Babur established his capital here in 1526, and for the next century Agra witnessed a remarkable spate of architectural activity as each emperor tried to outdo the grandiose monuments.
Our sample tour ideas in Agra
The Taj Mahal has been described as a ‘tear on the face of eternity’ and as an enduring monument of love. The unique beauty of Taj Mahal is blended with grandeur and its design is matched with immaculately intricate execution. Built by Mughal Emperor Shan Jehan in the memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal complex took 22 years to be completed and is today counted among the Seven Wonders of the World. It is particularly stunning at sunrise and sunset.
Many of the events which led to the construction of the Taj took place in the famous Agra Fort. Begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565, additions continued to be made until the time of his grandson Shah Jehan. The magnificent palaces, towers, bastions, ramparts and gateways symbolise the power of the mighty Mughals. Made mostly of red sandstone it is strikingly similar to the Red Fort in Delhi.
Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah
Nicknamed the Baby Taj, the craftsmanship of Itmad-ud-Daulah foreshadows that of the Taj Mahal. This marble tomb was created by Emperor Jehangir’s queen Nur Jehan between 1622 and 1628 in the memory of her father.
This park, originally built by Emperor Babur on the River Yamuna’s east bank, long before the Taj was conceived, fell into disrepair until it was little more than a huge mound of sand. To protect the Taj from the erosive effects of the sand blown across the river, the park was reconstructed in recent years and is now one the best places from which to view the Taj.
Samadhi Swamiji Maharaj Bagh
Known simply as Swami Bagh, this huge white marble mausoleum is still being built – more than 80 years after it was started. Inside there’s a 1904 painting of what it should look like when finished, complete with a gold- latticed dome. For now it’s a project being undertaken by devotees. The design incorporates building styles from other major religions and includes some fabulously delicate floral carvings.