Agra: The Second of Top 3 Golden Triangle Destinations

About 200 km from Delhi, Agra is the second stop on the Golden Triangle circuit. This beautiful city, located in the Indian state of Utter Pradesh, sits at the banks of the Yamuna River and houses 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the most well-known being the Taj Mahal. Agra is a prime witness of Mughal architectural excellence and a center of rich cultural heritage and art in India.

Agra’s claim to fame lies in one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal. It was built in 1630 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to enshrine his beloved queen, Muntaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. This exquisite monument is constructed purely with white marble, and is an ode to eternal love. At first glimpse, in the haze of dawn, the marble shimmers pink and yellow. As the sun’s rays move and change, so do the views and colors of the Taj.

A trip to Agra is not only confined to the Taj Mahal. Located near airbrush makeup the gardens of the Taj, on the banks of the Yamuna River, the Agra Fort, built in the 15th century, is an architectural marvel. The fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a mammoth structure of 2.5 km of enclosed ramparts. Construction started during the reign of Great King Akbar and was only completed by his grandson, King Shah Jahan. This citadel exudes a vague sense of déjà-vu after Delhi’s Red Fort, yet its design and detailing is stunning in itself. At sunrise, this is the place from which to view the Taj Mahal in its full glory. The fort houses exquisite palaces, such as the Shah Jahani Mahal, the Jahangiri Mahal and the Khas Mahal, as well as the Public and Private Audience Halls. The Fish Pavilion, the Nagina Masjid, the Pearl Mosque and the Garden of Grapes are all stunning as well.

Fatehpur Sikri, about 40 km. away, was a whimsical former city that served as the capital for a short time during the reign of the capricious Mughal Emperor Akbar. A UNES World Heritage site, it is a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture. Buland Darwaza is the gateway to the city, an architectural eye-catching wonder. It sits at an elevated plain, towering 40 m. and visible from afar, it beckons to visitors. The design of Fatehpur Sikri is gorgeous with its wide open spaces and latticed windows.

Agra’s world heritage sites are not its only attractions. Etmad-ud-Daulah and Sikandra are definitely worth a visit and the city’s bazaars are renowned for their gem stones, jewelry, rugs and ethnic handicrafts. A trip to India is incomplete without a visit to Agra, with its famed sites exhibiting some of the country’s greatest monuments, culture and heritage.

I’m a trip consultant, planner and manager who loves creating unique intercultural adventures for families. I want to impart information,tips and personal experiences especially related to family adventure travel. Please contact me to help you in planning your travel adventure.


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