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The earliest reference of Indian Agra comes from the epical age, when Mahabharata the Indian Epic refer Agra as Agravana. In the sources prior to this, Agra has been referred as Arya Griha or the abode of the Aryans. The first person who referred Agra by its modern name was Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus).
While unfolding its history you will stumble upon its great architectural heritage in Agra, which stands out beyond many in the world as a symbol of love in the great monument the Taj Mahal. Because of this Agra is one of the prominent destinations for people all across the world.
Any visit to India would be incomplete without a visit to the world famous Taj Mahal, which is often described as the “Monument of Love”. Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Shahjahan's period was a golden era for the architectural skills and for their over all beautifications. The Taj Mahal was constructed entirely out of white marble and was included in the list of the New Seven Wonders of the World announced in Lisbon on 7th July 2007.
Dawn visits or visits at sundown are great opportunites for really atmospheric photographs. At first glance the Taj Mahal looks to be solid white marble, but on closer inspection it is intricately inlaid with semi-precious stones, inscriptions and floral patterns. In the strong midday sun it can be dazzling, but in the more mellow morning and evening lights it brings out all the colours and then you can really feel the romance and history of this beautiful monument.
In order to get to the Taj Mahal you will need to take an electric vehicle at a certain point. You won't be dropped off in front of the Taj but will then have to take a short walk to the Taj. During this walk you will be approached by lots of aggressive street vendors trying to sell you everything from inlaid marble and postcards. It is best to avoid and ignore them as the same items are available in the city centre at a much lower price. All of this hassle is worth it as the Taj is just unbelievable!
Apart from the Taj Mahal, the imposing Agra Fort is something which should not be missed. The construction of this fort was started by Mughal Emperor Akbar and later on additional building were added by his son and grandson. The fort complex has numerous building of importance like the Moti Masjid, Sheesh Mahal, Jehangir’s Palace, Deewane-E-Am and Deewane-E-Khas.
Some of the notable excursions that can be done from Agra are:
Every year during the month of February, the tourism authorities organize a festival which is known as Taj Mahotsav. Cultural activities showcasing the rich heritage of the region are displayed to entertain the tourists. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular display of folk music and dance and also enjoy the authentic Mughlai cuisine during this period.
Agra is quite hot and dry during the summers with temperatures reaching up to 45 °C in the month of June. The best time to visit Agra is during winters (November-February). This area does not receive much rainfall and most of the rainfall occurs during July and August.
The government is planning a new international airport which is expected to be operational in around 3 years time. For now, the small Agra Airport only receives flights from Delhi by Kingfisher Airlines. The nearest big airport is Delhi International Airport, which is about 200 kilometres away.
Agra is a major railway station and trains are available from the city to almost all the major cities of India. Agra has two major stations, namely Agra Cantt and Agra Fort, visitors should check the departure station printed on the ticket to avoid any confusion. Trains are the best way to reach Varanasi, Jaipur and Haridwar (for Rishikesh) as well.
Agra Cantt train station is an important stop on the main Delhi–Mumbai (Bombay) line, with several trains daily from both New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin train stations. The fastest and most comfortable train to and from Delhi is the daily AC Shatabdi Express (two hours). It leaves New Delhi at 6:15am and departs from Agra for the return trip at 8:30pm, making a daytrip possible.
Most east–west trains now leave from Agra Fort station. For Varanasi the best option is the nightly Marudhar Express, which leaves Agra Fort train station at 9:15pm, reaching Varanasi around 9:30am the next morning. The same train also runs west to Jaipur, leaving Agra at 6:15am, reaching Jaipur at 11:20am.
Agra also has several long-haul daily trains to Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). Recently Khajuraho has been directly connected to Agra with an overnight train leaving Agra at 11:20pm and arriving in Khajuraho next morning at 06:50am.
Further information about the train routes, schedule, available of berths and fares can be checked on IRCTC website.
Taxis are easily available from Delhi/Jaipur and the quality of road on Agra-Delhi section is excellent. However, the distances are further than people expect so allow about four hours for the journey by car from Delhi. It takes around 4 hours by car from Delhi to Agra depending on the traffic.
State transport buses and also private buses regularly ply between Agra and the nearby cities. Most long-haul buses leave from Idgah bus station. Hourly buses run to Delhi’s Sarai Kale Khan bus station (five hours) via Mathura (1½ hours). Deluxe AC buses depart at 7:30am and 3:30pm. Hourly buses go to Jaipur (six hours) and two buses daily go to Khajuraho (10 hours) leaving at 5:00am and 6:30am. Frequent buses head off to Fatehpur Sikri (one hour) and Bharatpur (1½ hours).
From Agra Fort bus station buses leave for Dehra Dun (12 hours), Haridwar (11 hours), Lucknow (10 hours) and Delhi (five hours). Rajasthan government buses depart from Hotel Sakura, close to Idgah bus station. Deluxe buses run hourly to Jaipur (5½ hours) between 6:30am and 2:30pm and then at 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 10:00pm and midnight. Between March and October AC buses run three times daily.
No boat option is available. Agra is land-locked, but situated on the banks of the Yamuna river.
The local sightseeing in Agra can be done on Autos-rickshaws and taxis. You need to bargain and fix the fare beforehand before engaging any Auto-rickshaw. Taxis can be hired for excursions to Fatehpur Sikri and Sikandra. Sometimes you can bargain with an auto-rickshaw driver for a rate to be hired for the whole day and then see the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and 'Baby Taj' etc. all in one day and take a detour through the back streets to get a proper look at the city away from the main tourist sites.
The architectural wonders of Agra are as amazing as is the food from the Northern region, which traces its descent from Persian cuisine. It is the Mughal people who introduced the aromatic pilafs and biryanis. The spicy kormas and koftas were created for the tables of Emperors.
Always drink bottled water or purified water in Agra and in all India if you want to avoid sickness. It is always wise to check the seal on the water bottle as in places where they expect lots of tourists there are those who will try and make some extra rupees by re-filling bottles with tap water to sell on to gullible tourists.
Plenty of accommodation ranging from budget to expensive hotels is available to suit every budget. It is advisable to book in advance if you are visiting Agra during the peak season (December to February). However, there are a lot of modern style hotels that are quite charmless and not alot of places have local authentic style, but Agra is not somewhere most travellers choose to languish as it is all about the Taj Mahal and the locals know that the tourist will keep on coming regardless of the standard and charm of the accommodation, but they may not go back again!
|Gardenvilla Homestay||11, Kaveri Vihar Phase-III Near John Milton School,||Guesthouse||89|
|Grand Hotel - Agra||137 Station Rd, Agra Cantt||Hotel||70|
|Hotel Ajay International||near agra fort railway station/jama masjid daresi no1||Hotel||71|
|Hotel Kamal||South Gate of Taj Mahal Tajganj||Hotel||61|
|Hotel Mandakini Villas||Purani Mandi, Taj Ganj Next to Western Gate of Taj Mahal||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Sidhartha||Western Gate Taj-Mahal||Hotel||74|
|Hotel Taj Plaza||Taj Mahal East Gate, Near Hotel Oberoi Amar Vilas, Shilpgram 'VIP' Road.||Hotel||78|
|Hotel The Oasis||44 Bansal Nagar Fatehabad Road||Hotel||-|
|Rose Home Stay||21 Old Idgah Colony Near Idgah Bus Stand||Hotel||70|
|Taj Home Stay||26/3, Old Idgha colony, Near Idgha Bus stand||Hotel||73|
|Hotel Aditya Palace||Namner Crossing Near S R Hospital||Hotel||75|
|Hotel Sanjay||Near m.g. Road,Namner Agra Close to sai ka takia m.g. road||Hotel||64|
|Hotel Priya||Fatehabad Road||Hotel||-|
|Ranjit Hotel||263, Station Road Agra Cantt||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Sakura Agra||49, old idgah colony, near idgah bus stand, Agra||Hotel||73|
|Maya Hotel & Restaurant||18/184 Purani Mandi Circle, Fatehabad Road Tajganj||HOSTEL||81|
|Chambal Safari Lodge||B - 9, Sector 27 Noida||Hotel||-|
|Tiger camp||B - 9, Sector 27||Campsite||-|
|Hotel Moti Palace||Dhakran Crossing M.G. Road||Hotel||-|
|Utkarsh Villas||Fatehabad Road,||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Bhoomi Residency||1, Amarlok, Taj Link Road Near Shilp Gram Parking Eastern Gate of Taj Mahal||Hotel||-|
|Kanha Continental||6- Bansal Nagar Fatehabad Road, Agra||Hotel||-|
|Chatrath's Indian Home Stay||19 Gulmohar Enclave Shamshabad Road||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Chanakya||Shaheed Nagar Crossing Shamshabad Road||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Raj Bed & Breakfast||2/26 Taj Ganj, Taj Mahal, South Gate||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Tara Grand Agra||Eastern Gate of Taj Mahal ,Opp. Jalma Hospital Near Shilp Gram Parking||Hotel||68|
|Nirvana Hostel||3/47vibhav nagar near-vidhya peeth school agra||Hostel||70|
|Palmstay||23, HIG, TAJ NAGRI, FATEHABAD ROAD, BEHIND TDI MALL||Guesthouse||-|
|Sai Palace||3/117 Chowk Kagzi,Taj Ganj, Near South Gate Taj Mahal.||HOTEL||72|
|Ray of Maya Retreat and Resorts||18/184 Purani Mandi Circle, Fatehabad Road Tajganj, Agra, (UP)||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Panna Paradise||Before Tajnagari Crossing Fatehabad Road||HOTEL||-|
|Friends Paying Guest House||p-6 taj nagari phase 1||GUESTHOUSE||73|
|Hotel Raj Palace||25/376 Taj Mahal Eastern Gate Road, Taj Ganj Near Shilpgram, Agra||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Amar||Tourist Complex Area Fatehabad Road||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Anand Villa||Fatehabad Road Behind TDI Mall||HOTEL||-|
|Sai Homestay Bed and Breakfast (near Taj Mahal)||1, Sai Puram Near Sector 2 Vibhav Nagar Opp. 106 Mig Shaheed Nagar||GUESTHOUSE||77|
|N.Guest House & Home Stay||15 Ajanta Colony Vibhav Nagar||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Lucky Guest House||3/12 Chowk Thana Taj Ganj, Near Taj Mahal||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Om Sai Palace||Near Jeet Petrol Filling Station Sewla Sarai, Gwalior Road,||HOTEL||-|
|White Inn Hotel||21,Taj Nagari,Shilgram, Fatehabad Road,||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Delight Inn||Behind Hotel Mansingh Palace Opp. Modern Hospital,||HOTEL||-|
|Pyrenees Home Stay||22/2, R.K Puram Phase-2 Taj Nagari||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Harshit Guest House||50A Tajnagari Phase-1 Tdi Mall Ke Piche||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Dasaprakash||18/163A/6, Shamshabad Road Vibhav Nagar||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Daawat Palace||Purani Mandi Fatehabad Road. Tajganj||HOTEL||-|
|Tourists Rest House||4/62 kutcery road,baluganj opposite district board||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Shyam Palace Hotel||Next to Central Bank, West gate of Taj Mahal Taj Ganj||HOTEL||-|
|Mango Suites Ascent||Block #66 & 73, NH2, Delhi Agra Road, Next to Dawar Industries, Near Asaramji Bapu Ashra||HOTEL||-|
|Mango Suites | Bravo II||Survey No 426, 8th Main,4th Block, Kormangala,||HOTEL||-|
|Flying Elephant Hostel||Near Amar Villas Hotel, Rajive Nagar, Taj Ganj||HOSTEL||-|
|Har Kishan Villa||M.I.G. 12, Nehru Enclave, 100Ft. Shamshabad Road||HOTEL||-|
|Krishna Hostel||3/47 Vibhav Nagar Near Vidhya Peeth School Agra||HOSTEL||-|
|Udupi Residency||Udupi Residency, Tourist Complex Area, 10 Bansal Nagar, and Fatehabad Road||Hostel||-|
|Aman Homestay||44/2, R.K. Puram Phase - II||Hostel||-|
|Hotel City Star||8718, D.B. Gupta Road Paharganj||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Rashmi||Taj Mahal Eastern Gate Near 5 star Hotel Amar Vilas||HOSTEL||-|
|Aryans Taj Resort||Shilp Gram Taj Mahal Eastern Gate V.I.P Road Opp Taj Nature Walk||HOTEL||-|
|Sri Radha Krishna Kunj||73, Sector-2 Vibhav Nagar||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Suryam Palace||Taj Nagari, (Near Shilpgram Parking)||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Lucky Palace||Hig 10 Tajnagari||HOTEL||-|
Wi-Fi is not available freely as the access is restricted to mostly bigger hotels and resorts. There is no cause for worry as plenty of cybercafes providing internet access at affordable rates are available throughout the city.
See also: International Telephone Calls
India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost 50rs to 200rs. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.
For more information, check the official Agra website.
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We are from the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department.With its traditions,culture,edifices and festivities U.P is the perfect potpourri of India.This page would provide insightful and intriguing information for all travel enthusiasts and for those seeking to taste a slice of India.Uttar pradesh has some of the world's most spectacular tourist destinations including its crowning jewel 'THE TAJ MAHAL'.Uttar pradesh tourism department hopes that this page intended for tourism evangelism would give you a glimpse of this divine and pristine land of legacy,culture and traditions.Visit Uttar Pradesh and experience a travel salvation!
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