AsiaIndiaAgra

The sights of Agra

Agra Travel Blog

 › entry 20 of 37 › view all entries

From the rooftop terrace of our guesthouse we had a view of the Taj Mahal. We stood on the roof and watched the sunrise. Then, at around 8am, we headed out to visit it. We were practically the first people there, and so we got to see the monument at our own pace, and with a clear view. This is definitely to be recommended. The only downside is that it was freezing cold! Northern India was experiencing some of its coldest weather on record when we were there; it got down to 0.7ºC (33ºF) in Delhi. So we went out kitted out in our coats and hats. (Our room, like all the ones we'd been staying in, had no heating, and a window that didn't close properly, so we have to make us of our sleeping bags and sleep with our hats on!)

I'd heard so much about the Taj Mahal and how wonderful it was that there was always a danger that we'd be disappointed with it.

The interior of the mosque at the Taj Mahal
This can happen, and did happen to us with other places we visited during our year away. In this case, however, even all that we'd heard had not prepared us for how good it would be. The building is truly beautiful - even more so close up, which you don't really appreciate on photos that you see; there is so much detail on the building. Walking around you feel a tremendous sense of serenity (again, avoiding the crowds must have helped a great deal here).

The entry fee of Rp750 (about US$20) was well worth it, even though it was by far the most expensive thing we paid to go into in India. I'd consider going again if I went back to northern India.

The Taj Mahal aside, there are some other fantastic sights in Agra. Chief amongst these is Akbar's mausoleum. This is located a little out of the centre, so we got an autorickshaw up there.

The main gate at Akbar's mausoleum
We weren't able to negotiate the price as low as we'd hoped, but he took us up there and waited for us and brought us back. The mausoleum is set in a park with a few deer walking around. You enter through a majestic gateway. The style is similar to that of the Taj Mahal, except that the predominant colour is red. The interior of the mausoleum contains some very colourfully painted ceilings. I hadn't really heard anyone mention this place when talking about Agra, but I'd say that this is almost as much of a must-see as the Taj Mahal.

In the centre of town there is Agra fort, which is not the most spectacular fort ever, but OK for spending an hour or so. A large part of the fort is inaccessible because it's still used as a military base.  Behind the fort is the Jama Masjid, the main mosque, which is supposed to be like a small version of the mosque in Delhi (which we didn't see).

There is certainly plenty to see and keep you occupied in this city. I imagine that it's hard to do all of this if you just come on a tour from Delhi. Independent travel gives you many more options.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The interior of the mosque at the …
The interior of the mosque at the…
The main gate at Akbars mausoleum
The main gate at Akbar's mausoleum
Interior of Akbars mausoleum
Interior of Akbar's mausoleum
The view the rooftop terrace in ou…
The view the rooftop terrace in o…
The south gate at the Taj Mahal
The south gate at the Taj Mahal
Detail from the south gate of the …
Detail from the south gate of the…
Me at the Taj Mahal
Me at the Taj Mahal
Me at Akbars mausoleum
Me at Akbar's mausoleum
Interior of Akbars mausoleum
Interior of Akbar's mausoleum
Interior of Akbars mausoleum
Interior of Akbar's mausoleum
Monkeys at Akbars mausoleum
Monkeys at Akbar's mausoleum
Agra fort
Agra fort
Agra fort
Agra fort
View from Agra fort, with the Taj …
View from Agra fort, with the Taj…
Agra
photo by: rotorhead85