The best way to check for an item being of marble rather than stone or anything else is the opaqueness which allows light to pass through. You will find many sellers on roadside stalls passing off marbleware when in fact it is not.
If you just want a souvenir, then there are marble replica’s of the Taj Mahal which are created with great accuracy and detail. Otherwise there is anything from a trinket box to large table tops to choose from. Be warned, they are not cheap.
Agra is renowned for its marble tabletops, vases and trays, inlaid with semi-precious stones in ornate floral designs, in imitation of those found in the Taj Mahal.
There are several large emporiums such as the official-sounding Cottage Industries Exposition on the Fatehabad Road, which is well presented but outrageously expensive; it is one of the places you're likely to be taken to by a commission-seeking driver/ guide, and that's what happened to my group.
What to pay: For peopie with DEEP POCKET.
Petha has been Indian favourite for centuries for its sublime flavor. This innocuous pumpkin like vegetable has been transformed into a gourmet's fantacy in the famous crystalline and trunslucent form of sweetttttt.I tried it once and still fantacizing its taste. Didnt succeed to find it in many states of the country, and regreted not buying 5 boxes of it.
Termed as Kushmand in ancient Ayurveda, Petha is believed to have remarkable curative properties, Wholesome and nutritive. It is known to act like a blood coagulant and is used in treatment of peptic ulcers and obesity
What to buy: .
Agra's Zardoji is very unique art of embroidery in three dimension's. The artist first makes free hand sketches of this subjects. Then he embroiders in cotton threads over and over till he gets the required thickness and movements. Finally the artists takes fibre from silk threads, twists then together in the shades required for and embroiders with them the particular piece. In the process he creates original unparallel work of art.
Agra in Uttar Pradesh is one of the old carpet centers of the Mughal days. It produces both the traditional as well as the new designs. The weaving is done under the "calling out" system in which the master weaver follows the design and keeps calling out to the weavers the colors to be used for each knot. Among the oriental design carpets made, the Indo-Ispahan and Indo- Kashan are alike except that the former has the long leaf and the latter the small leaf and flower.
What to buy: Carpets
We were taken to a marble workshop where we were shown how the Pietra Dura - the typican Agra inlay work was being done. From a large piece of marble, spaces are being carbed out, then semi-precious stones are being shaped to fit into these spaces.
The whole thing is of course a way of getting you to buy pieces of inlaid marble. They offer to ship the items to your home address, but we didn't actually buy anything.
What to buy:
Agra is not only a famous tourist destination but is a shoppers paradise too. There are plenty of shopping areas and shopping malls where one can buy the specialities of the place. Agra is famous for the Taj Mahal made out of Marble, the markets are bound to have replica of the Taj in marble being sold as decorative, gift item or as souvenirs. But the all that looks is not marble. There is one stone called Talk. This stone is cheap and looks like marble only difference being that marble is opaque and talk is not. So, while purchasing any marble item make sure that you are buying the original thing.
Agra is also famous for the leather items. Agra is the hub of hand made leather items. Particularly the Agra jail inmates are make these items which are sold to give them a decent earning. The local artisans are also good at making leather chappals (sandals), purses, bags, decorative items and many more such leather product which instantaneously attracts your attention. In the handicraft craft emporiums and shops there are sandal and rose wood items even though there are no rose or sandal wood forest nearby. The shops also have brass decorative pieces and stone carved images. Agra is also famous for the Zari and embroidery work, Stone inlay work and durries.
The main shopping areas in Agra include Taj Mahal complex, Kinari Bazaar, Raja Mandi, Sadar Bazaar. the Gangotri at Taj Mahal Complex and the Up Handlooms, UPICA at the Sanjay place are two UP Government emporiums.
From outside you never say that there is such quantity of stones and jewelry but you can find anything you look for.
What to buy: I bought four rings for me and many rings for friends and 2 silver medals.
We spent a nice time choosing and wachings all the stones.
What to pay: well, that depends if you want something basic, like silver rings or bracelets or gold necklaces with precious stones.
Well, it's not really a shop, this man goes with his perfums and he sells them in teh street or restaurants. We were having luch in a terraza roof and he came to show his perfums and bath products. I chosed some for presents without knowing the flower(that he cultivatives in his garden), finally i bought: lotus, poppy, magnolia and almond.
Finally, he asked (like many people in Agra) to write something inhis notebook for the next time we go or for posterity!
What to pay: it was about 100 RS for the bottle and he gave one of roses like a present.
You will find street sellers like this perfume seller. At his case he hade all kind of natural perfumes he did in his own garden (or that was he told us). As this man, many will come to you to sell you their products.
You have many markets at Agra, I don’t mean souvenirs shops, but really markets, that are very interesting to see. I saw specially two of them: one at the entrance of Little Taj Mahal and the other at the entrance of the mosque. They are really markets of other time.
Agra is home to Shilpgram - a crafts village and open-air emporium with a wide range of crafts from all over the country.
What to buy: Things from Agra to get include leather goods, jewellery, dhurries (rugs), brassware, carpets and embroidery work.
What to pay: Starting from USD 1 and up to lots more!!
We visited the Taj Mahal, using the government guide service provided. Afterwards, the guide took us to a pietra dura shop nearby.
The shop obviously catered to tourists (so we didn't buy anything), but they showed us the process of inlaying the semi-precious stones and had a wide selection of good-quality pieces available to purchase.
What to buy: Agra is also a popular destination amongst shoppers. The Mughal antecedents of this region reflect itself in some of the finest handicrafts that are available here. The most important being marble items inlaid with colored stones, similar to the pietra dura work on Taj Mahal.
What to pay: from USD 10 upwards
Street vendors near the entrance gate were really persistent! Beat them by asking for a huge discount! Check also if they are really selling authentic marbles 'coz they used to show authentic one but they are actually giving the fake one once you buy it!
What to pay: (date bought the items - Jan. 25, 2004)
1. figurines (7 pcs) - Rs 90
2. elephant ornament (1 pc) - Rs 6
What to buy:
(last date visited - Jan. 24, 2004)
1. Taj Mahal Replica in different sizes
2. Marble handicrafts
Taj Mahal Replica (small size) - selling price - Rs 150 for 1 piece but I was able to bargain it for Rs 26 per piece!!!
What to pay: 1. Taj Mahal Replica (small) - 5 pieces for Rs 130