Agra is a city on the banks of the Yamuna River. It was first mentioned in Mahabharata when it was called Agrabana, or Paradise.
Agra achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal emperors from 1526 to 1658 and remains a major tourist destination today because of its many Mughal era buildings, most notably the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Visiting the splendid Mughal monuments at Agra one can’t miss the bustling roads of the city which are always full of life. The area starting from Taj Mahal to Jama Masjid provides a stark disparity between the splendid edifices and the raw and rustic streets of the city. We spent an entire morning driving through these old streets of the city and thus we got opportunity to view the real life in the city. The small tea shops, restaurants at every corner and people busy with their daily routine work is all we got to see in the city. The city is decked with numerous spectacular Mughal buildings on one hand and on the other side it has a perfect contrast of its rustic streets. Unfortunately the city is in a bad condition due to ignorance of the state government still the city contains its own charm with interesting sites and friendly people. Thus one must surely stop at one of the local tea shops for catching a full view of the city.
The headquarters of the Radhaswami sect. On the sprawling lawns here, is a beautiful marble temple under construction for almost 100 years now.The Radhaswami trust is one of the oldest residents of Agra. They own probably hundreds of acres of land in the Dayalbagh area of northern Agra. According to some sources, when the founder Swamiji Maharaj died, it was decided that a Samadhi in the form of a temple be constructed in the memory of Swamiji Maharaj. The trust wanted the marble temple to be more beautiful than the Taj Mahal. Work started on the temple in early 1900s. The construction is still going on.
Open : 8.am to 7 pm. (Entry free upto 15 years age and free for all on Fridays). These monuments are open to visitors everyday throughout the year)
Agra is not only the Taj Mahal or Akbar Mausoleum or Agra Fort...Agra has also a lot of other little and undiscovered faces to show...
Simply walking to the old part of the city, you will meet true people and they will be glad to speak a sec to you..you will meet hairdresser at work, people buying fruits and vegetable or people sitting in the street corners...normal life...that’s one of the latest true view of Agra...
A ncie way to get quiet after a very stressed morning spent wisiting the Taj Mahal
Agra’s city is very interesting to see. Take a rickshaw and take a ride thought the city. Next to Taj Mahal there is a zone where you can go walking full of 2 floors buildings with a terrace at the top, nearly all of them prepare for given dinner or lunch there or little local hotels. All is in a big state of abandon and bad condition, always with a special taste and interesting to see. The shops there are not so tourist as the ones of the entrance of Taj and are more interesting. There you will find places for having something to eat or drink and even buy some fruit.
If you go from Taj Mahal to Jasmi Masjid you will find a different city, more medieval and original more chaotic even with lots of bazaar and life where they appear not to be very use to see tourist. Go and have a look, take your time to go and see this part of Agra. If you don’t feel comfortable with people looking at you, go in your rickshaw.
When we went Agra was empty of tourist so all the eyes where over us, its just curiosity, don’t get very upset because of it.
In Agra, a wander along the streets is a day out in itself. There are so many interesting sights to see - snake charmers, market stalls, architecture and just looking at the people is an experience in itself. The best thing about it is that its absolutely free!