If you are travelling all the way to Agra, you should give the town at least 2 days. Visiting The Taj Mahal could be the top of your agenda and understandably so, but there are more things you can do which are so worth it.
Here is our suggested itinerary.
Day 1: The Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Mohabbat the Taj show
The best time to visit the Taj is early morning as there are less crowds. It’s open from sunrise to sunset and there is no limit to the time you want to spend there once inside. See more info here
A lot has been said about this monument of love so we won’t elaborate but it is a beautiful structure so do queue up, go up-to the main platform and visit the tombs inside.
Once you’ve visited the taj, have your breakfast/lunch depending on the time you visit. Then head to Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This fort was built by Mughal ruler Akbar in red sandstone. It served as the royal residence as well as a military strategic base. The fort is well maintained so you will be able to admire the structure. You also get views of the taj from the fort. More info here
In the evening, catch a song and dance show called Mohabbat The Taj at Kalakriti Cultural and Convention Center. A retelling of the story of emperor Shah Jahan and the love for his queen Mumtaz Mahal leading up to the construction of the Taj Mahal.
Day 2: Fatehpur Sikri and Mehtab Bagh
Head to Fatehpur Sikri, the first planned city built by the Mughals and a UNESCO World Heritage site as well. It was also built by emperor Akbar and served as the Mughal capital for 10 years. It houses different buidings within the compounds so give the place at least 2 hours. It’s an hour drive away from Agra so plan accordingly. More info here
If you are yearning to get another unobstructed view of the Taj without the hassle of queuing up and getting inside the main compound, head to Mehtab Bagh where you get clear views of the monument. Best time to go would be the sunset which also gives a great photo opportunity.
If you have an appetite for more architectural marvels, here are our suggestions:
Sikandra – the mausoleum of Akbar
Itmad-ut-Daula – a beautiful mausoleum made entirely of marble
A few other things to note:
- Try not to visit on a Friday as most monuments are closed for public viewing.
- Public transport is not great, best is to hire your own car rental with a driver. Trust us when we tell you, you don’t want to drive yourself in Agra if you are a foreigner.
- Best time to visit the town is in the months of Nov – Feb while Oct and Mar are passable.
- Agra offers all types of accommodation – from 5-star hotels, airbnbs to budget stays
- Food is great in Agra, especially the north indian mughlai food. Think tikkas, kebabs and garlic naan.
And lastly, this city has been long neglected by the authorities even though it is rich in history and culture. So go with an open mindset, ignore some inconveniences and admire it for what it does offer.
Have a happy journey! 🙂