The historical city of Agra puts India on the world map as it is home to architectural marvel Taj Mahal, among other significant monuments. In addition, it holds the distinction of being the capital of undivided pre-independence India under the Mughal rule. A day would not do justice to the brilliance that the place is but, loaded with the right information, a successful Agra tour could be designed that inculcates all the highlights.
The Grand Design
A day that promises to be filled with learning historically important details and visiting imposing structures such as the Taj, should start with a hearty breakfast. Tourists could savour a calorie rich first meal comprising of Kachoris and Jalebis, a local favourite at any restaurant or roadside eatery of choice.
Post breakfast, the first stop must be the legendary monument dedicated to love, Taj Mahal that was built by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz. Symmetrically designed and decorated with domes, arches and a pond, in which the reflection of the structure can be seen, it took over twenty years and over twenty thousand men to construct the structure. It is claimed that the emperor maimed the workers who had worked on the monument so that anything like it could never be rebuilt. The monument has claimed back its place on the Seven Wonders of the World list. It has the tombs of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan. Jama Masjid, a mosque honouring Jahanara Begum, the daughter of the emperor, lies at a close distance from the epic carved in marble. Completed in the year 1648, it has an expansive cemented verandah and rubs shoulders with the large mosques in India. Agra Fort, right opposite Jama Masjid, is where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son and successor, Aurangjeb. It is said that the former king spent his last years, sitting by a window inside the fort, longingly gazing in the direction of the tomb of his wife. Built by Akbar the Great, it is a UNESCO World Heritage. This can be the first round of Agra day tour to an end.
Visitors should then proceed for lunch to the main market of the city that has a selection of every possible cuisine due to the global nature of Agra. Tandoori dishes and curd-based preparations are highly recommended. Having been refuelled, the time for a drive is ripe to the third World Heritage Site in the city, Fatehpur Sikri, which is situated on the outskirts. The town of Fatehpur Sikri was where a fierce battle between the Mughal ruler Babur and Rana Sanga was fought. It has many beautiful buildings such as the Buland Darwaza and the Royal Palace.
With that, the sightseeing part of the trip is over and tourists could return to the city for enjoying an evening snack, chaat, a street delicacy that comprises of aloo tikkis, dahi bhallas and papdi. In addition to taking back great memories, visitors are advised to also take back the famed local sweetmeat, Petha.