Saturday, September 26, 2009

Location of Agra

Situated in the extreme southwest corner of Uttar Pradesh, Agra stratches across 26° 44' N to 27° 25' N and 77° 26' E to 78° 32' E. Its borders touch Rajasthan to its west and south, the district of Firozabad to its East and the districts of Mathura and Etah to its North. Situated at the banks of River Yamuna, it has limited forest area sporting trees of Babul, Ber, Neem and Peepal. Agra suffers from extremities of climate with scorching hot summers and chilly winters. Monsoons offer some relief but the lanes within the city become very dirty and slippery during this season. However, the main road that stretches across the tourist area is good enough in any season. The best time to visit the city is from the Spring Season to the Autumn Season, i.e., from the months of March to October.

Agra Weather & When to Go

The climate of Agra is extreme and tropical. India has three seasons, the dry season, monsoon season and winter. Summers are extremely hot and the maximum temperature can be as high as 45 degree Celsius/ 113 degrees Fahrenheit; it is hot in April through to June. It is not hard to imagine thus why it is unpopular to visit Agra during this time. In the summer, Agra is dry, dusty and rather sticky and unpleasant for visitors.

Heavy rains and high humidity mark the monsoon season. During Monsoon season, which lasts from July to September, there can be electrical storms, short rainstorms and dust storms. One must bring fully waterproof clothes during this time. Though it doesn’t rain all day, it does rain every day. Regardless of the rain, it is still very hot and humid. It is not recommended to travel during this time.

In September, the monsoon season ends and the weather gets more bearable. However, even in the winter, the climate remains rather tropical. The average winter day is around 88.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, it is advised to visit Agra during the winters, after October to April. During the winter, though at night it can get quite frosty, the days are sunny but more mild, without the sticky

Agra map

A map is one of the most effective ways to explore and know about a place or city. In the same way, the map of Agra city will help you to explore Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal in a much better way. No matter which part of the Agra city you are in, the tourist/road map of Agra will guide you to reach your destination in a smooth and better way. The following road map of Agra will help you plan and execute your tour in and around the Agra city in an easy manner. The map of Agra also highlights important tourist destinations of the Agra city including the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort.

Shopping in Agra

There are lots of handicraft emporiums that offer a variety of sandalwood and rose wood items along with brass decorative pieces and stone carved images. The fine work done by the local artisans in the city is notable and the markets of Agra are the best place to explore exquisite piece of fine Zari embroidery work, stone inlay work, durries and carpets. One can find most of the big emporiums concentrated in the Gangotri at Taj complex, Taj Mahal Complex, Kinari Bazar, Raja Mandi and Sadar Bazar areas. These shopping areas are worth visiting in Agra. TDI mall and Big Bazaar at Fatehabad road are also good places for shopping. These places contain a variety of products as well as qualitative products. .These places are also containing the culture of Agra. At the time of festivals, these markets are flooded with variety of clothes, jewellery, and house hold items.

Banks and Money Exchangers in Agra

State Bank of India, Main Branch Chipitola, Agra: 0562-2252078

Allahabad Bank, Hotel Clarks Shiraj, Taj Ganj, Agra:0562-2226179

Ahdhra Bank, Taj Road, Sadar Bazar, Agra: 0562-2226675

Central Bank of India, M.G. Road, Agra: 0562-2366788

Bank of Baroda, M.G. Road, Agra: 0562-2364345

Canara Bank, Sadar Bazar, Agra: 0562-2227161

Centrum Forex, Fatehabad Road, Agra: 0562-2231640

Thomas Cook, Fatehabad Road, Agra: 0562-2330550

Tour Operators and Travel Agents in Agra

Many travel agents are present in Agra to operate Tours for Agra and the places surrounding Agra. Below is the list of some Tour Operators and Travel Agents –

  • Ashok Travels and Tours, Hotel Agra Ashok, The Mall, Tel.: 0562 - 361223-31
  • Rainbow Travels, Hotel Mansingh Palace, Fatehabad Road, Tel.: 0562 - 360605.
  • Mercury Travels, Hotel Clarks Shiraj, 54 Taj Road, Tel.: 0562 – 360282

  • Royal Holidays Inc., Sanjay Place, Tel.: 0562 – 352367, 350537.

  • Sita World Travels, Sadar Bazar, Tel.: 0562 – 363922, 363181.

  • Travel Corporation (India), Hotel Clarks Shiraj, Tel.: 0562 – 361121, 361122, 361123.

  • Travel House, Welcomgroup Mughal Sheraton, Tel.: 0562 – 361701-62

Offices to Be Known By Visitors in Agra

Visitors arriving Agra need to known about some offices which can help them in need. They can avail the help which they seek in Agra from government authorities. List of some offices is given below-

Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office

Address: Fatehpur Sikri Road, Agra
Tel: +91 0562 226 9563
Timings: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 16:00

India Tourism Office

Address: 191 The Mall, Agra
Tel: +91 0562 222 6378
Timings: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 17:30, Saturday - 09:00 to 14:00
A range of brochures about attractions all over India are available here. This is a good place to get knowledge about the city as well as country. An official guide can also be found from here.

UP Tourism Office

Address: Agra Cantonment Train Station, Agra
Tel: +91 0562 242 1204
Timings: 7 days and 24 hours
This office is good place for contacting the local tourist police. You can find help easily here if, you are in problem.
One more branch of the UP Tourism Office is located at 64 Taj Road
Timings: Monday to Saturday - 10:00am to 5:00pm

Main Post Office

Address: The Mall, Agra
Tel: +91 0562 222 6437
The 'post restate' service at the post office is not recommended.
Timings: Monday to Saturday - 10:00am to 6:00pm

Interaction with People of Agra and Their Life

Agra has its own tradition and culture. Languages spoken in Agra as well as complete Uttar Pradesh are Hindi and Urdu. Some people associated with the field of tourism are able to speak English up to some level. Some professional guides speak other foreign languagesalso. In hotels visitors can find staff communicating guests in English. People are simple in Agra and most of them are associated with business and farming. Agra being a tourist place having a lot of people involved in tourism. Number of hotels can be found in near Taj Mahal. If visitors want to communicate with people of Agra in their own language they would have to learn some phrases which are most frequently used like-


How are you doing?
Aap kaise hain

I am doing well
Main theek Hoon

I do not understand
Main nahi samajhata hoon.

Where can I find?
Kahan Milega…

How to reach?
Kaise Pahuchoon

Thank You

Excuse Me
Kshama Karen

Please write it down
Zara likh deejiye

Can you help me?
Kya aap meri madad kar sakte hain?

Turn Right
Dahine Mudo

Turn Left
Bayen Mudo

What Place is this?
Yeh kounsi jagah hai?

What is this?
Yeh kya hai?

How do you find it?
Kaisa Laga?

How much is it for?
Kitne ka hai?

Fairs and Festivals in Agra

Agra district has many rural areas that are greatly influenced by the religious and sentimental attachment to the surrounding areas of Mathura and Vrindavan to Lord Krishna and Radha. Most of the fairs and festivals organized in the region are either temple festivals, religious festivals or cattle and village fairs based on Krishna's life such as Dauji ka mela, Kans lila, cattle fair Jat Devi, cattle fair Kund Mela, cattle fair Gwal Balba, Meta ki Puja Jat Devi, Holi Milap, Mata-ka-mela, Shitla Mela, Parikrama of Shivji, Kailash Mela, Janamashthmi, Dussehra, Kali-ka-mela, Ram lila, Urs Sufi Sahib and Bateshwar cattle fair. However, we have brought you the most famous of these fairs and festivals of the region.

Taj Mahotsav
Much famous and beloved cultural festival of Agra, Taj Mahotsav is organized annually for ten days during February. Shilpgram (the Crafts Village), the chosen venue for this fair is close to Taj. Here, one can find extensive display of arts, crafts and culture of India along with classical dance and song performances. 'Mushairas' and 'Ghazal' programmes by the well-known Indian artists. Children love to ride on camels and elephants in the vene while one can taste traditional Indian delicacies at the luring stalls here. The colorful celebrations welcome the Spring with a fiesta of Indian cuisine, dance and music, cultural displays and exhibition of arts and crafts.

A brainchild of Uttar Pradesh Tourism, Taj Mahotsav is an event to lure the tourists and acquaint them with the legendary skills of Indian master craftsmen and the finesse of Indian fine arts. It also showcases the rich heritage of India. It commences with a splendid Mughal-style procession highlighting bedecked elephants, richly adorned camels, drumbeaters and folk artists. Taj Mahotsav is best play to witness marble inlay work, wood carvings from Saharanpur, brass wares from Moradabad, handmade carpets of Badohi, the blue pottery of Khurja, the Chikan work of Lucknow and the silks of Banares, all at one place. The Crafts Fair and the Food Festival of Taj Mahotsav have their own charm. The folk dances such as Dundelkhand and 'Nautanki' of Uttar Pradesh, 'Sapera' dance of Rajasthan, the dance of snake charmers and Lavani of Maharashtra have always captured the attention of tourists.

Bateshwar Fair
Bateshwar is just 70 km from Agra and is names so after the presiding deity of the region, Bateshwar Mahadeo. It is an important spiritual and cultural centre boasting of 108 temples of the various gods and goddesses of Hindus. Bateshwar Fair is organized here annually during the months of October or November in the honor of Lord Shiva for a month. Thousands of devotees visit the venue to take holy dips in River Yamuna and participate in the Livestock and Cattle Fair, which is famous in the nearby areas.

Ram Barat
The special marriage procession of Sri Ram, held annually at Agra, is known as 'Rambarat' and precedes Dussehra. It is a part of 'Ramlila', the staging of life of Rama that ends with killing of Ravana, on the day of Dussehra. Its specialty lies in the beautiful 'jhankis' of the deities and the special set of the palace arranged at the chosen venue as 'Janakpuri', the palace of Raja Janak who was the father of Goddess Sita. A major fair is organized in the locality and thousands of people visit the venue to see the fair and attend the elaborate royal wedding of the divine deities. The procession starts from Lala Channomalji Ki Baradari for the Janakpuri venue and passes through different parts of the town. Special chariot covered with silver leaves is used as the mount of Ram while his brothers mount the elephants. The elaborate and heavy headgears look stunning. Teenaged boys play the female characters of the drama.

Kailash Fair
Held at Kailash temple in the honor of Lord Shiva, 12 km from Agra, Kailash fair is celebrated to commemorate the appearance of Lord Shiva in the form of a stone lingam here in the monsoon months of August and September. The major fair attracts devotees from all the nearby areas.

Dayal Bagh Temple

Swami Bagh Temple at Dayal Bagh is 10 km to the north of Agra. Started in 1904, it is still under construction even after 100 years! The white marble Samadhi of the Radha Swami, the founder of a unique religion that seeks to being all religions under one umbrella and preaches unity of mankind, the construction of this temple is not expected to be completed until sometime next century. If you want to witness the Pietra Dura inlaid marble work, you must visit the temple and walk to its sides to see the artisans at work. The aim of this structure is to build a temple for Hindus, a church for Christians, a gurudwara for Sikhs and a mosque for Muslims, each on a separate floor, in the same building, to symbolize brotherhood and unity in mankind. The artistic work here is wonderful and has an outstanding visual appeal. However, locals believe that perfect harmony between all the religions at once is impossible, so the building symbolizing it would never be complete and will be damaged anytime, it is close to being complete.

Ram Bagh Agra

The first Mughal gardens laid by Babur in 1558, half a km from Chini Ka Rauza, were planned carefully in Persian style. They were then named as Bagh-i-Gul Afshan. Later, Jehangir renovated them and named them as Bagh-i-Nur Afshan. Neglected for centuries, these gardens have now turned into wilderness and are known as Ram Bagh. Set to the south of Sarai of Nur Jehan, Babur introduced three-terraced garden here for the first time. The river-drawn water was made to look like a spring, as it artificially descended from one terrace to another through a network of canals, tanks and water chutes that had stairs on both sides ended in a red sandstone pond. The gardens were beautified using 'Chhatris', platforms, pathways and a conglomeration of plants that were cultivated in a landscaped manner. Jehangir had also built two beautiful suites on the two sides of the main terrace and a Mahtab or island platform in the centre, which was connected with the main water system. Ram Bagh symbolizes the erstwhile Mughal pleasure garden that hasn't aged gracefully unlike other legacies of that time.

Sikandra Agra, India

The Mughal Emperor Akbar, known as Akbar the Great, ruled an empire that stretched across North India from 1556 to 1605. His reign is considered the pinnacle of Mughal rule in India.

Akbar's tomb is located in the serene ambience of Sikandra 3 km away from Agra. Akbar began building it during his lifetime and his son, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, completed it. Some of its design features are similar to the design of the Taj Mahal built later in Agra. Akbar's tomb at Sikandra has a large arched entrance and green lawns, on which deer can be seen grazing, surround the tomb.

The entrance is decorated with marble inlay work around the arch, and the inner surface of the dome of the tomb is decorated with images of flowers, geometric designs and Islamic calligraphy.

Style of Architecture

The tomb of Akbar, though Islamic in spirit, is a blend of styles. The magnificent entrance, use of exquisite patterns, excellent jali work (intricately perforated decorative stone screens), fine Persian style calligraphy, the charbagh garden layout (four-quartered garden layout, with the main building at the center), etc., are representative of Islamic influence. On the other hand, the absence of a dome, use of chhatris (small domed canopies, supported by pillars), tiers of airy pavilions, etc., reflect a local influence, which are also found in the buildings built by Akbar in Agra Fort and the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri.

Chini Ka Roza

Situated about two-three furlongs from the ltmad-Ud-Daulah on the same side of river Jamuna, Chini Ka Roza is is a rectangular structure, having beautiful title work in glazing colors, and is surrounded by a great bulbous dome. There are two cenotaphs in its center, one of Shukruilahteredirt, who became the Finance minister of Shahjahan, who died in Lahore in 1639 A.D. After his death, his dead body was brought from Lahore and was graved here. On the top of the chamber some Quranic texts are inscribed on it. Although it is in a decrepit condition, but still its craftsmanship is worth seeing.

Constructed in the 16th century by Allama Afzal Jhan Shukhrullah of Shiraz, Prime Minister of Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and a well-known poet, every piece of the monument is decorated with bright color schemes, known as 'Chini ka Roza'. This historical site is 1 KM away from Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s tomb. Chini-ka-Rauza is measured as a landmark in Indo-Persian architecture, as it is the very first construction in India that has been solely decorated by the glazed tile works. The most characteristic feature of the tomb is the colorful tiles or chini, from which the tomb gets its name. The shape of this tomb is rectangular and is constructed mainly of brown stone.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fatehpur Sikri

--> Location :

Agra, Uttar Pradesh

--> Build By :


--> Built in :

1571 - 1585

37 kms from Agra is built a city predominantly in Red Sandstone and is called Fatehpur Sikri. This town was built by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. He had planned this city as his capital but shortage of water compelled him to abandon the city. After this within 20 years, the capital of Mughals was shifted to Lahore.

Fatehpur Sikri was built during 1571 and 1585. Today this ghost city has a population of about 30,000. This deserted city has retained many of the old structures, because of the efforts of the Archaeological department.

Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height. Though the city is in ruins, it is a place to visit if one comes to Agra.But in real terms Fatehpur Sikri is a place where one should spend some time. The sunset over the ruins is sight to cherish.

Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Fatehpur Sikri Mosque is said to be a copy of the mosque in Mecca and has designs, derived from the Persian & Hindu architecture.

Best time to visit

From November to February. Access Agra is connected to Delhi by air. One can also use the Taj Express or the Shatabdi to get there. One can even drive or travel by bus (204 km from Delhi).

Tourist Information

Open on all weekdays from sunrise to sunset. Entry fee for those above 12 years - Rs. 5.00. Free entry on Fridays.

Timings & Entry Fees
» Foreigners: Rs 485/-
» Indians: INR Rs 50/-
» Open on all Days

Climate: Extreme climate, Maximum temp: 45°C, Minimum temp: 4°C.

Reaching Fatehpur Sikri -
Fatehpur Sikri is a 25 miles (40km) west of Agra, on the way to Jaipur
Air : Nearest airport is Agra's Kheria airport. Nearest International airport is Delhi.
Rail: Fatehpur Sikri is well connected to Agra by railways.
Road: Best way is to reach Agra which is well connected by national highways.

STD/ISD Codes -
If dialing from within India to Fatehpur Sikri ----- 05619
If dialing from outside India ------++ 91-5619

Shopping in Fatehpur Sikri -

This deserted city was the capital of the Moghul Empire between 1570 and 1586. Today, Fatehpur Sikri is a ghost city, its architecture is in a perfect state of preservation, and below the fort are the markets of the Old City.

Buland Darwaza

This gate can be approached from the outside by a 13-metre flight of steps which adds to its grandeur. The gate erected in 1602 AD to commemorate Akbar’s victory over Deccan is the highest and grandest gateway in India and ranks among the biggest in the world.
Agra is well-known as being home to the wonderful Taj Mahal - one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The gracefully designed mausoleums, the fort and the palaces reminds of the Mughal architectural brilliance. Besides the Taj Mahal, other popular tourist spots in Agra are the Agra Fort, Jama Masjid, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, Chini Ka Rauza, Rambagh Gardens, Fatehpur Sikri, etc. One such tourist attraction in Agra is the Buland Darwaza, a grand gateway located in Fatehpur Sikri near Agra.


The Buland Darwaza is the entrance gateway to the Jama Masjid mosque in Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. It is situated on a hill where the Mosque is located. The grand recessed central arch is the most magnificent of its kind in the entire range of Mughal architecture in India. This triumphal arch was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1575 on the southern wall of the courtyard, after he defeated the King of Khandesh or Gujarat in 1573.

How to reach
To reach the Buland Darwaza in Agra , by air you have to land at the Agra airport, which is 7 km from the city center. From Delhi, it takes only 40 minutes to reach Agra by flight. The main railway station is Agra Cantonment. The main bus stands in Agra are Agra Fort and Idgah bus stand. There are many luxury taxis, coaches or buses that drive to Agra every day.

The Jami Masjid

Location: Fateh Pur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh)
Built in: 1572 AD
Significance: One of The Largest Mosques Of India

One of the largest mosques in India, Jami Masjid was built in 1571 AD. Inside, there is a vast congregational coutyard. To the right, at the corner, is the Jammat Khana Hall and next ot this is the tomb of the royal ladies. To the left of the Jami Masjid is the Stone Cutters’ mosque, the oldest place of worship at Fateh Pur Sikri. It is entered through the eastern entrance known as the Buland Darwaza.
The Jama Masjid in Fatehpur Sikri is one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. Built under the supervision of the saint and his descendants, the mosque was completed in 1571. Presently Ahle Sunnat Wala Jamaat Barelwi Imam leads the Prayer to thousands of Muslims.