From Wikitravel
(Redirected from Taj Mahal)
Jump to: navigation, search

Agra [1] is the city of the Taj Mahal, in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, some 200 km from Delhi.

Agra has three UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort in the city and Fatehpur Sikri nearby. There are also many other buildings and tombs from Agra's days of glory as the capital of the Mughal Empire.

The city has little else to recommend it. Pollution, especially smog and litter, is rampant and travellers are pestered by swarms of touts and hawkers at every monument, mosque, temple or palace. That said, the sites are some of the wonders of the world and no trip to India is complete without at least one visit to the Taj.


Due to the very high number of tourists, Agra is a breeding ground for touts and people looking to separate you from your money. People from all over the world visit Agra to see India's most famous building - the Taj Mahal.

While Agra's golden age was as the capital of the Mughal empire between 1526 and 1658, the city was founded much earlier. The earliest reference to Agra is in the ancient epic, the Mahabharata, while Ptolemy was the first person to call it by its modern name. The recorded history of Agra begins around the 11th century, and over the next 500 years, the city changed hands between various kings, both Hindu and Muslim.

In 1506, Sultan Sikandar Lodi, the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, moved his capital from Delhi to Agra. His son Ibrahim Lodi was the last ruler of the Lodi dynasty, as he was defeated in 1526 by Babur, the first Mughal ruler, in the battle of Panipat. Agra fell too, and became the capital of the Mughals, whose rule over Agra was uninterrupted except for a brief period between 1540 and 1556. In 1540, Sher Shah Shuri overthrew Humayun and became the ruler of much of Northern India, including Agra. After Sher Shah Suri's death, his descendants proved unequal to the task of ruling the kingdom. Hemu, a Hindu who served as one of Suri's generals, became the effective ruler. Hemu would later crown himself King Hemachandra Vikramaditya just as the kingdom was facing an assault from the reinvigorated Mughals. In 1556, Hemu was defeated and killed in the second battle of Panipat, and the Mughals took back the city of Agra.

Mughals were great builders. Babur built the Aram Bagh (Garden of Relaxation) which was modeled after the garden of paradise and was where he was buried after his death. His grandson Akbar refurbished the Agra fort and built Fatehpur Sikri, an entire city just on the outskirts of Agra. He also renamed Agra after himself, and the city was known as Akbarabad while it was in Mughal hands. Akbar's grandson Shah Jehan would give Agra its most famous monument, the Taj Mahal, which he ordered constructed as a mausoleum for his most beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj is constructed in white marble. It took 20 years to construct, and is now universally known as a monument of love. Legend has it that Shah Jehan wanted a replica of the Taj constructed in black marble that would be his final resting place. There is no actual support for this theory, but even if it were true, it would have unlikely been built. His son Aurangzeb was austere and pious, and had no time or inclination for the ostentation of his forefathers, preferring to spend his money on wars in South India. In any case, even during Shah Jehan's reign, which was the period when the Mughal empire was at its height, the construction of the Taj put a strain on the resources of the empire and caused a famine around Agra. Shah Jehan was eventually buried in the white Taj, next to his beloved wife.

In addition to giving Agra its greatest building, Shah Jehan was also responsible for the city's decline, when he decided to shift his capital to Shahjehanabad, now known as Old Delhi, in 1658. Though Aurangzeb ordered a move back, this too was short lived, as he moved his headquarters down south to Aurangabad to focus on his wars in the south. Agra declined and so did the Mughal Empire. The city was eventually captured by the Marathas, who renamed it back to Agra. In 1803, it came under British rule, who established the Agra Presidency there. When India regained its independence, the city was incorporated into the state of Uttar Pradesh, and was not even made the state capital, which went to Lucknow, further east. Agra is now a tourist town, known most famously for the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and nearby Fatehpur Sikri.

Anyone interested in reading a novel based on the remarkable story behind the Taj Mahal should consider Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors. Beneath a Marble Sky is an international bestseller that won multiple awards and is being made into a Hollywood film. Another book suggestion is The Taj by Colin De Silva.

Get in[edit]

Agra is 200 km southeast of Delhi and is one of three stops on India's Golden Triangle (Agra-Delhi-Jaipur). Agra is also very well connected via rail and road with other nearby cities and tourist destinations.

By plane[edit]

Service to Agra's Kheria Airport (IATA: AGR ICAO: VIAG) is limited due to the airport's primary function as an air force base. Currently the city is served by Air India. Flights are usually on time and provide connection to Delhi and Mumbai. Although one can save time travelling by air to Agra, the limited flight options are a turn off to many who opt to visit the city by train or by car.

By train[edit]

Agra is on the main train line on the Delhi-[Mumbai]] (Bombay) and Delhi-Chennai routes. There are numerous train options connecting Agra with these cities every day. Some eastbound trains from Delhi stop in Agra, so direct connections to points in Eastern India (including Kolkata) are available. There are close to 20 trains to Delhi every day, and at least three or four to both Mumbai and Chennai. Agra and Delhi are notorious for their thick winter fog which reduces visibility to almost zero. If travelling in late December or early January (fog season), travelers should be aware that because of the reduced visibility, all trains travel slowly and thereby increases travel time. There are three stations in Agra:


  • Agra Cantt (Station Code : AGC) is the main railway station and lies southwest of the Taj and Agra Fort, both of which are a short ride from the station by car, auto-rickshaw or cycle rickshaw. There is a prepaid taxi stand right outside that charges a flat fee of ₹150 to any hotel in the city. You may catch an auto-rickshaw for ₹50 if you walk a short way from the station, but they may not speak English. The station has a decent food court that also sells cheap, hygienic takeaway snacks (sandwiches, samosas, etc).
  • Agra Fort station (Station Code : AF) near Agra Fort, is infrequently serviced by the interstate express trains. The station serves trains to the east (Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Kolkata) and some of these trains also stop at Agra Cantt.
  • Raja Ki Mandi (Station Code : RKM) is a small station in the city center. Some of the trains which stop at Agra Cantt also stop here. The station has a laid-back and lazy atmosphere, but springs into life with the arrival of the Intercity Express and Taj Express trains.
  • Agra City is in the heart of Agra. A relic of the metre gauge era, this station is not particularly useful.
  • Idgah Railway Station is the first station in Agra if you are arriving from Jaipur.


  • Delhi to Agra[2] - Close to 20 trains connect Delhi and Agra each day with journey times varying from 2 to 5 hours. The best options are the Bhopal Shatabdi Express (departs New Delhi at 0615 arriving Agra Cantt at 0812; departs Agra Cantt at 2030 arriving New Delhi at 2230, which runs every day except Friday; a meal service with water is included in an air conditioned coach) and the Taj Express (departs Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin at 0715 arriving Agra Cantt at 1007; departs Agra Cantt at 1855 arriving Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin at 2200, daily). The best trains to Agra are:

12002 +BHOPAL SHTBDI NEW DELHI 06:15 AGRA CANTT 08:12 01:57

12280 +TAJ EXPRESS H NIZAMUDDIN 07:10 AGRA CANTT 10:07 02:57

14212 +INTERCITY EXP NEW DELHI 17:40 AGRA CANTT 21:50 04:10

12191 +NDLS JBP SUP NEW DELHI 14:05 AGRA CANTT 17:10 03:05

Train tickets can be booked online on the Indian Railways website ( where you may pay by debit or credit card. Upon arrival at Agra station, one can sign up for tours in air-conditioned luxury coaches. There are also organized tours [3]from Delhi.

Getting reserved tickets from the ticket windows at the stations is possible but some travelers have reported being turned away. If you cannot get a reserved ticket from the window you can get an unreserved ticket from the unreserved window, and then occupy the train car of your choice and pay the conductor the fare difference between the unreserved ticket and the reserved seat, they will assign you a seat. There are many classes of train cars, unreserved with no air conditioning(180 rupees), triple tier sleeper with AC(540 rupees), double tier with AC(740 rupees), BHOPAL SHTBDI direct train with AC, no stops and food service(755 rupees)

Beware of scammers/touts outside and inside the New Delhi Station that will ask if you have a ticket, when you say you don't have one, they'll send you off to the "Incredible India" office calling it the government tourist office, when you get there they'll tell you all the trains are full and then they'll try to sell you a private car for 10,000 or more rupees.

Delhi to Agra by road - A new highway is being constructed from Greater Noida to Agra. The journey would take 2 to 3 hours and should be very popular among tourists as the road standards will be ultra modern.

  • Agra to Jaipur[4] - The journey to Jaipur (Station Code : JP) takes around 4 hours on train #2988 which leaves Agra Fort Railway Station at 6:25 PM and reaches Jaipur at around 10:20PM.

Also, train #2965 from Agra Cantonment to Jaipur departs at 5:40 PM and arrives at 10:15 PM for ₹300 in an air conditioned coach.

  • The Luxury train or Palace on Wheels [5] stops in Agra.

One day excursion from Delhi to Agra[edit]

It is easy to visit Agra comfortably in one day by train from Delhi. Plan on waking early in the morning and hop on the Bhopal Shatabdi leaving at 06:00 from New Delhi Railway Station. Breakfast is served on the train, which is included in the fare and is usually an omelette with a couple of slices of bread with coffee or tea. Arrive in Agra and then either hire a car or rickshaws to get around. A visit to the Taj Mahal, followed by Agra Fort does not take a great deal of time. Add a visit to Akbar's Tomb and/or Itmad-ud-Daulah, for which an auto-rickshaw or taxi are required, and you will still have time for lunch before catching the return train at 20:30 with dinner, which is included in the fare. With a hired car it is even possible to visit Fatehpur Sikri.

Another option is to catch the Taj Express from Hazrat Nizamuddin station. The train departs Delhi (Hazrat Nizamuddin) at around 7:00 AM and reaches Agra Cantt at around 10:00 AM. Upon reaching Agra Cantt station, go to platform 1 to exit the station. There is a tourist information counter here. Here you can book a ticket on the Agra City Tour Bus. This bus will take you to Fatehpur Sikri (40km from town), Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal. There bus makes a stop for lunch after visiting Fatehpur Sikri. They have knowledgeable tour guides who speak English and Hindi. The best part of this tour is that it's coordinated with the arrival and departure of the Taj express, and brings you back to Agra Cantt station in time to catch the return train back to Delhi. Tickets are about Rs. 400/- for Indian citizens and will be higher for foreigners.

By bus[edit]

A number of buses connect Agra with Delhi. It takes around 4-5 hours to reach Agra by bus. There are three main interstate bus stands:

  • Idgah Bus Stand is the primary bus stand for travelling towards Rajasthan/Madhya Pradesh, in the heart of the city, 8 km from the Taj. The well run Rajasthan Government (RSRTC) bus to Jaipur (roughly one bus per hour) departs from Hotel Sakura near Idgah bus stand. There's a small ticket booth outside the hotel. Do note that a common scam happens when you arrive at a stop outside Jaipur city a man will inform everyone that this is the last stop in Jaipur. Do not get down, since the bus will go further inside the city and the man is trying to get a commission by taking you to a specific hotel.
  • ISBT at Transport Nagar, 12 km from the Taj, is an inter state bus terminal. Most intercity buses pass through here, except for buses originating from Idgah Bus Stand going to Rajasthan.

Note: Do not rely on Private Luxury Buses and Travel Agencies as they are very expensive and may drop you to your destination too late. They'll also tell you that the bus goes direct to the destination but it does not.

By Taxi[edit]

For local sight seeing in Agra, it is better to hire a taxi on a full day basis. A reliable way of booking your cab is to do so online. Also, you can book a taxi at your hotel or outside the railway station. There is a government authorized taxi stand. It is best to negotiate price with the driver directly or book trough some online car rental portal.

Cars are not allowed near the Taj Mahal complex, but the rest of Agra is easily traversed by car. Rentals are available from various rental agencies.

If you plan to travel to Agra by taxi from Delhi International Airport (DEL), make sure you hire a taxi that can take you to other cities (the white ones). The prepaid taxi kiosk for local taxi services are known to arrange (privately outside the auspices of the prepaid taxi system) a local taxi (green and yellow ones) to take you to Agra. In this case, the taxi will have to take a big detour to get a government permit to travel intercity before heading to Agra. Not only is substantial time wasted, but these taxis are small and uncomfortable. The taxi kiosk for local travel should redirect you to the intercity taxi stand, but don't count on them to do so.

By road[edit]

  • From Delhi: NH2, a modern divided highway, connects the 200 km distance from Delhi to Agra. The drive is typically 4-5 hours, a large chunk of which includes navigating the clogged roads around Delhi to get to the highway. The primary access points to the highway is along Mathura Road in Delhi, but if you're coming from South Delhi or Delhi Airport, it is easier to take Aurobindo Marg (Mehrauli Road) and then work your way up to NH2 via Tughlakabad. While the highway is divided, it is important to keep an eye out for trucks, cars, and bullock carts heading the wrong way because this does occur.

It is possible to hire a car with a driver (a big car for five people to/from Delhi airport costs about ₹3500). But beware - if you need to get from Agra to the airport in order to catch a flight, be sure to allow plenty of time for the trip, as traffic conditions can increase the commute time significantly. Also, it is wise to know your driver. In some instances, drivers may take over five hours to cover the distance.

  • From Jaipur: National Highway 11, a four lane highway, connects Agra with Jaipur via the bird sanctuary town of Bharatpur. The distance of around 255 Km can be covered in around 4-6 hours.

If your journey is from Jaipur to Agra or Agra to Jaipur, it is suggested to have breakfast or lunch at Rajputana Midway near Pipalkhera(Mahua) Village.

  • From Gwalior: A distance of around 120 km, takes around 1.5 hours on National highway 3 (Agra- Mumbai Highway)
  • From Lucknow / Kanpur: NH2, a modern highway, continues on to Kanpur (285km, 5 hours) and from there to points east ending in Kolkata. From Kanpur, NH25 heads for the city of Lucknow (90 km, 2 hours).

Get around[edit]

Tongas, electric buses and electric tempos are readily available, and the best way to get to the Taj where no cars are allowed. Auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws are available every where, remember to agree on fares clearly in advance. In case you are a foreigner, please ensure that you bargain everywhere and bargain hard! Generally things are available at 40% of the initially quoted fares.

UP Tourism conduct daily full day (Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort and Tajmahal; Rs 500/- per head) and half day tour (Agra Fort and Tajmahal; Rs 350/- per head; fees based on Dec, 2015) in AC buses. But both the cases, they took you to Tajmahal at the end of the tour in the evening. So, you may not get sufficient time for watching Tajmahal properly. Except IRCTC also conduct city tour in cars, but you need to book the cars by yourself and a bit costlier than the bus tour of UP tourism. Both the UP tourism and IRCTC have it's booking office in the platform no 1 of Agra Cantonment Railway Station.

The best way to experience the city is to take a walk on the Mall Road (Sadar). The street is full of handicraft and leather goods shops. You will also find plenty of food items quite unique to the city. Indian palate is generally very spicy. Please ensure that you carry antacid tablets in case you are not habitual to the spicy foods

As a guide, an auto rickshaw from Agra Cantonement station to the Taj Mahal is about Rs 80 (at least in off season); and a cycle rickshaw from the Taj Mahal to Agra Fort is Rs 40.

An air conditioned taxi for the day should cost around Rs 1200. They will charge slightly more if you want to go to Fatehpur Sikri as it's a bit further out. Be warned that the drivers will probably try to make unscheduled stops along the way at marble and textile shops for which they receive commissions. Firmly tell them that you're not interested in shopping - though this might not get you anywhere so try to just go with the flow - you won't be pressured into buying anything but if you have a tight schedule it can be annoying.

List of private taxis[edit]

If you need a taxi or a rickshaw to explore Agra.

  • (Savaari Car Rental), 0 90 4545 0000 (), [6]. India's largest inter-city and local cab booking service. You can book a cab with Savaari to explore Agra and enjoy your trip with a clean car, courteous driver and on-time service.  edit
  • Baba Car Rental (Baba Car Rental), 9956923293 (), [7]. Baba Car Rental offers a range of quality travel services feel free and comfortable for long tours. Hire a luxurious cars in Agra at affordable price  edit
  • Auto-Rickshaw Shoketali, ☎ +91 099 278 863 29, An English-speaking, trustful and safe driver with long experience (a master in chaotic Agra traffic!!!!), knows every corner of Agra and its surroundings and will enrich your experience with his historic knowledge. He can also recommend you places honestly and according to your budget, no scams or tricks.
  • (India Taxi Online), 0 95 40000 804 (), [8]. Book cab online India Taxi Online offer Agra sightseeing trip with clean car, courteous driver and on-time availability of cab .  edit
  • (Yatayat - The One-Way Cab Specialist), 0 80 0033 7799 (), [9]. India's Premiun inter-city one-way cab specialist and local taxi booking service. you can easily avail professional, comfortable, air-conditioned taxi services in Agra from YATAYAT. Taxis are available for local commuting as well as long distance purposes. Taxi service are available 24x7.  edit

See[edit][add listing]

The Taj Mahal

Agra's top two sights by far are the incomparable Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. When planning your sightseeing, take heed of the convoluted entry fee system: for Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Itmud-ad-Daulah, Sikandra and Fatehpur Sikri, you must pay a ₹500 levy to the Agra Development Authority in addition to the prices mentioned below. Once paid, the levy is valid for all sights, but only for one day. However, If you are not going to the Taj Mahal or happen to turn up on a Friday, then you do not have to pay the ₹500 levy but a smaller one if you are going to the other sites. Eg ₹50 for Red Fort

Prices of monuments tickets[edit]

Current prices (May 2016) are: Rs 1000 (for foreigners) for Taj Mahal (500 entrance + 500 levy) and ₹550 for Agra Fort (500 entrance + 50 levy). No entry fee for children (Foreigner & Indian) below age of 15 Years. One gets ₹50 discount when presenting ticket for Taj Mahal at Agra Fort. The Taj Mahal entry fee also includes a 500mL bottle of water and shoe covers. Make sure you pick them up when you buy your ticket. For Indians, its Rs 40.

Official Tour Guides[edit]

Official guides are available in Agra for INR 1035 (approx US$ 20) for a half day (including Taj Mahal & Agra Fort). Not many official Approved guides stand outside the monuments so if you require a official tour guide then you can book one of any foreign language spoken tour guides directly with contact no. from the Approved guides office,Agra.Office of Approved Guide Association Agra. Guides are recognized and approved by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. Guides provided by most of travel agencies or hotels in Agra usually insist to visit a fix shop and get big commission, this commission is distributed among unofficial Guides (lapka), travel agents or hotel's staff.

Note: to make your tour more enjoyable Please book 'guides services' on line for Agra trip, as They are more trustworthy than a guide provided by Hotels in Agra,All travel desk are taken by Shop owner & they force to visit that particulate big shop.

Any guide that charges less than that is probably an unlicensed tout. Most unlicensed touts stand outside the gate of Taj Mahal & Agra fort with fake IDs and focus more on taking you for shopping rather than on presenting accurate history & information,

Audio Guides[edit]

Effective April 2011, the Archaeological Survey of India introduced an official self guided audio tour facility of international standards for visitors. The tour allows visitors to experience the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort at their own pace, with authentic and factually accurate information. Visitors may avail of the audio guide facility from the official audio guide booth near the monument ticket counters. Prices for audio guide services are ₹105 (approx US$ 2) in English & Foreign Languages (currently French, Spanish, Italian, German) or ₹63 in Hindi & Indian Languages.

Reviews for the audio guides have been very positive on Tripadvisor and other travel websites and this is the recommended way to see the two Agra monuments. Recently, smartphone application and iPod tours have become available, including the official Taj Mahal app offered by AudioCompass [10] - the same company that provides the audio guides.

Official Smartphone App[edit]

Recently, a plethora of smartphone apps has become available to help visitors tour the monuments. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) offers perhaps the most comprehensive ones through AudioCompass. Both the Taj Mahal Official Tour and the similar Agra Fort Official Tour are available for download for iOS and for Android. The app is available for free, but only the first 30 seconds of every point at the Taj and Agra fort can be listened to. For full access a subscription needs to be purchased for $1/day or $10/year.

Taj Mahal[edit]

Rules and Regulations at the Taj Mahal

Security is tight and rules and regulations are very important and must be followed at the Taj Mahal. There are many rules to be followed at the premises of the monument to maintain the holiness of the monument and other rules are mostly for the maintenance and protection of the monument. Remaining rules and regulations are to be followed for the protection of all the tourists visiting the Taj Mahal.

•Arms, ammunition, fire, smoking items, tobacco products, liquor, food, chewing gum, knives, wire, mobile charger, electric goods (except video cameras, photography cameras and similar consumer electronic products like MP3 players, iPhones, Smartphones etc. and music players) are prohibited inside the Taj Mahal complex. Leave these in the hotel or in your driver's car. Avoid carrying a bag altogether if you can as the bag scanning process is cumbersome.

•Playing cards, games, dice, etc. may be prohibited depending on the guard.

•Mobile phones are allowed. They don't really seem to enforce this with camera phones.

•Eating and smoking is strictly prohibited inside the Taj Mahal complex.

•Lockers are available at the gates to keep your belongings (of course, at your own risk).

•Avoid carrying big bags and books inside the monument as this may increase your security check time.

•Video camera (handicam) is allowed up to the red sand stone platform at the main entrance gate of the Taj Mahal complex. There is a charge of 25 Rupees per video camera.

•Photography is prohibited inside the main mausoleum, and visitors are requested not to make noise inside the mausoleum.

•Tourists must co-operate in keeping the monument neat and clean by making use of dustbins.

•Avoid touching and scratching the walls and surfaces of the monument as these are old heritage sites that need special care.

•Tourists are advised to hire official audio guides available at the ASI ticket counter or to use only pre-arranged approved guides. Pre-arranged approved guides charge Rs. 900 and the audio guide costs Rs. 100 + taxes Warning - touts regularly exhibit fake identity cards. Some will try to convince you that a guide is included in the ticket price (it's not) - ignore them and walk away.

•Tourists are allowed to carry a water bottle inside the monument. Shoe covers, 1/2 litre water bottle and Tourist Guide Map of Agra are provided free of cost with the foreigner's entry ticket for the Taj Mahal. After getting your ticket, proceed to the side of the ticket window to collect your water and shoe covers.

•Wheelchairs for disabled persons and First Aid Boxes are available at A.S.I. Office inside the Taj Mahal complex. A refundable charge of ₹1000 is to be deposited as security before wheelchairs are made available for the disabled.

•All the above mentioned items along with the mobile phones are banned for the night viewing of the Taj Mahal.

•Video cameras are permitted after the security check during night viewing of the Taj Mahal, though extra batteries are prohibited.

•Remember that the Taj Mahal is a religious site and it is best to dress conservatively when visiting the Taj Mahal complex, not only because the Taj Mahal itself is a mausoleum, but also because there are mosques inside the Taj Mahal complex, if you wish to visit them as well.

Grand Entrance Building to the Taj Mahal Complex
Gate to the Taj Mahal Complex showing intricate work and Quranic passages in Arabic
Agra Fort, as seen from the Taj Mahal

Please note that the Taj Mahal is closed every Friday.

'If you buy the foreigner high price ticket, you go in a separate, much smaller line and they give you shoe covers and water. Touts (tour guides) will say they can cut the line because they're guides, but you get in the smaller line anyway with your 750 Rupee ticket.'

The Taj Mahal is an immense mausoleum of white marble, built between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife. Taj Mahal means Crown Palace. One of his wife's names was Mumtaz Mahal, Ornament of the Palace. The Taj is one of the most well preserved and architecturally beautiful tombs in the world, one of the masterpieces of Indian Muslim architecture, and one of the great sites of the world's heritage.

The Taj Mahal has a life of its own that leaps out of marble, provided you understand that it is a monument of love. The Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore called it a teardrop on the cheek of eternity, while the English poet, Sir Edwin Arnold, said it was Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor's love wrought in living stones. It is a celebration of woman built in marble, and that is the way to appreciate it.

Although it is one of the most photographed edifices in the world and instantly recognisable, actually seeing it is awe-inspiring. Not everything is in the photos. The grounds of the complex include several other beautiful buildings, reflecting pools, extensive ornamental gardens with flowering trees and bushes, and a small gift shop. The Taj framed by trees and reflected in a pool is amazing. Close up, large parts of the building are covered with inlaid stonework.

There is an apocryphal tale that Shah Jahan planned to build an exact copy of the Taj Mahal out of black marble on the opposite side of the river as his own tomb. His plans were foiled by his son, who murdered three elder brothers and overthrew his father to acquire the throne. Shah Jahan is now buried alongside his wife in the Taj Mahal.

If you are taking a camera, beware that because the Taj is white your camera may underexpose your photos. If it is a film camera you will not find out until it is too late. Overexposure by 1 or 2 stops is recommended.

The Taj is open from 6:00 AM to 6:30 PM (sunset) every day except Friday. The gates won't open until 6:00 AM at the earliest, often a few minutes later, so don't bother getting there at 5:00 AM. Entry costs ₹750 for foreigners and ₹20 for Indians. Get there as early as possible to beat the crowds. Crowds are the biggest during the weekend when people overshadow the grandeur of the Taj. Plan to visit the Taj at least two different times during the day (dusk and dawn are best) in order to experience the full effect of changing sunlight on the amazing building. It is utterly stunning under a full moon. You can also get very good views from Mehtab Bagh (see Gardens section below). It is a good idea to bring a flashlight, because the interior of the Taj Mahal is quite dark even during the day. To fully appreciate the details of the gem inlays, you need a good light.

To buy tickets, you can go to the South gate, but this gate is 1 km far away of the entrance and the counter opens at 8:00 AM. At the West and East gates, the counters open at 6:00 AM. These gates also have smaller queues in peak times as the big tour buses drop groups off at the South gate. Alongside the ticket counter, you can also purchase a self-guided audio tour (allows two to a device) for ₹100 in English and foreign languages and ₹60 for Indian languages.

The Taj is located in the middle of town. Expect a line to get into the grounds. There are three gates. The western gate is the main gate where most tourists enter. A large number of people turn up on weekends and public holidays, and entry through the western gate may take hours. The southern and eastern gates are much less busy and should be tried on such days.

There are night viewing sessions during full moons and two days before and after (five days in total). Exceptions are Fridays (the Muslim sabbath) and the month of Ramadan. Tickets must be purchased 24 hours in advance from the Archeological Society of India office situated at 22, Mall Road, Agra. Ticket fare is Rs. 500 for Indian Nationals and Rs. 750 for Non Indians. Night tickets go on sale starting at 10am, but they do not always sell out, so it can be worth looking into it when you arrive even if well after 10am. Tickets only allow viewing from the red sandstone plaza at the south end of the complex, and only for a 1/2 hour window. Make sure to wear mosquito repellent. Viewing hours for night viewing is from 8:30pm-9:00pm and 9:00pm-9:30pm. Arrive 30 minutes early for security check at Taj Mahal Ticketing counter on East Gate or you may lose your chance. The night view is not worth spending as the visitors are kept quite far from Taj Mahal nearly 200 Mts away and there in no light so it could hardly be seen during night hours at viewing hours. Cameras also do not give images with near zero flux can easily be avoided for night viewing.

Entering the palace within Agra Fort

Agra Fort[edit]

The Taj and the Yamuna River from the ramparts of Agra Fort

The fort is similar in layout to the Red Fort in Delhi, but considerably better preserved, as much of Delhi Fort was razed by the British after the Mutiny. As much as palace as a defensive structure, it is also constructed mainly from red sandstone.

Emperor Akbar, king at 14, began consolidating his empire and, as an assertion of his power built the fort in Agra between 1565 and 1571, at the same time as Humayun's Tomb in Delhi. Emperor Shah Jahan added to the fort and ended up a prisoner in it. The fort has a beautiful view of his masterpiece, the Taj Mahal, on a clear day.

You can get to the fort by Rickshaw from Taj Mahal for around ₹25-30. Entry to the fort is ₹500(SEP 2016) (plus levy of ₹50 if you have not already paid the ₹500 fee for Taj Mahal).

There are left luggage services at Agra Fort where you can stow your bags at no cost. A fine of ₹5,000 applies if you lose your luggage ticket.

There are also audio guides available at Agra Fort which you can rent for a cost of ₹100 in English and other foreign languages (German, French, Spanish, etc) or ₹60 in Indian languages such as Hindi or Bengali.


  • Soami Bagh, (10 km north of Agra). The white marble samadhi of the Radha Soami religion is currently under construction. It was started in 1904 and is not expected to be completed until sometime next century. You can see pietra dura inlaid marble work actually being worked on. Soami Bagh is 2km north of Agra and can be reached by bus or cycle.  edit
  • Ram Bagh. The first Mughal gardens, built by the first Mughal Emperor Babar, 500 m North of the Chini Ka Rauza.  edit
  • Mehtab Bagh, (directly across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal, the trip takes about 30 minutes from the centre of town by autorickshaw and will cost about ₹200). Sunrise to Sunset. These botanical gardens give you an opportunity to view the Taj at a remove from the crowds of tourists.. Alternatively, walk past the entrance and straight to the sandy banks of the river: the view of the Taj is every bit as lovely (perhaps more so, since the barbed wire fence surrounding the gardens will be behind you), although you may have to deal with aggressive touts. In the rainy season when the river is full you can get good photos of the Taj at sunset, as the reflection mirrors off the water. Take a round trip by auto rickshaw, as there are usually aren't any rickshaws looking for fares here. Entrance to the park is ₹100 for foreigners.  edit


  • Balkeshwar Temple, (At Balkeshwar, at river side of Yamuna). A temple of Lord Shiva  edit
  • Kailash Temple, (at Sikandra, at the river Yamuna). A Lord Shiva Temple.  edit
  • Mankameshwar Temple, (At Rawatpara, near Agra Fort railway station. Near the raja ki mandi; a simple cycle rikshaw can take you there for a fare of 20/-.). Listen to the aarti, it purifies your soul. It is the MOST VISITED temple by LOCALS.....and during festive seasons its so crowded disrupting the traffic in the nerby areas....  edit
  • Prithvinath Temple, (At Shahganj. On road to Jaipur.).  edit
  • Rajeshwar Temple, (At Village Rajpur. On road to Shamshabd.).  edit
  • Shyam Ji Maharaj Temple (At Bijlighar).  edit
  • Mahakal And Mahakali Temple, (At Sikandra railway crossing on Sikandra Bodla road).  edit
  • Rawli Maharaj Temple, (At Collectrate crossing, beside the railway track). Very old temple.  edit

Other sights[edit]

The antechamber to Akbar's tomb at Sikandra
  • Sikandra, (10 km north of Agra on the Agra Delhi highway). Open from sunrise to sunset. The tomb of Akbar lies here in the centre of the large garden. Akbar started its construction himself but it was completed by his son Jehangir, who significantly modified the original plans which accounts for the somewhat cluttered architectural lines of the tomb. Four red sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex: one is Muslim, one Hindu, one Christian, and one is Akbar's patent mixture.  edit
  • Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb. Empress Nur Jehan built Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, sometimes called the Baby Taj, for her father, Ghias-ud-Din Beg, the Chief Minister of Emperor Jahangir. Small in comparison to many other Mughal-era tombs, it is sometimes described as a jewel box. Its garden layout and use of white marble, pietra dura, inlay designs and latticework presage many elements of the Taj Mahal.  edit
  • Mariam's Tomb, (West from Akbar's Tomb on Agra-Delhi highway). Constructed by Jahangir in the memory of his mother Mariam Zammani a title bestowed upon her,. The grave is made of white marble. Though this building is in a ruined condition, yet it has in its vicinity, a Christian Mission School and a church. It is also said; Akbar himself made that it in the memory of his Christian wife.  edit
  • Jama Masjid. A large mosque attributed to Princess Jahanara Begum, built in 1648 during the reign of the father Shah Jahan. Notable for its unusual dome and absence of minarets.  edit
  • Chini Ka Roza. A memorial dedicated to the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan, Allama Afzel Khal Mullah Shukrullah of Shiraz, notable for its dome of blue glazed tiles. This monument is off the beaten path, and hoards of local children can surround western women.  edit
  • Gurudwara Guru ka Taal, (at Delhi-Agra Highway, located between Transport Nagar and Sikandra), [11].  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Adlabs multiplex. Interactive Theatre, which is the first ever interactive cinema theatre in the world, each viewer holds a wireless remote unit with push buttons and a small LCD screen, enabling them to participate in a trivia game about the theme of the film. The show is called India in Motion, a 25 minute show where the audience will pass through today's India in, or on, a variety of typical vehicles and see the historical events at sites like Mohenjo Daro, Indraprastha and the Taj Mahal, experiencing the bumpy elephant rides with the wind blowing through their hair, or the swaying boat with salty spray on their faces. Before the actual show there is a interactive quiz on various topic relating to India. ₹150 for a Hindi Show & ₹450 for a show in English.  edit
  • Taj Mahotsav, [12]. 10 day festival held in February/March every year at Shilpgram, near the Taj Mahal. For 2012 it is starting from 15th of March and continues till 25th of March. It is a festival of art, craft, culture, etc.  edit
  • Discover Agra in Battery Powered Rickshaws. Experience not just the heritage monuments but also the city’s culture, cuisine, craft and life of the local people.  edit
  • Agra Food Tour, [13]. A food tour of Agra which helps tourists discover ancient monuments as well as the cuisine of Agra and nearby places.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Agra has many shops selling various stone products, from jewellery to small boxes and plaques with inlay work resembling that on the Taj. The best of these are wonderful, and even the run-of-the-mill ones are rather pretty. Agra is also famous for its leather goods. Consider spending time in Sadar Bazaar for some shopping and enjoying cheap food.

Beware of being overcharged. Do not let anyone lead you to a shop, lest the price go up to cover their commission, typically 50%. Be very wary of the promises these people make. Bargain hard. Be prepared to walk away, you can nearly always get the same items in another shop. Also remember that in these globalized times, you can always order stuff you liked in your visit over the internet after you return. Expect to encounter petty and greedy shop owners who will resort to every lie in the book to make a sale (with initial markups of 1000-10000%).

Mughal Bazar on the Taj East Gate road, about 2km from the East Gate is a better place to shop for your obligatory Taj Mahal figurine vs. the little stores nearby the gate. Much more relaxed and friendly with better prices for the same goods, and no petty lies to make a sale.

Many local markets are there: SADAR BAZAR..a sophisticated market, Raja ki Mandi market, Sanjay Place for all the offices, Shah Market for electronics. All these markets are situated along the M G Road. Hospital Road Market and Subhash Bazar for clothing situated near Agra Fort railway station. Rawatpara market is for spices of all origin. Besides these there are many branded showrooms situated along the M G Road..

Many wholesale marble products are available at Gokul Pura (Market)near Raja Mandi (this place is near to M. G Road) which can be easily reached by auto rickshaw, the prices of any product is nearly 25% of that in the retail market.

Be careful with the jewels: Lots of stones are fakes and the price is very high!

  • Marble Cottage (Factory & Retail outlet), (near GMB restaurant and Domino's Pizza). descendant of the same artist who worked on the walls of Taj Mahal....You will get very good Prices and Some Indian Handmade Gifts Products  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Agra specialities are petha, a type of very sweet candy, and Dal Moth, a spicy lentil mix. Both are also popular souvenirs.

Chaat. Agra is a heaven for any Chaat lover. Chaat can be of various types but there is one thing common among them all is that they are spicy and you will find crowd outside virtually every chaat stall, especially popular places like Double Phatak (near Sikandra) for Mangores. You'll find quality Bhallas and Panipuri at Sadar and Belangunj. Samosa and Kachori are found at every sweet shop that flood the city. Some typical chaat items are Aloo Tikki (pan-fried potato cakes), paneer tikka (cubes of cottage cheese baked in a tandoor with spices), pani puri or golguppa (small round hollow shells filled with a potato-based filling and a spicy sweet blend of sauces), mangores, Samosaes, Chachori etc. If you want to savour the typical Agra Breakfast do remember to have a bite of one of those spicy Berahi and round it off with sweet Jalebies.

Sweets. There are quite a few good sweets shops all round the city. The best stores for buying the famous petha of Agra are at Hari Parwat, a short ride from Agra Fort. Amongst the well-known stores are Panchi's , Bhimsain BaidyaNath and The Pracheen Petha store. There are many types of petha available but, for the authentic experience, try either the plain one (ivory white) or Angoori Flavored (rectangular and yellow pieces soaked in sugar syrup). Other stores in Agra include: Bikanervala,Sri Dauji mishtan, Deviram, Munnalal Petha, Gopaldas, and Ajanta Sweets, Kamla Nagar. Do remember to round off your meal with a Joda(Pair) of Pan unique to the city.

There is also an abundance of Korean food at most restaurants.

There are several restaurants in the Taj Ganj area, catering for the many tourists staying around the Taj Mahal.

  • Treat Restaurant, South Gate Taj Mahal, 9319697497 (). breakfast, lunch and dinner. 20-60 for main dish, great Indian food..  edit
  • The Silk Route Restaurant (TSR), 18-A/7-B Fatehabad Road (Opposite Howard Park Plaza), 0562 4002786, [14]. .  edit
  • Shankara Vegis, South Gate Taj Mahal, 0562331384 (). breakfast, lunch and dinner. 40-150, Great Thali dishes and shakes on the roof top with a wonderful view of the Taj.  edit
  • Only Restaurant, 0562-2364333 / 2266508, [15]. 600-800 for main dish of 2.  edit
  • Joney's place Taj ganj. Perfect for early breakfast, when you want to wake up early to visit the Taj at 6 Am. ₹10 Toast, ₹10 coffee, ₹15 cornflakes. However, be skeptical about the mains despite their self-bragging. The 'speciality' dishes they serve -- be it Indian or Korean -- are by all means their 'adulterated' editions.
  • Kamat Hotel Roof top restaurant with view on the Taj. Correct quality. Beer available. ₹70 for a vegetable curry.
  • Priya Restaurant, Fatehabad road near by shanti manglik hospital, 05622231579,08057108649, [16]. Three star restaurant with all facility like air condition hall with big LCD and all types food available except south Indian ₹250 per person.  edit
  • Gulshan Highest, (Literally opposite the south gate exit), 8449997950. 9808738895. 9359719161. A great cheap place near the Taj. They do western food pretty well, and their rice pudding/pancakes are good. Sit up on the roof and you get a glimpse of the Taj over the roofs. Rs 25-80. Banana pancake Rs 25, Curry Rs60, Naan Rs 5.  edit
  • Terrace Grill (Hotel Howard Plaza), Fatehabad Road, Agra, +91-562-4048600, [17]. A rooftop restro-bar with Taj Mahal at its backdrop. Good Music, a variety of cuisine to select from and good selection in bar menu. A place to relax, and enjoy a couple of drinks with good food.  edit
  • Quisar Bagh, Taj road (Purani mandi crossing), 9897365604, [18]. 6AM-10PM. The food is cooked in clay ovens or tandoori in the traditional style of the Indian North-West Frontier region. This style of cooking requires great expertise on the part of the chefs, since the meat is not accompanied by any sauce or gravy, but only pre-marinated and cooked before serving. Budget.  edit
  • Bob Marley Restaurant, Taj Nagri Phase one near Shilpgram Road , Agra (Behind Taj Mahal East Gate Parking), 09917885278, [19]. 24by7. Bob Marley Restaurant makes Yumm Yumm, Indian, Chinese, Mughali and American specialist. Roof Top from which can See the Taj Mahal and Agra City skyline. $ 0-10.  edit
  • Bob Marley Restaurant (, p6 Taj Nagri Phase one colony near Shilpgram road (bob marley restaurant located inside friends paying guest house), +91-9917885278, [20]. 7 amto 10pm. welcome to Bob Marley Restaurant ( no woman no cry - no chapati no chai ). Best Mom Made Food and we also do cooking classes learn with us Indian traditional food , Indian food is so rich , tasty and spicy .we have nice roof top restaurant where you can enjoy view of Taj Mahal and Agra City view 5$.  edit
  • Sheroes Hangout, Opposite The Gateway Hotel, Taj View Chowraha, Fatehabad Road, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, 0562 400 0401, [21]. 9am-9pm. Sheroes Hangout is an initiative by Stop Acid Attacks campaign that was founded in New Delhi in 2013. As the idea of this space has evolved from a campaign for acid attack survivors, the ideas of beauty and importance of appearance in society remain the epicentre of discussions and programmes run from here. Simple menu. Pay what you wish. A must-visit when in Agra!  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Most hotel staff will be happy to find you a cold bottle of Indian beer for around ₹70-100, but there is virtually no nightlife in Agra outside of cultural shows at some of the larger hotels and restaurants. After getting off the streets of Agra and into your hotel, you will not want to go back anyway.

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Friends Paying Guest House, p-6 , taj nagri phase 1, near shilpgram road, Agra, India 282001 (East Gate of Shilpgram parking lot), +91 99 1788 5278 (), [22]. checkout: 13:00. Family-run guest house 15-minute walk East from the Taj. Food, decent Wi-Fi, TV in rooms. Cushion-furnished balcony common area for eating, drinking and lazing about. Double ₹400, 4 bed ₹800. (27.163552,78.053602) edit
  • Backpacker Panda Friends-Agra, P-6, Taj Nagri, Near Shilp Gram, Eastern Gate, Taj Mahal,Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001 (Located just a stone’s throw away from splendid Taj Mahal, hostel accommodation in Agra just doesn’t get any better than this!), +91-72313994 (), [23]. checkin: 12:00 noon; checkout: 10:00 A.M. Neat and clean dormitories coupled with a free Wi-Fi and an ever helpful and energetic crew, this abode is perfect for relaxation after exploring the magnificent city of Agra! The hostel provides 2 bed private rooms,3 bed private rooms,3 bed mixed dormitories,4 bed female dormitories and 6 bed mixed dormitories..  edit
  • Dayal Lodge (Comfortable & fully featured budget accommodation in Dayalbagh, Agra, India), 25 - New Agra, Dayalbagh Road, Agra - 5 (Near Bhagwan Talkis Crossing, Towards Dayalbagh), +91-9219606365, 9359848731, [24]. checkout: 11:00. "Best Hotel in Dayalbagh Area, Hotel Near Taj Mahal, Agra" Rs. 950.00.  edit
  • Hotel Raj, 2/26, South Gate Taj Mahal, Tajganj, Agra, India (almost at the end of the little alley that ends on Taj Mahal South Gate), +91 9627743662, 9627401177, 5622330079, [25]. checkout: 13:00. One of the cheapest places in Tajganj, simple rooms, but great attention by the host; they also have a great restaurant, excellent food and good prices. Double ₹400 (march 2015).  edit
  • Friends Paying Guest House, p-6 , taj nagri phase 1, near shilpgram road, Agra, India 282001 (East Gate of Shilpgram parking lot), +91 99 1788 5278 (), [26]. checkout: 13:00. Family-run guest house 15-minute walk East from the Taj. Food, decent Wi-Fi, TV in rooms. Cushion-furnished balcony common area for eating, drinking and lazing about. Double ₹400, 4 bed ₹800. (27.163552,78.053602) edit
  • Hilltop Hotel, 21, Mall Road, (). Very peaceful area (surrounded by trees) that is within 20 min walk to Taj Mahal. Rooms are old but good value. Single room may not appeal to the claustrophobics. The owner is very helpful and will make sure your needs are satisfied. There's a restaurant and simple amenities (eg toilet paper) are sold as well. Around Rs200 for single private, shared bathroom & Rs500 for single ensuite.  edit
  • Hotel Sheela, Eastern Gate.Taj Mahal,Tajganj,Agra, 0562-2333074 (). checkout: 10 a.m.. A 100% pollution free area,commission free transport bookings & just 100 metres from eastern gate of taj mahal,free incoming phone calls,24 hours hot water.There are 22 rooms in sheela & 22 rooms in sheela inn.Generator facility,laundry facility is also available. ₹500-800.  edit
  • Hotel Amba Inn, 1/51, Delhi Gate, Near Raja ki Mandi Railway Station (2 mins from railway station), 91 562 2520779, 91 9412720194, [27]. checkout: noon. Offers facilities for 22 rooms in total. There are both double rooms, single rooms, as well as facility for an extra bed. All the rooms are air conditioned/air cooled, with television. Single ₹550-800, double ₹650-900.  edit
  • Col Lamba Indian Home Stay, 58 Gulmohar Enclave, Shamshabad Rd, 0562-3298921, [28]. This B&B is run by Col.Lamba, a retired army officer, and his wife. There are 7 rooms which are very clean, airconditioned and with TVs. Home cooked lunch and dinner available on request. Guest Kitchens also present. Highlight of the B&B is the hosts who are very warm and hospitable and will assist you with their local knowledge. Around ₹700 per person.  edit
  • Hotel Jaiwal, 3 Taj Road, Sadar Bazar, +91 562 2363153. ₹75-325.  edit
  • Hotel Neel Kanth, Fatehabad Road, +91 562 2362039. ₹100+.  edit
  • Youth Hostel, Sanjay Place, M. G. Road, +91 562 2154462. ₹50-125.  edit
  • Saniya Palace, Chowk kajziyan, South Gate, Taj Ganj, +91 (0562) 3270199. Good budget hotel with some A/C rooms. 24 hr room service. Friendly staff & fantastic views of the Taj mahal from the roof top restaurant. ₹700  edit
  • Shanti lodge, (South Taj gate). Hot water, TV. Restaurant on the roof top. Be careful with the bed sheets, not very clean. Cloak room available. From ₹400 economic room, non AC..  edit
  • India Inn, Taj Mahal South Gate (As you come out on the street from the south exit, turn left, then almost immediately right down the side of the Taj cafe, it's at the end of the dusty parking lot 40m from the cafe), 09773712975. checkout: 10am negotiable. Comfortable enough, but they'll try an upsell with day trips almost constantly. Just say no - price doesn't go up. Rs 300 for a double in off season.  edit
  • Tourists Rest House, Kutchery Rd, +91 562 2463961 (). Many different types of rooms around a quiet inner yard with small trees and a respectable restaurant. In cheaper rooms hot water comes by the bucket. Free WiFi. double 250-750Rs.  edit


  • Aman Homestay, P-18, M.I.G Colony, Shilpgram Road, Taj Nagri Phase-1 Before Shilpgram Parking, Agra, +919536440915 (), [29]. checkout: 11:00 AM. A family owned, operated, guest house in a peaceful and quite colony away from the city traffic and pollution. 300 m away from the Taj Mahal's East Gate ticket office. They have free parking, 24hr free Wi-Fi, Satellite TV, all day hot water supply and garden. Dinner/Lunch can be ordered. Vegetarian meal will cost ₹400 per head per head. Double A/C Room Price [March 2016]: ₹1680. (27.163590,78.053850) edit

  • Dayal Lodge (Comfortable & fully featured budget accommodation in Dayalbagh, Agra, India), 25 - New Agra, Dayalbagh Road, Agra - 5 (Near Bhagwan Talkis Crossing, Towards Dayalbagh), +91-9219606365, 9359848731, [30]. checkout: 11:00. "Best Hotel in Dayalbagh Area, Hotel Near Taj Mahal, Agra" Rs. 950.00.  edit
  • Villa 21 Agra Bed & Breakfast, D 21, Jaipuria sunrise greens , Shamsabad road , Near Barauhli Ahir , Agra , Uttar Pradesh, India, +91 8171947447 +91 9319555232, [31]. checkout: noon. 6 kms from the Taj Mahal's East Gate Parking. It offers air-conditioned rooms each with cable TV with , broadband Wifi connection with Pick up and drop Complimentary , private bathroom with hot and cold water, doctor on call and direct-dial phone. One of the best in this range. Double Room Prices [March 2016]: from 2,00 Rs to 2,850 Rs. Breakfast and taxes included..  edit

  • Hotel Priya, Near Priya Restaurant, Near TDI Mall, Fatehabad Road, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, +91 5622231350 ,+91 9837774948, [32]. checkout: noon. 400 metres from the Taj Mahal's East Gate Parking. It offers air-conditioned rooms each with cable TV with 100 channels, broadband Internet connection, private bathroom with hot and cold water, doctor on call and direct-dial phone. One of the best in this range. Double Room Prices [June 2012]: from 1,355 Rs to 2,850 Rs. Breakfast (150 Rs) and taxes not included..  edit

  • Hotel Mandakini Villas, Fatehabad Road, Purani Mandi, Taj Ganj (Next to Western Gate of Taj Mahal), Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, +91 5626453854, [33]. checkout: noon. 200 metres from the Taj Mahal's West Gate. It offers air-conditioned rooms each with cable TV with 100 channels, broadband Internet connection, private bathroom with cold water and direct-dial phone. You might get a little bit warmer than cold water by requesting it from the reception a few times. It is not possible to sleep without ear plugs in the first floor because of the noise coming from corridor and reception all night. Get a room from higher floors. Rates start at ₹2,690.  edit
  • Laurie's Hotel, Mahatma Gandhi Road, +91 562 2364536 (fax: +91 562 2268045). An old colonial hotel from the British era (some say it hasn't been upgraded since!), Laurie's retains some of the charm of travelling in India in days of yore. Rooms with impossibly high ceilings (fans, no aircon), lead off from verandahs with nice lawns outside. A swimming pool from yesteryears graces the lawn (unfortunately closed in the winter). But you can get British era service with 'bed tea', excellent freshly made chicken curry and rice to order, and creaky plumbing. Some people will love it, others hate it, but you can't be indifferent to Laurie's!  edit
  • Hotel Raj, 2/26 south gate tajmahal (tajganj), 9999450107, [34]. Directly in front of the central entry of the Taj Mahal, simple but clean. Good view of taj mahal from roof top About ₹800.  edit
  • Rajmahal hotel, Shilpgram , vip road (eastern gate),282010, agra. checkout: 12:00. 9 km from agra airport. You will also get a nice view of taj mahal from there(3 kms from taj mahal). from ₹3500 to ₹5500 for couple.  edit
  • N.Home Stay, 15 Ajanta Colony, Vibhav Nagar, +919690107860 (), [35]. checkout: 10:00 am. A family owned, operated guest house in a peaceful and quite colony away from the city traffic and pollution. They have free parking, 24hr free Wi-Fi, cable TV, all day water supply and accessible roof top. Dinner/Lunch can be ordered in advance. Vegetarian meal will cost ₹350 per head and Non-Vegetarian meal will cost ₹450 per head. Double A/C Room Price [March 2014]: ₹1799. (27.157487,78.035035) edit
  • Hotel Taj Resorts [36] Located right nearby Shilpgram on the road towards the Eastern Gate. Convenient location as you will need to go to Shilpgram to buy tickets for your visit to the Taj Mahal, before walking 1km to the Eastern Gate entrance. Plan to go at 8am, as earlier it will likely be too dark/polluted to get a good view (though you will have larger crowds to deal with). Modern design of the hotel was built in 2010, is very clean and with friendly staff, 3.5star for 60-70USD/night. Good reasonably priced restaurant offering delicious fares, with rooftop seating (and a beautiful pool) that offers a great view of the Taj (if not blocked by terrible pollution). Conveniently located right nearby to an internet cafe where you can also book a day-trip tour to Fatehpur Sikri-Mathura-Vrindaven for Double Room Prices [June 2012]: from 3999 Rs to 5999 Rs. Taxes not included.
  • Sai Home Stay - Bed & Breakfast, 1 Saipuram , Addjoing Sector 2 Vibhav Nagar, Opp 106 M I G Shaheed Nagar . Agra 282001, +91 9917 6033 67 / +91 9219 6165 49, [37]. checkout: 10:00am. Clean room with hot water & free wifi, not far from Taj Mahal, about 20 mins tutu. Rates start at ₹1550.  edit


  • Hotel Howard Plaza, Fatehabad Road, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, +91 5624048600 ,+91 9634090605, [38]. checkout: noon. 900 metres from the Taj Mahal's West Gate. Broadband Wifi Internet connection, private bathroom with hot and cold water, doctor on call and direct-dial phone. One of the best in this range. Double Room Prices [Mar 2013]: from 3500 Rs to 7000 Rs. Breakfast (Included) and taxes not included..  edit
  • ITC Mughal, Taj Ganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, +91 562 4021700, [39]. checkout: noon. Sprawled over 35 acres of luxurious gardens, and in close proximity to the Taj Mahal  edit


Agra comes under Uttar Pradesh (west) circle as per TRAI. BSNL [40],Airtel [41] are the two main providers of terrestrial telephone lines in Agra, while BSNL [42], AirTel [43], Vodafone [44] and Idea [45] provide GSM (triband) and Reliance [46] and Tata [47]provide CDMA services.


There are several internet cafes / Cyber Cafes from where you can access the internet for sending email or uploading your digital photos.

  • Reliance World[48] has broadband connectivity at many location across the city.
  • Sify Iway[49] also offers broadband connectivity at different locations spread all over the city.

Many cheap café's, such as the Taj Cafe also have free wifi for you to use.

Get out[edit]

Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri
Mosque in Fatehpur Sikri
Farehpur Sikri Complex
  • Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO world heritage site. Built in the the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for about 10 years. Then it was abandoned for reasons that are still something of a mystery. It includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. It is full of well preserved palaces and courtyards, and is a must see for anyone visiting Agra. In order to get a full idea of this site it is better to take a guide (₹300 for 2 hours for its charge-less entrance part) or have a good printed guide. The entrance to the site (even to the yard) is only without shoes.
  • Mathura is the birth place of Lord Krishna. There are many beautiful temples in Mathura, including the one built at Shri Krishna's birth place.
  • Vrindavan is also a religious place around 50 km from Agra, and quite close to Mathura. There are many temples here devoted to lord Krishna, a few of the more famous of which are Banke Bihari & the Iskcon Temple.
  • Nandgaon was the home of Shri Krishna`s foster father, Nand. On the top of the hill is the spacious temple of Nand Rai, built by the Hat ruler Roop Singh. The other temples here are dedicated to Narsingha, Gopinath, Nritya Gopal, Girdhari, Nand Nandan, and Yasodha Nandan, which is located half way up the hill. Nandgaon springs into action every year around March for the festival of Holi, when many a tourist flock the city for the famous "lath mar holi".
  • Bharatpur is about 56 km from Agra and houses the Famous bird sanctuary in which you can see thousands of rare birds including the Siberian Crane. There is the Lohagarh Fort, which remained invincible despite several attacks by the British. Just 32 km from Bharatpur is the Deeg Palace. This strong and massive fort was the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur and has many palaces and gardens.
  • National Chambal Sanctuary, (70 km away) is a natural sanctuary and the home of the endangered Indian gharial (a relative of the crocodile) and of the Ganges River Dolphin (also endangered).

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!