For nearly 50 years, emperor Akbar the Great ruled the Mughal kingdom, tripling its empire to include most of the northern half of the Indian subcontinent. His remains (along with those of two of his daughters) can be found at what is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Agra, Akbar’s Mausoleum.
The complex features a marvelous sandstone and marble tomb with striking marble inlay in a variety of colors. The structure is surrounded by Mughal gardens that are home to deer, antelope, monkeys, and even a few peacocks.
If you happen to travel with a compass, whip it out at this site.
Just an hour’s drive from the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri makes for a worthwhile day trip from Agra. The city, once the capital of the Mughal Empire some 500 years ago, was built by Akbar as a salute to the famous Sufi saint, Shaikh Salim Chishti, who accurately predicted the birth of an heir. Residents abandoned the city not long after it was built, when water supplies ran too low.
Tourists can now explore the well-preserved remains of this red sandstone ghost town, still surrounded by a fortification wall. Check out the Jama Masjid, a mosque and one of the first buildings finished in the city.
The Taj Mahal isn’t the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Agra–the city is also home to Agra Fort, a centuries-old red sandstone fortress that was once the imperial city for a succession of Mughal rulers.
Sightseeing here is like wandering around a city within a city. The most extraordinary building at Agra Fort is Jahangir Mahal, a massive palace that blends stunning Hindu-inspired features (like overhanging enclosed balconies) with Central Asian architectural elements (such as the signature pointed arches). Inside, tourists can see the gilded central court where royal women once passed their days.
Jama Masjid, Agra
This popular mosque was built by the daughter of Shah Jahan – Jahanara. It is one of the biggest mosques in India and is known for its splendid architecture. The red sandstone construction and intricate designs on the tomb will leave you amazed. It is indisputably one of the best
- Location: Subash Bazar, Kinari Bazar
- Timing: 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM to 6:30 PM