Agra is also a popular destination amongst shoppers. The Mughal antecedents of this region reflect itself in some of the finest handicrafts that are available here. The most important being marble items inlaid with colored stones, similar to the pietra dura work on Taj Mahal. This apart, Agra is also famous for other variety of handicrafts including leather goods, jewellery, dhurrie (rug) weaving, brassware, carpets and embroidery work.
Agra is also home to one of the finest exhibits of village crafts in the form of Shilpgram- a crafts village and open-air emporium with a wide range of crafts from all over the country.
On offer at Agra are also a variety of cuisines to travelers from far and wide. Besides the Mughlai cuisine, which saw its birth in this region, the city offers a varied fare in its eating out option. The Taj Ganj area has a number of makeshift eateries catering to budget travelers.Though not recommended to those particular about hygiene, these produce some excellent Multicuisine menus. Also famous at Agra are some of its local sweets like petha and gazak, and saltish snack called dalmoth.
The charms of Taj Mahal, and the bustling nature of the city of Agra, therefore blend together to make it an ideal destination for tourists from all over the globe. Yet this position of primacy that it enjoys on the tourism map of the world would not have been possible if the place was bereft of easy accessibility. As a result of the efforts of those concerned, Agra is today, well connected by road, rail and air with all-important cities in India.
Being on the regular tourist route, which runs from Delhi-Agra-Khajuraho-Varanasi, Agra is connected by regular flights to these places. The local airport is known as the Kheria Airport and is located at a distance of six kilometers from the city centre. Agra is also linked to Delhi by one of the finest highways in India. A normal bus journey takes about five hours. Tajhub.com has a large fleet of A/c and Non A/c coaches that makes a visit to Agra and the entire tourist circuit quite enjoyable. Tajhub.com also has a fleet of chauffeur-driven A/c and Non A/c cars that cater to the needs of individual travelers.
The wide range of travel options in this region can also be used to travel to some wonderful locations around Agra. These can be visited on a daylong trip and are certainly a great attraction amongst tourists coming to Agra. Some of them are: Akbar's Tomb at Sikandra or Sikandara (10 km), Fatehpur Sikri (40 km), Bharatpur (55 km), Gwalior, and the holy cities of Vrindavan and Mathura located on the banks of river Yamuna.
Agra therefore holds its place in the annals of history as the heart of social, political, economic, and artistic life of India. The present day city of Agra has lived up to this image and a visit to this part of the world will ensure, among other things, the memories of the Taj Mahal, which shall remain with you long.
The Red Fort as it is popularly known is another major place of tourist interest in Agra. Akbar, the great Mughal Emperor commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort in 1565, A.D. however, additions to the fort were on even after Akbar died during the reign of his grandson Shah Jahan. There are a number of wonderful buildings inside the fort… like Moti Masjid - a white marble mosque akin to a perfect pearl; Diwan-Am, Diwan-E-Khaas, Musamman Burj - where Shahjahan died in 1666 A.D. Jahangir's Palace; Khaas Mahal and Shish Mahal. The fort is open for public from dawn to dusk.
How to get there
Agra by Air
Agra airport is 7 km from the city center and 3 km from Idgah bus stand. Major Indian airlines operate daily tourist shuttle flights to Agra, Khajuraho, Varanasi and back. It only takes 40 minutes from Delhi to Agra.
Agra by Road
Idgah bus stand is the main bus stand of Agra, from where one can catch buses for Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Fatehpur-Sikri, etc. Buses for Mathura also leave from Agra Fort bus stand.
Agra by Rail
Agra is well connected by railroad. The main railway station is the Agra Cantonment station. Agra is well connected by rail to Delhi, Varanasi and cities of Rajasthan. Trains like Palace on Wheel, Shatabdi, Rajdhani, and Taj Express are the best choices if you want to reach Agra from Delhi in luxury