How To Spend Two Days In Agra? (2023)
Agra in Uttar Pradesh is located about 210 kilometers from the National capital Delhi. This town is spread out on the banks of the Yamuna and is one of the most populous cities in India. But, for a traveler who loves roaming the world, Agra is the city of the famous Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. With plenty of historical references to the Mughal empire and eye-catching monuments, this town attracts millions of tourists from India and abroad.
The golden age of Agra or Akbarabad began with the advent of the Muslim rulers. The town is a bustling business hub and has amazing historical monuments. In fact, remnants of historical architecture make it a favorite tourist jaunt even today. Ancient gardens are spread all over town, and this exhibits the Muslim love for flora and fauna. But, that is not the only reason why people visit Agra. Plenty of people following Jainism, Buddhism, and Radha Swami faith, frequent Agra to pay respects to their learned Gurus here.
How To Spend Two Days In Agra?
“How to spend 2 days in Agra?”- This is an understatement because the list of places to visit is never-ending, and time falls short. So, let us embrace Day 1 as the Agra trip commences. Get a great start on your day by visiting the Taj Mahal first. Catch the first rays of the sun on this monument and it will leave you awe-struck.
1. Taj Mahal:
This pure white marble monument in Agra is about 6 km away from the Cantonment Railway Station. Taj Mahal is the most frequented holiday destination in Agra because it is a symbol of true love since time immemorial. Moreover, it is also counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Taj Mahal has gotten international recognition, and UNESCO named it a World Heritage site in 1983. The surprising fact is that almost 20,000 workers worked for nearly 21 years to construct this Mughal masterpiece and bring it to its full glory.
The architecture of this white-marbled mausoleum with Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan’s tombs is influenced by Islamic, Persian, and Indian styles. The complex, surrounding the Taj Mahal, has red sandstone walls with an ornamentally inscribed Darwaza-i-Rauza or gateway.
This gateway to the Taj Mahal exhibits the calligraphed Quranic inscriptions in Urdu.
The tomb has a striking marble dome spread out like a lotus. The tip of the tomb has a gilded finial with a moon. If you want to check out intricate stone carvings, stucco work, and beautifully painted frescos then head straight to the white Taj Mahal. All around the Taj surrounds the beautifully manicured Charbagh or Mughal Garden.
The monument has four opulent minarets, and the interior chamber is adorned with a variety of gemstones. The central chamber has the commemorative plaque and stunningly beautiful casket of Mumtaz Mahal. Tombs of Mumtaz Mahal’s favorite aide and Shah Jahan’s other wives lie just outside the complex.
There is a guest house and Mosque here as well. Two days before the full moon and two days after, the beauty of the Taj Mahal awes the onlooker at the “Night viewing session”. You can reach the monument by electric buses, tongas, and cycle-rickshaws. The area needs to stay smoke-free!
2. Taj Museum:
Another place you can’t miss here is the double-story Taj Museum. The museum or Jal Mahal was set up in 1982 and lies within the Taj complex on the Western Naubat Khana. The impressive building stands royally on a raised platform with a quadrangle projection on the outer edge. In fact, the museum contains an immense amount of information on the building and construction of this white monument.
Almost 121 antiquities including government decrees, paintings, Mughal miniature paintings, specimens of calligraphy works, manuscripts, utensils, plans, arms, drawings of Taj Complex, marble pillars, specimen inlay work, and paintings of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan made on ivory are displayed in the main hall. Besides these, coin replicas and paintings from Shahnama of Firdausi are exhibited here.
The museum showcases the Taj Mahal’s architecture, porcelain objects, weapons, daggers, ornamented vases, swords, semi-precious stones, mirrors, and dishes. Rare paintings and royal documents also hold a place in the Taj Museum. Actually, the details are dazzling and enthral the tourists. So, don’t miss it.
3. Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah:
After your perfect start to the morning by visiting the Taj, you can go to “Baby Taj” or the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah. The enchanting and compact white-marble edifice is also called the “Jewel box”. In fact, this pure marble monument on the lines of local and Mughal architecture was made by Noor Jahan, Queen of Jahangir. This Mughal Mausoleum inspired Shah Jahan to make the Taj for his beloved wife.
The structure looks like a minor variant of the Taj Mahal. Additionally, the structure contains mosaic, lattice, semi-precious stones, and marble to make its dome white. Fabulous inlay work on “Baby Taj”, adds to the regal bearing of this structure in the Charbagh style gardens. People visiting here come especially to see the Persian encrypted cenotaphs and graves of the royalty, the sandstone staircase, pinnacles, and elegant oblong dome.
4. Jama Masjid:
Jama Masjid is a popular mosque, high on the tourists Agra bucket list. On Fridays, you will still see plenty of local people heading this way for prayers. This mosque has Mughal-style architecture with arched porticoes, a raised courtyard, a centrally placed fountain, slender minarets, chattris, a white marbled pulpit, and mihrab make it a beautiful monument. The structure made in red sandstone is one of the largest in India.
5. Mankameshwar Temple:
Mankameshwar Temple of Lord Shiva is said to be made by Lord Shiva himself to visit Lord Krishna to bless him at birth and returned to the temple to create the lingam. This ancient temple with the linga covered in silver is near the Jama Masjid. Besides this, there are many other temples in the complex to see. Though, visitors need to adorn traditional Indian attire, before entering this ancient temple.
6. Mehtab Bagh:
Do include the Mehtab Bagh, a well-designed garden in Persian-style made by Mughal rulers to your travel itinerary here. The lush greens, plastered walkaways, impressive structures, airy pavilions, buildings, pools, and gardens of the Mughal kings are a sight to behold and are the glory of Agra. If you hate the crowded places but still want a glimpse at the Taj Mahal, then Mehtab Bagh is where you should be!
7. Fatehpur Sikri:
Fatehpur Sikri may be about 25 km from Agra, but it is a heritage town worth a visit. With its tightly packed cluster of red sandstone monuments, the whole area exhibits Mughal architecture at its best. Fatehpur Sikri was called the “city of victory” by Akbar, and this planned city with nine gateways once hosted beautiful mosques, magnificent residences, palaces, and administrative areas.
The traces are left for us to see and admire. Conservation and preservation of the Royal Alms house, Jama Masjid, Buland Darwaza, Jodha Bai Palace, Hakim Hammam, Birbal’s house, Salim Chisti’s tomb, Mariam’s house, Panch Mahal and so many other places of historical importance in Agra is on.
8. Buland Darwaza:
Buland Darwaza and its fabulous Mughal architecture is the highlight of Agra. Akbar made this monument to celebrate his victory over Gujrat. It also showcases a massive sandstone gateway or the “Gate of Magnificence”.
9. Ram Bagh:
This is the oldest garden made by Mughals in India and has an intricate web of canals and pathways to intrigue the traveler. These Persian gardens also called the “Garden of Rest” or Aram Bagh has river water cascading down their three-level terraces. Take your family here for a wonderful time.
10. Akbar’s Tomb and Tomb of Mariam-Uz-Zamani:
Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra in the Agra suburbs is an architectural masterpiece. It has the grave and cenotaph of Emperor Akbar. The white and colored marble used here has geometrical and floral patterns to add to the beauty of this pyramid-shaped tomb of five storeys. Rich carpets, jewels, gold, and silver, destroyed once, were restored to a certain extent by Lord Curzon.
In addition, the tomb has a gateway akin to Buland Darwaza that leads to a beautiful green garden. Also, the Tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani is about 1.5 km away from here. This mausoleum has the mortal remains of Jodha Bai, the Hindu wife of Akbar.
As evening approaches and the day is ready to wind up, take a peek at the Taj in the moonlight. But, before you retire for the night, why not visit the Kalakriti Cultural & Convention Center? Enjoy the spectacular musical theatre production called “Mohabbat the Taj” show and understand the whole love-filled saga of the Taj Mahal.
Second Day in Agra
Agra is a town that has immense historical significance. A few monuments that survived the British and the Muslims are Akbari-Gate, Diwan-i-Khas, the Delhi-Gate, Bengali-Mahal, Moti Masjid, Jahangiri Mahal, and Diwan-i-Am.
11. Agra Fort:
The Agra Fort is the perfect beginning to your 2nd day in Agra, and you can see several historical monuments without traveling here and there. This majestic building made in red sandstone was the brainchild of Akbar with many monuments.
In fact, this majestic fort in India has high fortification walls, palaces, wells, and a mosque. The historical monument is a heritage site that stuns people with its crescent shape and view of the River Yamuna lying along its eastern wall. Moreover, a glance at the Khizri gate and the riverfront takes the tourists straight back into the folds of history. Don’t forget to get a glimpse at the light and sound show in the evening. Its breathtakingly awesome!
12. Lahore Gate and Delhi Gate:
Have you heard about the popular “Lahore Gate”, and “Delhi gate” in Agra? These Fort gates made by Akbar are masterpieces of grandeur separated from the mainland by a moat. A wooden drawbridge connects the mainland to the Fortress.
13. Jahangiri Mahal:
About two and a half kilometers from the Taj Mahal is the Jahangiri Mahal. If you enter the Fort from the Amar Singh Gate, you can instantly see the architecturally rich Jahangiri Mahal. Furthermore, the Rajput wives of Akbar used this as their “zenana”. This red sandstone structure with large decorated halls of Persian carvings was the residence of Nur Jahan the Mughal Empress.
14. Shah Jahani Mahal:
People coming to Agra don’t want to miss the Shahjahani Mahal, one of the oldest palaces of Shah Jahan. White stucco helped conceal traces of red sandstone, and the decorated walls have colorful paintings. The Shah Jahani Mahal is located in the center of the Jahangiri Mahal and the Khas-Mahal in the Agra Fort.
15. The Khas Mahal:
Khas Mahal is also called the rest house of the noble people or Aramgah-i-Mualla. This structure made by Shah Jahan stands up regally on an elevated platform with fountains, curtain walls, waterfall, courts, aesthetically placed tanks, widespread terraces, red sandstone pavilions, and a creatively designed hall to add to the appeal. The pavilions are creatively placed on both sides of the terrace to act as walls.
The interiors and ceilings are adorned with intricately designed murals, goldwork, floral creations, frescos, and ornamental designs. The royal ladies rested at the fountain and water tank or Hammams in the Khas Mahal. The Hammam radiates beauty with the gold and royal blue wall paintings.
16. Musamman Burj:
To the East of the Khas Mahal lies Musamman Burj with a projecting Octagonal Tower in white marble. This provides an awesome view of the Taj and the Yamuna riverside.
Inside the Agra Fort near the Macchi Bhawan lies the Hall of Audience called the Diwan-i-Am. Shah Jahan, met audiences and local people to attend to their grievances in this hall. The red sandstone here was pasted with white shell paste to give a marble effect. Moreover, the columns and ceilings with bright golden color make the place look stunning. This chamber led to the queens’ royal apartments, and they could attend the Diwan-i-Am meetings through “Jharokha Darshan”.
The marble dias containing semi-precious stones, the marble canopy placed above the emperor’s throne, and marble stone bejeweled walls and panel work are enthralling. Standing here and staring at the inlay work and arch plaques, you can imagine the courtroom resounding with audience petitions.
Just as the Agra Fort hosts the Diwan-i-Am for the common public, there is the Diwan-i-Khas or Hall of Private Audience too. This is where Shah Jahan held meetings for crucial state affairs, met royals, and organized cultural shows. The two halls used for this have multifoil arches, marble pillars covered with semi-precious gems, and patterned work.
Also, the Diwan-i-Khas at one time had the Takht-i-taus or the peacock throne. Moreover, the white marble pillars and flat wooden ceilings with exquisite gold and silver work leave the visitor spellbound.
19. Macchi Bhawan:
Facing directly across the Diwan-i-Khas lies the double-story Macchi Bhawan in the Agra Fort. The Bhawan has arched galleries gathered around a courtyard. At one time, gold and silverfish were thrown in marble tanks and fountains to amuse the Emperor. Also, the protruding sun medallion and marble pavilion beautify the place immensely.
20. Akbari Mahal:
Akbari Mahal lies between the Bengali Burj and the Jahangiri Mahal. It may be in ruins, but the architectural beauty of the Palace is unmatched with its majestic chambers and imperial courts of Emperor Akbar. The palace complex is prominent and has private chambers and suites of Akbar’s Harem. Historical references from the Mughal era emphasize a perfectly managed household with women in purdahs.
21. Bengali Burj and Nagina Masjid:
The Bengali Burj and its arched aisles, spacious square hall, domed ceiling, and intricate work, shouldn’t be missed. Also, right next to the Burj, lies the water well called “Akbari Baoli”. You can also visit the Nagina Masjid in pure white marble specially made for the ladies of the Mughal families. The famous Mina Bazaar was visible from the balconies of the Masjid.
22. Shah Burj:
Shah Jahan was held under captivity, for nearly 8 years, by his son at the Shah Burj of the Agra Fort. He spent his last days pining for the Taj Mahal while he was kept a prisoner at this fortified complex which offered him a magnificent view of the Taj from across the river.
Agra is incomplete if you don’t check out the Kinari Bazaar, Sadar Bazaar and Subhash Bazaar for the beautiful silks, handicrafts, ethnic goods and traditional handicrafts.
Just for your information, there is the National wildlife Chambal sanctuary at Etawah. No doubt, it is a couple of hours away, but the endangered wildlife species are Nature’s attraction. Why don’t you extend your Agra trip by another day!
The influence of the Mughals and their classy architectural displays are breathtaking. It’s difficult to answer “How to spend 2 days in Agra” because two days seem less. Nevertheless, they are enough to provide you with the historical brush of the town.