Travel in India
Whether you're visiting the India for the first time or you've planning to live there on a long or short-term basis, the Taj Mahal is undoubtedly on your list of sights to see. However, there's more to see in Agra than just the spectacular Taj Mahal. Agra has a rich, long and fascinating history, making it a great place to sightsee. Although the Taj Mahal is undoubtedly the most popular of these sights, you should also plan on taking a few side trips so that you can fully experience everything this area has to offer. Here are a few of the many places you can visit within close proximity of the Taj Mahal.
Although you might already know that the Agra used to be India's capital city, you might not know that yet another former capital is nearby: Fatehpur Sikri is practically abandoned today, but for 14 years it was the Mughal Empire's capital during Akbar's reign. Unfortunately, although this city was a masterpiece, the location suffered from water shortages. As such, it was ultimately abandoned as the capital city. However, it can definitely be worth the trip to visit. When visiting the Taj Mahal, it's easy to visit this area by taking a bus. You'll enjoy taking in the sights while also visiting the market stalls.
This impressive tomb commemorates Akbar, the Mughal Empire's greatest emperor. Akbar's Tomb is actually older than the Taj Mahal. You can easily take a bus to see this impressive historic structure. The five-tiered mausoleum is positioned inside a large walled courtyard.
Across the river from the Taj Mahal you can find the Agra Fort. This impressive fortress dates back to the tenth century, when it was constructed from brick. However, Emperor Akbar had this structure rebuilt using red sandstone. Buildings were added to the complex over time, such as the white marble buildings constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan. Today there are sections of this structure that are off-limits to the public. However there are still plenty of things to see and do. Additionally, the view of the Taj Mahal from the fort is nothing short of spectacular, especially during dawn.
If you want to fully experience the outdoor bazaars of India, the Kinari Bazaar is a great place to start. After visiting the Agra Fort, you'll only need to walk a short distance in order to experience this colorful bazaar. It's an extremely popular destination for visitors and locals alike, so be prepared for a lot of chaos and large crowds. Whether you're looking for beautiful jewelry, authentic Indian clothing, spices, shoes or just some delicious food, you're sure to enjoy the experience. However, be sure to keep your eyes open for livestock as you peruse the stalls. You might just find an elephant hard at work, or perhaps a water buffalo or a cow. Between the large crowds of people and the occasional animal, shopping at the Kinari Bazaar will be an exciting and interesting experience that you won't soon forget.