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Agra

India

1/5 The Taj Mahal, Agra
The Taj Mahal, Agra
2/5 The Pearl Mosque inside Agra's Red Fort
The Pearl Mosque inside Agra's Red Fort
3/5 The Red Fort, Agra
The Red Fort, Agra
4/5 Detail of the Pearl Mosque at the Red Fort, Agra
Detail of the Pearl Mosque at the Red Fort, Agra
5/5 Mughal architecture of the Red Fort, Agra
Mughal architecture of the Red Fort, Agra

Synonymous with the Taj Mahal, Agra is at the top of the wish list for most first time visitors to India

Synonymous with the Taj Mahal, Agra is at the top of the wish list for most first time visitors to India. Despite its myriad appearances in brochures, magazines, books and on television the incredible beauty and perfect proportions of the 17th century mausoleum never fail to impress. It took an estimated 20 000 people 22 years to build the Taj Mahal from blocks of white marble, inscribe the verses of the Koran on its exterior and inlay thousands of mosaics with semi-precious stones. Throughout the day crowds gather to marvel at this wonder of the world, but simply step off the main pathways and you can absorb the magic from your own quiet corner. We also suggest a walk to Kachhpura to discover a community with long links to the Taj, impressive Mughal monuments and a glorious view of the Taj Mahal from the Moonlit Garden.

Further along the bank of the Yamuna River, construction of Agra’s Red Fort was begun by Akbar in 1565 and added to by successive Mughal emperors. There was an entire city within the massive red sandstone walls and Shah Jehan is said to have spent his last years imprisoned here staring at the Taj Mahal – the tomb he built for his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. A short drive from Agra is Fatehpur Sikri. This was Akbar’s capital until a water shortage forced him to return to Agra, leaving an atmospheric deserted city of incredible Mughal buildings.

Though not in Rajasthan, Agra is usually visited as part of a tour of this state, as well as during exploration of more of Uttar Pradesh.

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A few of our favourite places to stay:

Swimming pool at the Trident, Agra

The Trident, Agra

The low-rise Trident is built with hints to the Mughal style

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Evening at The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

The Oberoi Amarvilas

Drawing inspiration from Moorish and Mughal architecture, the

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View other places to stay in Agra

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Who to talk to

Andrea Hulme

Andrea Hulme’s travel experiences could fill a small novel; from a bit-part in a Tamil movie, to leading expeditions in Kyrgyzstan and negotiating landslides along the Karakoram highway.

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At Natural High, we've had long experience putting together trips in Africa that really work. Whether it's intimate bushcamps in out of the way places, or a private lodge in one of Africa's top-billing wildlife areas, light mobile camping or remote island escapes, we know there is a lot to choose from. We're absolutely confident that we can recommend the right places for you.

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