Taj Mahal and Agra tour/Agra tourism/Agra travel/Agra attractions

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Well, we all know that the Taj Mahal is the number one tourist attraction in India. Considered as one of the seven wonders of the world (as we all know, Taj Mahal has retained its place even in the New Seven Wonders of the World list), it was created by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb and memorial for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Made of white and yellow marble and inlaid with many precious and semi-precious stones, it took 20,000 workers, including craftsmen from foreign countries like Italy, Persia, and Turkey, 21 years to build the Taj. Construction was completed in 1653. Later, when Shah Jahan died, he himself was also burried here next to his wife.

But Taj Mahal is not the only attraction of Agra. There are other things to see in and around Agra. I shall list all the major attractions of Agra in this section, some of which have been featured on Indian postage stamps. If you travel to Agra, you must not miss any of the attractions mentioned here.

Nobody who goes to see the Taj Mahal in Agra carrying a camera - and practically everybody carries a camera - can stop by taking just one picture of the Taj. The beauty of the monument is so mesmerizing that people end up taking pictures of it from many different angles and at different times of the day, since the Taj looks different from different angles and at different times of the day, but it always is beautiful. For this same reason, the Indian authorities could not stop by issuing just one stamp showing the Taj. I have, at least, five different Taj Mahal stamps. There could be more. Here are four of them:

Note: You can click on any stamp image on this page to learn more about the stamp subject and/or to see actual photo(s) of it.

Taj Mahal with King George V. Taj is Agra's #1 tourist attraction.
A 1935 Taj Mahal stamp

A 1949 Taj Mahal stamp. Tajmahal is the main attraction of Agra.
A 1949 Taj Mahal stamp

A 1967 Taj Mahal stamp. People come to Agra to see the Tajmahal.
A 1967 Taj Mahal stamp

A 2004 Taj Mahal stamp. The Taj is the first thing to see in Agra.
A 2004 Taj Mahal stamp

Besides the Taj, there are other things to see in Agra. Agra Fort is the next important thing to see. Emperor Akbar started building this fort in 1565. It was completed by Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan in 1571.

The fort is made of red sandstone. Its colossal double walls are 69 feet high and the circumference of the fort is 2.5 kilometers. Buildings worth seeing inside the fort are Jehangiri Mahal (Akbar's son Jehangir's palace), Khas Mahal (all marble - built by Shah Jehan), Musamman Burj (made by Shah Jehan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, and this is where Shah Jehan spent his last few years as a captive of his son Aurangazeb, gazing at the Taj), Dewan-i-Am (Hall of public audience), Dewan-i-Khas (Hall of private audience), Sheesh Mahal (Glass Palace - exquisitely beautiful), Nagina Masjid (Gem Mosque), and Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque).

In 2004, India issued a pair of stamps showing the Agra Fort. Below are the images of these two stamps.

Agra Fort - inside view. Do not miss Agra fort if you travel to Agra.
Agra Fort - inside view
Agra Fort - outside view. Agra fort is another important attraction of Agra.
Agra Fort - outside view

Another very important and picturesque monument to see in Agra is the Tomb of Itmad-ud-daulah. The link provided will give the history and significance of this monument. It was constructed before the Taj Mahal and is the first tomb in India built entirely of white marble. Tomb of Itmad-ud-daulah resembles a jewel box and it is set in a garden on the bank of the river Yamuna. Some people call it the Baby Taj or Mini Taj. I strongly recommend that you see Itmad-ud-daulah's tomb when you visit Agra. Unfortunately, I do not know of any Indian postage stamp that shows Itmad-ud-daulah's tomb on it. But you can see a photo of this beautiful all marble tomb here.

Your Agra tour will not be complete unless you visit nearby (37 kilometers) Fatehpur Sikri, which was once the capital of Emperor Akbar's Mughal empire. Built by Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri is one of India's most alluring and breathtaking monuments. No visitor to Agra should miss Fatehpur Sikri. Unfortunately, I do not know of any Indian stamp that shows the monuments of Fatehpur Sikri, such as the Buland Darwaja, the Panch Mahal, Jodha Bai's Palace, and the Tomb of Salim Chisti. Fatehpur Sikri is a must see place.

About 8 kilometers from Agra, in a small place called Sikandra, one can see The Mausoleum of Akbar made of red sandstone and marble. Akbar himself started the construction of it, but it was completed by his son Jehangir in 1605. This place is worth visiting, at least to pay respect to this great Mughal emperor. Akbar's mausoleum has been featured on the following Indian stamp:

Mausoleum of Akbar at Sikandra. After Fatehpur Sikri, this is the most important attraction around Agra.
Mausoleum of Akbar,

I visited Sikandra, Agra, and Fatehpur Sikri in February of 2008 and took many pictures of the important tourist attractions of these places. To see the photos of Agra and Sikandra click here. To see the photos of Fatehpur Sikri click here.

Here are a few links related to Tourism in Uttar Pradesh:



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