Visiting the Taj Mahal? Don’t forget the Agra Fort!


    Millions of tourist pass through Agra every year to visit the magnificent Taj Mahal. Believe me, the Taj Mahal is stunning & if you have plans to visit Agra already you won’t want to miss out on the Agra Fort.

    Located just a few miles from the Taj Mahal the Agra Fort will cost you 550 rs. for foreign tourist & 40 rs. for Indian Tourist – remember if you hold a OCI you are considered an Indian Tourist. You can tour the Agra Fort in an hour so it’s a pretty quick stop.

    The great thing about the Agra Fort is you can crawl everywhere & anywhere. As you walk through the maze of buildings, you continuously enter completely new parts of the fort which includes beautiful stone work & gardens. A majority of the Fort is made of red sandstone including the outside but there is a beautiful part further in that is made of all marble & as you enter this part of the Fort you are amazed by its beauty as the white stone just pops off of the previous building.

    As you continue your tour you will come to the cut-outs, almost like windows, where you can see the Taj Mahal in the distance. If you go for nothing else, this view is worth the trip! Rumor is that this is the exact spot Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, would sit when imprisoned by his son mourning his late wife.

    Another cool view from the Fort is the mystic & legendary “Black Taj Mahal.” From the Fort you can see what they say was the site for this mausoleum including what appears to be the foundation. This is a myth, of course, & some say it’s actually an enclosing wall of a garden site but it’s still pretty awesome to see.

    As you walk through the Fort, you’ll see monkeys & chipmunks running around. I noticed a few locals feeding the chipmunks & offered for others to do the same. They weren’t only feeding them but the chipmunks were jumping all over them & basically doing tricks. They were super cute & it was tempting to feed them but I was scared they’d bite or scratch me! If you are braver than me, you can join in but the locals will expect a tip.

    The Indian tourists might ask you for a picture with you which at first is a little weird & flattering but is actually pretty common. Be aware if you say yes to one person you might have a line for pictures before you know it so know when to say no. Take it from me – you won’t want to spend 2 hours in the heat taking pictures with strangers! I said yes to taking a picture with a sweet, young girl & her mother but this led to a ton of teenage boys wanting pictures too.

    The Agra Fort is less crowded but as you approach the entrance you will approached by “guides” & “photographers” much like the Taj Mahal. The Fort is easy to navigate so there really is no need for either so just decline & continue on.

    The Agra Fort is a great addition to your trip to the Taj Mahal so definitely add it to your must-sees. As I mentioned in my recent post ‘Visiting the Iconic Taj Mahal’ I would suggest a day trip to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal & the Agra Fort but end your day in Delhi where your food & accommodations are unlimited!

    Safe travels everyone ?

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