No trip to India is complete without visiting the world famous Agra. If you’ve arrived into New Delhi, Agra is conveniently only 200km to the south so depending on the train or drive you have it is anywhere from two hours to an overnight train away. If you’re travelling from Mumbai you’re over a day away by train; so maybe best to fly!

Agra is the city of the Taj Mahal, in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, but also of two other UNESCO World Heritage sites; Agra Fort and the nearby Fatehpur Sikri. There are also many other buildings and tombs from Agra's days of glory as the capital of the Mughal Empire. Beside these attractions Agra has little else, as with many other Indian cities there is pollution, smog and litter with travellers magnets for the persistent touts at every monument, mosque, temple or palace. Despite this, these UNESCO sites are some of the greatest attractions in the world and no trip to India is complete without visiting them.

The Taj Mahal, the ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra was commissioned by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage" with it once refered to as "the tear-drop on the cheek of time". It is regarded as the greatest example Mughal architecture and a symbol of India's rich history which attracts 7–8 million visitors a year.

Near the gardens of the Taj Mahal stands the important 16th-century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. We decided that checking out the inside of the massive red sandstone Fort was worthwhile as it’s the former home to previous Indian empires including the last Mughal’s (Akbar), the British and now 70% occupied by the Indian Army. It’s a fascinating structure to witness, all built before the advent of today’s machines; this sort of enormous construction will never cease to amaze me.

The final UNESCO World Heritage site is Fatehpur Sikri which is a palace complex built in the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, which was abandoned for reasons that are still something of a mystery. A must see for anyone visiting Agra.

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