Many people visiting India head to the city of Agra to bask in the glory of the Taj Mahal. However, although Agra has plenty of other attractions worth visiting within its environs, some tourists choose to venture out of Agra.
Close by, many world-class attractions await, including safaris, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples, zoological gardens and state museums. If you have time, consider visiting the attractions within the World Heritage Site of Fatehpur Sikri, or the charming town of Vrindavan, both of which are close to Agra. Vrindavan played an important part when Krishna was growing up and it is known that he played many pranks here, such as hiding the clothes of bathing milkmaids. The top attractions nearby Agra are described here.
No city in India can quite compare to the chaotic, and yet alluring city of New Delhi, located to the north-east of Agra. The country's proud capital, New Delhi is not to be missed. Home to enormous modern shopping centres, some of India's finest restaurants, theme parks with roller coasters, zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, other notable sights include the Parliament House, the President House, the Lotus Temple, and the Jama Masjid mosque. For the best views of New Delhi, why not take a hot-air balloon ride over the city?
This is the birth place of epic god, Lord Krishna. It is about 55 km away from Agra. A lot of epics are connected with this place. Visit Mathura during Holi festival to see the real colour of India.
Home to the Krishna Balaram temple complex, where the tourist information office is located, Vrindavan is within easy reach of Agra. Amongst the other attractions are literally dozens of temples and ancient shrines, a number of which date back to the 16th century and all offer free admission.
Some 40 km / 25 miles to the west of Agra, the fortified city of Fatehpur Sikri was the state capital briefly during the latter part of the 16th century and features many exceptional attractions, such as red-sandstone palace buildings and pavilions, the grand Jama Masjid mosque, which was built in the middle of the 17th century, along with a series of historic tombs. The Palace of Jodh Bai is particularly outstanding and based around a large courtyard, featuring magnificent columns, cupolas and traditional blue roof tiles. Other significant structures include the Naubat Khana Drum House, the Buland Darwaza (Gate of Magnificence), and the Tomb of Salim Chisti.
Gwalior is a tourism attraction by itself. It is about 120 km away from Agra. There are many forts and the massive hill fort called the Gwalior fort is the top attraction. Apart from these, there are a lot of museums and the resting place of Tansen, court musician of Akbar.
Visit Dholpur - With a rich heritage stretching back many millennia the Chambal Valley has much to offer and the Chambal Safari helps visitors discover the many facets of this ancient land. Accompanied by experienced local guides and naturalists, guests may explore the Chambal Valley at their own pace: on boats, jeeps, camels or on foot.
Lucknow is Uttar Pradesh's capital city and is known for its many historic temples, attractions and monuments, which lie on the north-western side of the train station, close to the Gomti River. Often visited by tourists from Agra, the Bara Imambara tomb is especially impressive, along with the Residency ruins, the walled gardens of Sikandar Bagh, the Zoo and State Museum, the enormous Botanical Gardens, and also the tomb at Hussainabad (Chota) Imambara, where you will find a clock tower almost 70 metres / 230 feet high.
Whilst Kanpur may not be the capital of the Uttar Pradesh region, it is actually the biggest city and features many industrial areas. There are few tourist attractions here, although many tourists stop off at Kanpur when travelling between Agra and Allahabad. Look out for the many local leather products and also the Gothic-style All Soul's Memorial Church, which dates back to 1875.
It is about 50 km away from Agra. It is famous for Deeg Palace. It is a fort that has rich history. People visit this place for bird watching. It is called as the bird paradise of the state.
Many tourists staying in Agra choose to visit nearby Jaipur, which lies directly to the west. Each year, literally thousands of tourists visit the main attractions within Jaipur, such as the Jantar Mantar, the Amber Fort, the Jaigarh Fort, and the Jal Mahal, which stands in the heart of Man Saboar Lake, which is often full of fragrant water hyacinths.