Festival and Fairs of Agra
Visited by the countless tourist from far-flung parts of the world, Agra is no doubt famous for its grandeur Mughal architecture. But apart from the graceful beauty of the structures, fortress, and Baghs, one can relish the vibrancy and zeal of the Agra-wasi’s in their fairs and festivals. One can experience traditional and modernity both in the typical braj way or the sophistication of urban lifestyle in these festivals.
Taj Mahotsav– The grand celebration of Taj, (literal meaning) but it happens in real too! It’s an annual event, that is organised in the month of February every year for 10 days by Uttar Pradesh tourism. The Mahotsav begins with a grand procession of decorated camels and elephants, folk performers, that are accompanied by drumbeaters. Also, there is an array of activities for all age group to enjoy!
Kailash Fair- Organized at Kailash Temple, at a distance of 12km from Agra, Kailash fair is celebrated to remember Lord Shiva who appeared as a “Lingam” formation. Devotees are called as Shivities or Lingites. This festival is held during the monsoon season in between the months of August or September.
Ram Barat- Organized every year in Agra, Ram Barat is the special marriage procession of Lord Ram. The role played by every character in this procession is done by young local boys. This Barat is a part of ramleela, which ends on the day of Dussehra. This event is attended by thousands of Lord Rama devotees, who want to witness the royal wedding of Lord Rama and Sita.
Bateshwar Fair- Located at a distant of 70 km from Agra, the town was named after the deity Bateshwar Mahadeo. This town is well known for its spiritual significance as it has 108 temples of Hindu gods and goddess. This is a month-long religious festival which is highly famous worldwide, where the devotees take a dip in the holy river Yamuna.
Taj Literature Fair- Taj Literature fair is a celebration and tribute both to the bygone era of rich literature. Every year numerous authors, literature buffs, artists, attend the event, talks, debates and discussions on the work of literary figure were organised. This festival is to be as a harbinger of trends to be followed by young aspirants of literature.
Cuisines of Agra
Tasting the savouring delicacies of Agra is definitely going to be a fantastic experience you had never before. This city is swarmed with numerous food joints, with all the unique specialities they have to serve the visitors. The local street food is utterly palatable and full-flavoured with exotic spices.
No matter what kind-of foodie you are, whether you love the spicy, tangy, or pungent taste or simply if you have a sweet tooth. Agra has a distinct flavour, and to begin with, its typical dish Dalmoth a crispy, spicy snack which is made with lentils, nuts and spices, another is the Chaat. “Agra ki chaat” is a favourite snack, one can spot in the chaotic lanes of Agra, that includes, ‘Aloo tikki’, ‘Gol gappe’, ‘Chaat papdi’, ‘samosa’, ‘kachori’ etc. Another delectable and celebrated dish is Bedai and Jalebi, it is served as a Morning breakfast in Agra. You can have Badam Milk or Lassi to finish your meal.
The influence of Mughals is directly showered in the menu of the cuisines of Agra. The evidence of delectable Mughal cuisine is present till now. The fleshy meat cooked in creamy curry that is relished with whole and ground spices along with dried fruits and nuts.
And lastly, Petha which is as famous as Taj Mahal in Agra. This centuries-old sweet delicacy has a soft and syrupy texture and sometimes a bit hard to chew, but your journey to Agra is incomplete if you ain’t visit the Panchi Petha. This Petha store is run through generation after generations, and now here you can get nearly around 30 new flavours and varieties of Petha.
Day 1- Reach Agra in the early morning, have breakfast and rejuvenate yourself, visit the Keoladeo National Park, this place has been marked as a World Heritage List, explore the diverse habitat by foot or hire a bike. If you visit in between Oct-Mar, you will be able to spot the migratory birds too. Don’t forget to carry water bottles and binoculars. By afternoon visit the most iconic Islamic architecture Taj Mahal. Explore the grounds, sightsee the view of world-renowned structures, complete with the bulbous dome. Adore the exterior and interior beauty of Islamic calligraphy on the white marble, raised motifs, tiles and lastly the tombs of both Shahjahan and Mumtaz. In the evening, you can visit the Subhash emporium, just a 15 min drive from Taj Mahal, it is famous for promoting the ancient art of “Prachinkari” in marble( marble inlay art). It remains the go-to place for art buffs looking for a quality piece.
Day 2- Visit Shah Burj in the early morning it will take an hour to explore this historic site. Then within the drive of 15-20 min, you will reach the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah which is an intricately decorated mausoleum, often nicknamed “Baby Taj” in comparison to its grandiose neighbour. The shrine boasts more delicate decorations, made with precious topaz, lapis as well as lace-like, intricate carvings in its marble walls. Then visit the majestic grandeur structure built by Akbar, within walking distance you will reach to the Agra Fort. Visit the imposing fortress and walled city, begun in 1565, and marvel at its brick walls and defensive towers. Wander the extensive complex, meeting halls, mosques, and other buildings built by Shah Jahan in the 17th century.Don’t miss to reach till the fort’s eastern walls, from where you can enjoy a sweeping view of the nearby Taj Mahal.
Day 3- On the last day of your trip, you have a must-visit place in your list, that is Chini ka rauza, the mausoleum of Afzal Khan who was a Persian poet during the reign of Jahangir, later he became the wazir during Shah Jahan’s reign. The facade of the tomb is famous for glazed tile work, known as Kashi in Mughal era. Then visit the famous Jama Masjid, built by Mughal emperor, Shahjahan in 1648 and dedicated to his favourite daughter, Jahanara Begum. Lastly by the evening visit the most famous market Sadar bazaar, best known for leather products, and renowned for ethnic clothing, footwear and accessories.
What you will like
Majestic Mughal Architecture, great connectivity through, rail, road and air, and delectable authentic cuisine.
What you might not like
Bustling streets, congested during peak season, polluted lanes and market areas. Stay aware from false travel guides and touts.
Can have a day road trip. Best for Explorers and solo travelers, family trips too, history buffs. People who are inquisitive for archeology.