What you might expect:
People are here to see the Taj
So it’s going to be crowded. Especially at sunrise and sunset if the weather is good.
There isn’t much else to see and you probably want walk around to explore the city
What not to miss:
You really can’t (or shouldn’t) visit India without seeing the Taj Mahal.
Words cannot express the awe inspired by the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan’s love for his wife (and anguish over her death) were evident. We were fortunate to go in the afternoon and get a clear view (the sunrise caused the Taj to look pinkish, but it was too foggy in the morning for us to witness it). Nonetheless, it was a wonderful site during the afternoon. The details are incredible. To think that it could be sinking…
Marble Art Palace
Very close to our hotel, the Marble Art Palace shows how the tiny semi-precious and precious stones were shaped and set into the marble of the Taj Mahal. It is these stones that cause it to appear to be different colors during sunrise, sunset and full moons. We really enjoyed seeing the process. Art pieces are available for purchase (and can be mailed home so you don’t have to travel with them). Worth the stop!
The red sandstone of Agra Fort is captivating. Near the Taj Mahal, it was home to some of the Mughal emperors. Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his grandson here, in a room overlooking the Taj Mahal (the mausoleum the Shah built for his wife).
Abhaneri Chand Bawri
On the drive from Agra to Jaipur, you can stop to see this stepwell, which is an impressive 3,500 narrow steps and 100 feet deep. It was used for water harvesting, bathing, drinking and to escape the heat. After visiting the stepwell, we stopped in a small local village to enjoy some delicious tea out of handmade earthenware. After we drank the tea, the cups were crushed into the ground (a new perspective on the recycling process).
If you still have time:
Located 35km outside of Agra, this UNESCO World Heritage site was once the capital of the Mughal Empire.
On clear days, the sunset and sunrise make the Taj appear pinkish, so many people try to tour it at these times. It’s a marvel regardless, so the most important thing would be to try to go when it isn’t foggy. A good tour guide will be able to help optimize the right time to visit.