To the lover of art and to the traveler seeking the wonders of the world, Agra is the goal of a pilgrimage to the creative best: the Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendor of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces in Agra is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire for nearly a hundred years from 1564.
That said, Agra city itself can be an intense experience, even for seasoned India hands. Years of corruption and political neglect have reduced its infrastructure to a shambles: filthy water and open sewers are ubiquitous, power cuts routine, and the traffic pollution appalling (some mornings you can barely see the sun through the fog of fumes). Moreover, as a tourist you'll have to contend with often overwhelming crowds at the major monuments, absurdly high admission fees, and some of Asia's most persistent touts, commission merchants and rickshaw-wallahs. Don't, however, let all this put you off. Although it's possible to see Agra on a day-trip from Delhi, the Taj alone deserves so much more - a fleeting visit would miss the subtleties of its many moods, as the light changes from sunrise to sunset - while the warren of old streets and bazaars around it offers glimpses of an Indo-Muslim way of life that, in many respects, has altered little since the time of the Moghuls