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Agra is home to the World's ultimate monument to love, the Taj Mahal. Dreamily positioned on the banks of the Yamuna River, its pale dome and minarets seem to float over the river, catching every nuance of light and shade. It was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1632 to house the remains of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and took 17 years to build, working with India's finest pietra dura craftsmen who inlaid the gleaming white marble with semi-precious stones.

Other Agra sights include the mighty Agra Fort, which reflects the Mughals at their most martial and was constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar. Also overlooking the banks of the Yamuna, Agra Fort acted as the headquarters of the Mughal Empire while Agra was the capital. Built mainly out of red sandstone, it also has palaces and courtyards made of luminous white marble which were added on by Shah Jahan, who was eventually imprisoned here at Agra Fort (where, poignantly, he could gaze out over the tomb he built for his wife, the Taj Mahal).

Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb (also known as the Baby Taj), is an exquisite tomb with a lovely garden complex. It is much smaller than the Taj Mahal, but has similar attributes: it is largely constructed from white marble with superb marble inlay works and it has four minarets, but unlike the Taj Mahal, the tomb is at the centre of a formal garden, the char-bagh, and has a softly curving roof. Itmad-ud-Daulah migrated from Persia and was a great figure of the Mughal Empire, becoming adviser first to Akbar and then Jehangir. His tomb predates the Taj Mahal by at least a decade.

Akbar's multi-tiered tomb at Sikandra, with its beautifully frescoed ceilings and walls, is a little outside Agra and well worth a visit. Thought to be named after Sikander Lodi, the second ruler of the Lodi dynasty, the tomb complex is captivating for both its fine quality of architecture and its serene garden complex – and it is not as crowded as some of Agra’s more famous sites. Indeed, you are more likely to meet with a herd of deer.

The red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri, which is approximately an hour's drive away, is surrounded by extraordinary myths – such as the unanswered question to why Emperor Akbar deserted this Mughal capital in 1585 a decade or so after its construction. This royal complex is known as a deserted palace, but its spectacular mosque and shrines have remained an important place of pilgrimage and a small population has remained here since the 16th Century. 

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Travelling is like flirting with life. It's like saying, 'I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.
Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka

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