Umaid Bhawan JODHPUR North India 6 Logo Northindia (1)
Back to Listing

Agra

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 the infamous Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1632, to house the remains of his favourite 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 (built 1565-1573), which reflects the Mughals at their most martial and was constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar, Shah Jahan’s grandfather. 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 by his son (and where, poignantly, he could gaze out over the tomb he built for his deceased wife).

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 his son, 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.

Agra, North India (15).JPG Agra, North India (15).JPG
Agra, North India (8).jpg Agra, North India (8).jpg
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India (4).jpg Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India (4).jpg
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India (2).jpg Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India (2).jpg
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India (1).jpg Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India (1).jpg
Agra, North India (9).jpg Agra, North India (9).jpg
Agra, North India (6).jpg Agra, North India (6).jpg
Agra, North India (10).jpg Agra, North India (10).jpg
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India (3).jpg Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India (3).jpg
Agra, North India (1).jpg Agra, North India (1).jpg
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India (5).jpg Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India (5).jpg
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
Bill Bryson

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 thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, 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
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
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
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

From our Instagram

‘Led by Buddhist monks, a butter lamp ceremony offers a guiding light to finding peace and harmony’ @sixsensesbhutan 🕯🕯🕯
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Atmospheric rural villages, mirror-still lakes and gracious locals sum up #Myanmar (#Burma) for us 🌅
.
📸 courtesy of @zayyarlin84
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
We’re dreaming of #Bali’s reflective sunsets today 🌅
.
Enjoy particularly striking views from @thelegianbali in #Seminyak
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
✨Beautiful Udaipur✨
.
A pleasure palace built in the 1700s, the location for Octopussy and many a love story, @tajlakepalace is so magical, you can’t quite believe your eyes
.
📸 @the_adventuresofus during their whirlwind tour of India 🧡🇮🇳
. 
#AmpersandTravel
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Don’t miss out on #Teardrop’s new boutique hotels while touring #SriLanka 🇱🇰
.
Each sleek property brings a fresh twist to the traditional hill country - from #NineSkies in #Ella to #CamelliaHills in #Dickoya, plus #Goatfell in #NuwaraEliya 🍃
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
There are more colours to the #PinkCity than you may think... 🌸
.
Walk the streets of #Jaipur, past the iconic #HawaMahal (Palace of the Winds), #CityPalace & #AmerFort passing a vivid spectrum of colours as you go 🌻🌹🌿
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
The exhilarating city of #Tokyo has a world-renowned culinary scene & rightfully so! 🇯🇵
.
Be tempted to join ‘salarymen’ for an evening drink and #yakitori in restaurants and bar likes this 🏮🏮
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
The buzzing metropolis of #Shanghai promises an unforgettable stay 🇨🇳
.
Visit this city as part of a tailor-made tour of #China with us to discover its heady mixture of impressive skyscrapers, colonial history and incredible gastronomy 🏙🥟🍜
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Staying at the beautiful @GalOyaLodge means you will experience one of Sri Lanka’s lesser-known National Parks at its very best 🌿
.
Take a boat safari here to see swimming elephants and a striking sunset 🐘🌅
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences