The busy city of Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj is made of white marble, inlaid with intricate designs of semi-precious coloured stones and is perfectly symmetrical. The Taj Mahal (along with other Muslim sites) is not open to visitors on Fridays. Other places to visit include Agra Fort, Itimad-ud-Daulah (the Baby Taj) and Sikandra (Akbar’s Mausoleum).
Although Agra is a major tourist attraction the choice of hotels is limited. There are luxury and top hotels but fewer in the Mid and Standard budgets. It is possible to stay at Chambal or Bharatpur (just across the border in Rajasthan) and visit Agra as a day trip. Note: A major cleaning process to remove the stains from the white marble of the Taj Mahal has been underway for a few years now. All but the main dome is now completed. The site has remained open throughout the process – but scaffolding etc may be seen.