The city of Agra needs no further figurative introduction to establish its existence. Known as an abode to the wondrous architecture of Taj Mahal, Agra is evenly a famous city to step around on the eve of the Taj Mahotsav (18th to 27th February), which is celebrated every year at Shilpgram (near the Eastern gate of Taj Mahal) with great gusto, and the festival is organised by UP Tourism.
Since 1992, Taj Mahotsav is considered as one of the most spectacular celebrations in Indian calendar. This magnificent celebration invokes the reminiscences of old Mughal epoch and Nawabi style in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Taj Mahotsav represents the traditional heritage of the state as well as the cultural diversity of India by providing a global exposure to the renowned musicians, dancers and artists from various parts of the sphere. The delight of the carnival gets amplified when followed by the majestic procession of camels, elephants and drummers. Besides, the event also offers a blend of enjoyment for the kids and foodies.
With a blend of cultural extravaganza, luscious cuisine and dazzling crafts, the architectural exquisiteness of grandiose Taj Mahal adds a new quill to this spectacular event. In addition, a muddle up of soul-stirring performances like Sufi, folk and instrumental shows by various famed artists drive you a new feat of delight. Not only this, the festival also allows many budding artists to share the same stage and showcase their talents. If it’s been ages you have attended any live folk artist, Taj Mahotsav brings that moment to perk up your memories.
Key attractions of the event
Having said the galore of extravaganzas at Taj Mahotsav, let’s catch a glimpse of the key attractions to behold during this stunning occasion:
Art and Craft Exhibition
The festival exhibits an array of arresting craftworks from diverse regions. Various ingenious artists flock here with their extensive crafts including Khurja pottery, Saharanpur’s wood carvings and marble carvings. Besides, one can also witnesses some beautiful collections of metal ware from Moradabad. Not only this, Lucknow’s chikan-work, colourful carpets, linens, Kashmir shawls and Banarasi handlooms are some other luring attractions of Art and Craft Show at Taj Mahotsav.
Moving ahead, if you are a shopaholic and want to take home some striking objects like rock and pearl jewelleries, traditional outfits, colourful paintings and handmade show pieces, the craft show at Taj Mahotsav is just the right place for you. In addition, the craft show also boasts some implausible furniture as well.
The expedition of any festivity remains curtailed unless you try some lip-smacking cuisines. Considering the essence of cultural diversity, Taj Mahotsav puts up different luscious cuisines from various regions of India. Some of the delectable cuisines that you can’t miss at Taj Mahotsav are Amritsari Naan, Puri, Lucknavi Kabab, Indian Samosa, South Indian Dosa, Hyderabadi Biryani, Chhole Bhature, Sweet – Gulab Jamun and Lucknavi Kabab. For foodies, an array of traditional cuisines amidst the great Architecture of Taj Mahal adds a new flavour of relish and rejoices.
The Taj Mahotsav Fair
Imagine a view of majestic Taj from an elevated Ferris wheels! The feel of festivity turns absolute stunning for the kids when they plunge into some thrilling rides on merry-go-round and roller coasters. Additionally, if you are accompanied by your family, train rides could just make your presence in the event more happening and delightful.
|Up to 5 years||Free|
|5 years to 10 years||INR 10/visitor|
|For the group of 100 School children in school uniform||INR 500|
|2 teachers with School Group||Free|
The city of Taj, Agra is frequented by plenty of tourists throughout the year, and the place is well connected to various major cities of India by air, by train and by road.
Let’s take a look at these modes of transport to reach you there:
By Air: Though Agra has its own airport within around 13Kms reach from the city, but this is a military airbase. Agra’s Kheria airport is a seasonal airport, and to reach here from Delhi it takes merely half an hour. Travellers can also fly till Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, which is conveniently connected to various domestic as well as international cities by air. From airport premises travellers can hire a taxi or cab to reach Agra. From Agra airport the distance can be crossed in 10-20 minutes. However, from Delhi it may take around 4 hours time to reach Agra.
By Train: Reaching Agra by train is quite convenient, as the city lies on the railway route from Delhi to Mumbai and Delhi to Chennai. In addition, the railway connectivity between Agra and various other places like Gwalior, Kolkata, Jaipur and Jhansi is also good. The best part of railway connectivity in Agara is its five accessible railway stations namely; Agra Cantt Station, Idgah Railway Station, Agra City, Raja ki Mandi and Agra Fort Railway Station. Agra Cantt Station is the nearest railway station from where one can easily reach the destination via auto-rickshaw, taxi or cab.
If you are travelling from Delhi, there are various trains such as Jammutawi Express, Gondwana Express, Bhopal Shatabdi and Malwa Express. Delhi to Agra railway journey takes around 3-4 hours time.
By Road: Likewise air and railway connectivity, the road connectivity to Agra is equally convenient from the places like Delhi, Jaipur, Kanpur, Gwalior and Lucknow. From Delhi, you can reach Agra in 3.5 to 4 hours time via NH2, and the distance is around 200Kms. There are two major bus terminals in Agra namely, ISBT and Idgah Bus Stand, which are 12Kms and 8Kms away from Taj Mahaal respectively. In addition, regular taxi and deluxe buses are also there to reach Agra.
So this February pay a visit to Agra and bring home the cultural aroma from the spectacular festival of Taj Mahotsav. Also, don’t forget to carry your bag full of goodies from the city of Taj mahal.
Image courtesy: Google