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Kiraoli is a small town located in the Agra district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It may not be very popular owing to the heavy spotlight often shone by tourists at its neighbouring cities, but Kiraoli still has a lot to offer to travellers who visit this town, seeking an enriched experience about Mughal history. Kiraoli is located 25 kilometres away from Agra. The Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi provides aerial connectivity to the town, while Agra Railway Station provides rail connectivity. Either way, visitors can then take a taxi or a bus to reach Kiraoli.

Historical Significance Of Kiraoli

Buffaloes bathing in Uttar Pradesh’s Kiraoli

Image Credit: Daniel VILLAFRUELA for Wikimedia Commons

Kiraoli derives its significance from the times of Mughal rule when it served as an important link between the cities of Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Both cities were not only culturally important but also administratively important. The Mughal focus on Agra and Fatehpur Sikri often spills onto Kiraoli. But, one of the rare known facts about Kiraoli is that it was once ruled by the Rajputs, who were known for their bravery and valour. Kiraoli also serves as a home to several historical monuments, including the Kiraoli Fort, which was built in the 17th century. The combination of Rajput and Mughal rule is reflected in the delicious local cuisine of Kiraoli, which is a blend of both Mughlai and Rajasthani flavours.

Must Read: Places To Visit In Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri: An Overview

A View of the Graves inside Fatehpur Sikri

Image Credit: Ashish Tiwari for Wikimedia Commons

Built during the other half of the 16th century by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri, also called the City of Victory, was the capital of the magnanimous Mughal Empire for a mere 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all built in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. Moreover, Akbar also built several forts and monuments like the Fort of Agra, Jama Masjid, Jodhabai Mahal, Panch Mahal, Diwan-e-aam, Diwan-e-khas, Jyotish Mahal, the tomb of Saikh Salim Chisti, and Buland Darwaza.

Agra- The City Of Taj

Agra’s Taj Mahal, along the Yamuna River near Kiraoli

Image Credit: Visions of Asia for Pexels

Under the reign of Akbar and then followed by his grandson Shah Jahan, Agra was immortalised in the history of the world. Akbar built the modern city of Agra on the right bank of Yamuna, where a major chunk of the erstwhile city still lies. He converted the city into a great epicentre of political, cultural and economic importance, even ensuring its connectivity with the various parts of his vast empire. Also, Akbar’s Tomb is situated on the vast spread grounds of Sikandra, a suburb of Agra. However, the external entrance of Akbar’s tomb was built in a way to imitate the Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri, the city Akbar founded.

Suggested Read: Places To Visit Near Taj Mahal

Places To Visit In Kiraoli

Other than the Taj Mahal, there are other ancient and important places that you can visit. Some of the famous tourist destinations in and around Kiraoli are:

1. Lotus Throne

Agra Fort’s Diwan-I-Am or Hall of Public Audience

Image Credit: Rameezm raza for Wikimedia Commons

Akbar’s Fortress at Fatehpur Sikri is a gem and the Lotus Throne is one of its most distinctive features. It is a carved red sandstone pillar in the centre of the main palace. The Lotus Throne Pillar is widely popular for its massiveness and magnificence. This particular red stone pillar is constructed with a set of 36 arched-shaped and pensile brackets supported by the circular raised area from which originated four passages. This tourist attraction is open to the public from 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

Distance from Kiraoli: 12.7 km
Entry Fee: Indian Nationals: INR 35, Foreign Nationals: INR 550

2. Khwabgah

Emperor Akbar’s Khwabgah and its magnificent architecture near Kiraoli

Image Credit: Anupamg for Wikimedia Commons

One of the most attractive and eye-pleasing of the conglomeration of many stunning buildings in the fortress of Fatehpur Sikri, this Dream Palace is quite spectacular and majestic with Akhbar’s bed mounted on a height. The columns are conceptualised and designed and built in such a way as to have a breeze in summer and the bed is mounted to allow a fire to be lit, during the times of cold, underneath the stone for warmth. Khwabgah is made up of intricately crafted columns and archways with connecting passages to the royal harem throughout the building.

Distance from Kiraoli: 13.4 km
Entry Fee: no separate fee

Suggested Read: Resorts In Agra

3. Dwarkadheesh Temple

Ancient temple in Mathura

Image Credit: Nimit Kumar Makkar for Wikimedia Commons

This temple is situated in the epicentre of the town. Commissioned by Seth Asharam Ji Poddar in the 19th Century, this building is rich with fresco paintings of Shekhawati. If you chat with the Panditji, he patiently elaborates and explains the history of the temple in great detail. But being in the heart of the town, there is hardly any parking space available. Also, there are a couple of stairs on the temple premises but these steps are very steep.

Distance from Kiraoli: 46.9 km
Entry Fee: none

4. Agra Fort

Made out of red stone, it is truly an architectural marvel near Kiraoli

Image Credit: Avijitdphy3 for Wikimedia Commons

The fort is an important medieval complex with a bunch of beautiful mosques and grand palaces. This huge fort is made of the Mughal’s favourite building materials, that is, red sandstone and marble. The walls of the complex dictate and echo fascinating tales of history. The fort is open for the public from 6:30 AM to 7:00 PM and the entire fort can be explored within a duration of 2 to 3 hours.

Distance from Kiraoli: 24.2 km
Entry Fee: Indians is Rs 50 per person for adults; foreign tourists above 15 years of age have to pay Rs 650 per person

Suggested Read: Churches In Agra

5. Sheesh Mahal

Inside Sheesh Mahal, the intricate detailings inside is no less than an art

Image Credit: Arpita Roy08 for Wikimedia Commons

Sheesh Mahal is also prevalently called the Mirror Palace. It is a beautiful structure within the Agra fort. This is not exactly a palace but a bathroom of the Queen in the Agra Fort. This mahal has its huge gates open for the public from 8:00 AM till 6:00 PM.

Distance from Kiraoli: 25.4 km
Entry Fee: 50 per person for Indian citizens and ₹650 for foreign visitors

Further Read: Taj Balloon Festival

Now that you have an idea about the history of Kiraoli and a list of marvellous monuments and places to keep in mind for your next vacation to see the cities of Agra and Fatehpur Sikri make sure you plan your trip to Agra and do not forget to make a stop at Kiraoli to these fabulous spots for the experience of a lifetime. Don’t miss out on visiting these tourist spots and book your tickets now!

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Cover Image credit: By Prat2007 for Wikimedia Commons.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kiraoli

Is Kiraoli a famous tourist spot?

Though Kiraoli may not be as popular as its neighbouring cities - Agra and Fatehpur Sikri the small town of Kiraoli, too, has a lot to offer to travellers seeking a unique and authentic experience. This town is eminently known for its rich historical backdrop, vibrant culture, and stunning natural landscapes.

How far is Kiraoli from Agra and Fatehpur Sikri?

Kiraoli is a small town, located in the midst of two of the most historically prominent places during the Mughal period; namely Agra ( located around 23 km away) and Fatehpur Sikri (located around 13 km away).

Was Agra an important city under the Mughals?

Agra was not only the capital of the Mughal Empire but the foremost city of the subcontinent until 1658. Agra's most prized monument, the Taj Mahal was constructed by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Also, under the Mughal rule, Agra was developed as a hub for learning, arts, commerce, and religion. Also, the Agra Fort and Sikandra Fort were constructed during their rule. Also, Agra is home to Akbar's tomb.

What is the history of Fatehpur Sikri?

Fatehpur Sikri was founded by Mughal Emperor Akbar in the year 1569. The city is also the resting place and home to the Holy Tomb of Hazrat Salim Chishti. The city boasts many other monuments like the Buland Darwaza, the entrance to the grand Jama Masjid mosque and Diwan-E-Khas.

What is the prominence of Diwan-E-Khas?

Diwan-E-Khas, located at both the Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, is also known as the Hall of Private Audiences. The monument is a grand chamber where Emperor Akbar had discussions with people on a variety of fields like about the faiths belonging to different religions.

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Category: Agra, Places To Visit, Uttar Pradesh

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