Once the favorite capital of Mughal dynasty, Agra has a long tradition of fine art,which once governed by the imagination of ruling elite. They had a deep interest in handicrafts and marble work. Still today Agra’s lanes are famous for artisans who tirelessly shaping marble to beautiful creations. Agra is also renowned for softstone inlay, zardori-embroidered fabrics, leather goods, brassware, carpets and jewelry.
Beautiful work display on pavements, shops and big emporiums. The main shopping area is not limited to only vicinity of tourist places but it spreads across the Agra. Sadar Bazar, Raja –Ki-Mandi, Munro road and Kinari Bazaar are the main places where one can find various art work like brassware and metal works, carpets, jewelery and ornaments, silverware and leatherware. Near Taj Mahal there are various shops and hawkers sells small souvenirs of replica of Taj Mahal though most of the replicas are made up of soap stone instead of marble.
Generally sellers quote higher prices and strong skill of bargaining is required. It is strongly advised to buy things from government’s tourist departments. However, Agra has worst kind of scamsters and touts and most of travelers duped by false named Cottage Industries Exposition, which is orginally a government owned Emporium but most of the Emporium sells item in much higher price that can be easily obtained in Delhi government Emporium at half the price. Make sure your way to government emporiums for shopping of good local handicrafts with nominal price. Miniature Taj is the most sought after souvenirs among travelers. Replica of Taj Mahal is everywhere but its appreciable to buy Taj orginally made up of marble.
Apart from all this, Agra is famous place to shop some of the finest of carpets,durries, textiles and sandalwood. Agra is also a place for exquisite silk though an expensive proposition still worth a buy. Most of the travelers look for handmade leather items. Apart form these Agra is also famous for petha ( a special and sugar based sweet). This sweet can stay for long so don’t limit yourself.
Some Renowned Handicrafts Shops And Emporium
· Subhash Emporium- It is located at the Gwalior Road and sells good quality inlay work and other items.
· Shilpgram- A little far from Taj Mahal, this is a beautiful craft village also venue of Taj Mahotsav. Here you can find wide range of local handicrafts and other items directly by the artisans themselves.
· Uttar Pradesh Handloom And UPICA- The places are located at MG Road, are also good venues to shop souvenirs.
· Gangotri, U.P. Govt. Handicrafts Emporium, Taj Mahal Complex
· Rajasthali - Rajasthan Handicrafts. Taj Mahal Complex
· Gandhi Ashram Khadi Bhavan, Raja-ki-Mandi
· U.P. Handicraft Palace, Fatehabad Road