Colonial Ride Of Agra

Agra is believed to be one of the historical and cultural cities of Indian Province Uttar Pradesh. Agra is renowned as the city of Taj Mahal which was founded by Mughal Empire. But Agra is not just about the Taj Mahal and other Mughal monuments; it is also a fortune house of colonial structures from the days of the British Raj. Agra used to be the seat of power for the North West Province between 1803 – 1857, yet most people overlooks its colonial history.

The cantonment area & the other parts of the city with colonial bungalows of early 19th century, churches, schools, colleges, post office building are one of the best preserved in the city and still reflects the magnificence of blend of Indian, Mughal & Colonial architecture.

The Colonial Ride Tour of Agra aims to raise the understanding of the visitors about the city’s Colonial architecture and heritage monuments. The walking tour of Agra highlights the vast range of architectural styles, planning elements and ornamental details, tracing the social and cultural history of the city.


Tour Program

As you walk all the way throughout the Agra cantonment area, you will come across several private bungalows built in the early 19th century all with low domes, the large semi-circular arches and the porches common to the era like all other aspects. Colonization of Indian also had an impact on architecture style. A new chapter in Indian architecture began with colonization. The Dutch, Portuguese and the French made their existence felt through their buildings but it was the English who had a long-lasting impact on architecture.

Roman Catholic Cemetery is believed to be one of the earliest evidences of European presence in Agra, where the oldest Armenian graves can be seen, which are dates back to 16th century.

John William Hessing’s Tomb or The Red Taj Mahal was erected by his wife in the memory of her much-loved husband. Roman Catholic Cemeteryis believed to be the oldest Christian cemetery in northern India. The cemetery is a protected site. There are so many early European travelers, Armenian christian and adventurers buried here. The grave stone are kept clean and most of the inscriptions are readable. Agra was considered to be the blessed place for christians and the dead were brought here from different places to bury in between 17th & 18th centuries. There is a grave of Jerome Veronio, he is believed to be the one who had a hand in designing the Taj Mahal, modeling it on Humayun’s tomb in Delhi. There are more or less 80 old Armenian graves in the cemetery.

Akbar’s Church was erected in 16th century. It was considered as the first Catholic Church of Agra and also served as the Cathedral of Agra till 1848. The Church was erected by the Jesuit Fathers under Akbar’s order. It was a reward from the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Emperor Jahangir found the church built by his father Akbar too small & then he donated a large sum of money for a larger and more beautiful church to be rebuilt. The church was destroyed during the reign of Akbar’s grandson Shahjahan but it was again rebuilt in 1772. Presently, the church is still functioning & known as Akbar’s Church.

The Cathedral is placed in the Cantonment area of Agra. It is designed by Garrison Engineer of cantonment Colonel J. T. Boileau in 1826. It is a beautiful building of yellow ochre stucco with white dressings. The church is traditional and restrained. It is one of the most beautiful & well preserved churches in Agra & still functioning.

The present stately Cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The construction work was begun in 1846 by Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Anthony Borghi, O.C., the Vicar- Apostolic of Tibet-Hindustan and was solemnly blessed by him on January 1, 1848. The architect of the Cathedral was Rev. Fr. Bonaventure, an Italian from Florence. In 1857 the Church was extensively damaged during the First War of Independence. The magnificent High Altar which was donated by Messer’s John & Co. was consecrated with great solemnity by the Most Rev. Dr. Gentili, O.C., in December 1899. The beauty of the Church was further enhanced by paving its floor with white and black marble slabs and replacing the six plaster altars at the side with marble ones. In Wazirpura, the Roman Catholic Complex appeared, centred round the imposing baroque Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, which was built in 1848. Five years earlier in 1843 St Patrick’s School had been built. It is separated from the cathedral churchyard by a wall painted over with instructions on how to perform various yogic asanas, along with accompanying illustrations and details on the illnesses they can help cure.

St. John’s College was established in 1850 by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) of England, along with Agra C.M.S. Association, and its first principal was Rev. Thomas Valpy French (1825-1891), a fellow of Oxford University. In 1869-70, it had 297 students, out of which 199 were Hindus, 76 Muslims, and 22 Christians. In 1914, Sir Swinton Jacob designed this college.

The historic St Paul’s Church was built in 1855 and was at one time the main church in the area. The church was constructed on the site of a former Dutch factory in English Gothic style. It has an amazing unending spire

Queen Victoria School was built in 19th century to promote education among the girls. It is a wonderful building which brings back the memories of Victorian architecture and castles in your mind. This school is still functioning.

The art deco building of the Post Office in cantonment area was constructed in 1905. It is a well kept structure, painted a crisp white, with a deep red trim that echoes the official colors of India Post. The large arched windows, the shallow dome on top, and the somewhat fussy pillars and niches and narrow windows that punctuate the facade are all quite quaint, and the fact that this is a public building means it’s accessible to all.

It is a Catholic church built by the John’s family. The John’s were descended from a Greek diamond merchant named Joanides and become the important industrialists in Agra, owning what came to be known as the John’s Mills along the bank of the River Yamuna. St Mary’s Church is not as splendid as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, but with its distinctly Italianate facade topped by a crucifix and a six-pointed Star of David is attractive enough.

Thompson hospital was founded by the British Empire government in 1854 for the practice of British military doctors. The present medical college named as S N Medical College was originally known as Thomson School, named after Lt. Governor Sir James Thomson, founder of the college. It was the British East India Company who had the plans to establish the school. The hospital attached to the medical school was known as the Thompson Hospital.

The John’s family was the exclusive owner of three spinning mills and one roller flour mill, all situated at Agra, and popularly known as the John’s Mills of Agra.

Sir George John, who was the grandson of Antonius Joanides, a Greek merchant, better known by his Anglicised name of Anthony John. Sir George’s elder brother, Sir Edwin John built spinning and weaving mills at Delhi, Meerut, Agra and Lucknow after the death of his father, Nicholas John. The mills established by the latter in 1887 were languishing when Sir Edwin and his brothers, George and Major Ulysses John, began to revive them and set up new ones.

The John Public Library in Paliwal Park also named after the John’s family and built in 1925.

The Agra College founded in 1823. The first building was designed by John Theophilus Boileau & it is among the best-preserved and prominent example of colonial architecture.

Agra College is one of the oldest institutions in India. Pandit Gangadhar Shastri, a noted Sanskrit Scholar founded the college in 1823. Till 1883 the institute was a government college and after that a Board of Trustees and a Committee of Management managed the college. Agra College produced the first graduate in Uttar Pradesh and the first Law graduate to Northern India.

The century old Strachey Bridge was accomplished by the East Indian Railway Company, later known as the East Indian Railway (EIR), introduced railways to eastern and northern India. The company was established on 1 June 1845 in London by a deed of settlement with a capital of £4,000,000, largely raised in London.

Havelock Memorial Church was built in honor of one of the British generals of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. It is placed in the army cantonment area at Agra. The Havelock Chapel has been erected by voluntary subscriptions, and bears the name of Sir Henry Havelock, who built the first Baptist chapel in Agra in 1832. This memorial chapel was built in 1873 by the exertions of the Baptist missionary at present stationed in Agra, the Rev. Gelson Gregson.

The first telegraph line in India was laid from Calcutta to Agra. The work connecting Agra and Calcutta telegraphically was started in Nov 1853 and the work was completed in March 1854. The first telegraphic message was exchanged between the capital of India and capital of North West province on March 25, 1854. It took one hour and fifty minutes for the message to be converted from one end of the wire to another. The building is still exists & it houses the office of BSNL, which is an Indian state owned telecommunications company.



What is the Cancellation Policy?

You can cancel this tour up-to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.


Does Train ride includes Economy Coach or Executive Coach?

Both options are available for the train ride. When you will book the tour you can upgrade to Executive Coach.


Can i book this tour in advance?

Yes, you can book this tour in advance, you can select pay on arrival as a payment mode to reserve this tour in advance.


What are the Payment methods?

You can Pay via PayPal, Credit Card and also in Cash on Arrival.


What is the Pick-Up Location and Drop-Off Location?

You have to mention your pick-up location when you book the tour. Pick-Up and Drop-off available at Delhi Airport, Any hotel in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon or nearby area.