Best places to visit in Agra – Local Markets and Leather Shoe Manufacturing

While it is easy to associate Agra with the Taj Mahal and the undying love of Shah Jahan for his wife, this beautiful city has its names resounding worldwide for many other reasons.

For example, the leather markets of Agra are straight from the tales of the legend. Mughals, who had a unique taste in everything, were fond of unique and fragrant spices. They imported Asafoetida from Iran and Afghanistan to satisfy their fondness for food. The aromatic spice arrived in leather pouches, which were discarded. Understanding the value of the material, some shoemakers used these leather pouches as their raw material and built quality footwear, which was praised by the emperor himself. Soon, the leather shoes found fame, and Agra became the centre of leather shoe exports.

Similarly, Agra is a shopping hub for exquisite artifacts, handicrafts, and jewellery. The traditional markets in Agra are known for their quality materials and are not to be missed.

 

Hing Ki Mandi - Shoe Market


Experiencing Agra is not complete without visiting the shoe market of Agra. Making up for about 65% of India's total shoe produce and also amassing about 28% share in the total value of exports, Agra is the biggest shoe manufacturing hub of India. What began under Mughals by unexpected chance, flourished under them and under the British. After independence, when many Muslims moved out of India, the shops under them also got closed and the industry took a huge hit. Thankfully, after government intervention and support, the industry is now again flourishing and is an important cultural aspect of the city.

Hing Ki Mandi now operates over 5000 shops and is the single biggest shoe manufacturing hub in India. Over 300,000 pairs of shoes are made every day here in this market and top international brands like Nike, Clarks, and Reebok have brought their manufacturing unit to Agra under license.
 
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Sadar Bazaar


Sadar Bazaar is the most famous of all bazaars in Agra. This enormous market is located near Agra Cantonment Station and attracts both domestic and foreign crowd. Renowned for its handicrafts, ethnic clothes, leather products, and mouth-watering sweets, Agra is an experience you have to take back to your home with fond memories.

Buy a miniature Taj Mahal, a hand-loomed quality ethnic wear, and a leather bag of your choice. Once you are done with your shopping, get into any of the famous sweet shops and relish the famous Petha, something which Agra is well-known for.

 

Kinari Bazaar

 
Kinari is a quaint bazaar in Agra, attracting a great footfall. Known for its marble items, glassware, and rugs, Kinari Bazaar is also a prominent place of bridal shopping, right from small apparel to bridal jewellery.

Kinari Bazaar is close to Jama Masjid, and wholesale purveyors utilise the market as their central hub. Among the busy street shoppers' voices of loud bargaining, you can also hear the tinkling sounds of an elephant or the mooing sound from a buffalo, animals making way for themselves amidst the crowd. Kinari Bazaar is an experience to feel, even if you are not buying anything from there.
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Raja Ki Mandi


Raja Ki Mandi is another popular market in Agra, which is like the jack of all trades. It is the go-to spot for buying anything, right from household essentials to jewellery. Garments, religious commodities, and sweets adorn the streets of Raja Ki Mandi, making it an experience by itself.

It is located in Lohamandi and there is a railway station close by, named after the market. Visit Raja Ki Mandi to have a complete shopping experience in Agra.