Apart From Taj Mahal, These Are The Major Attractions Of Agra
By: Pinki Sun, 26 July 2020 3:41 PM
The Taj Mahal is the most iconic landmark in India and it attracts nearly two million visitors every year. However, there’s lots more to the historic Taj City than just this majestic ivory-white mausoleum. Here are the best things to see and do in Agra, beyond the Taj Mahal.
* Take a tour of the historic forts
Agra has a rich history and reminders of this are spread throughout the city. One of the finest historical sites is the 16th century Agra Fort, which is reminiscent of the Mughal era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fort is built using red sandstone and beautified with inlay work in white marble. Inside the fort lies stunning structures, like Khas Mahal, Jahangiri Mahal, Shish Mahal (mirror palace), Diwan-e-khaas (hall of private audiences), Diwan-e-aam (hall of general audience), Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) and Nagina Masjid (Gem/Jewel mosque), which are truly mesmerizing. Another striking fort is the Sikandra Fort that lures visitors in with its stunning architecture, which is a blend of Hindu and Muslim styles, intricate carvings and exquisite marble work. The tomb of a powerful Mughal Emperor, Akbar, also resides in this fort.
* Marvel at the magnificent tombs
There are two tombs that were built before the Taj Mahal, Akbar’s Tomb and theTomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah, but both are often overshadowed by it. Beautifully preserved, the tombs are historical and architectural marvels that provide an insight into the bygone era. Spread over a sprawling 119 acres of land in Sikandra, Akbar’s Tomb contains the remains of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Speaking of the design aesthetics, the tomb is a four-tiered pyramid made of deep red sandstone and enhanced with white marble, intricate carvings and calligraphic and floral designs. Just a stone’s away from Akbar’s Tomb lies another tomb, the Tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani (wife of Emperor Akbar and mother of Jahangir).
* Visit the Jama Masjid
Built in 1648 by Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, Jama Masjid, also called Jami Masjid, is one of the largest mosques in the country. This majestic red sandstone mosque took six years to complete and can accommodate over 25,000 devotees at any given time. It is an impressive architectural masterpiece with intricate white marble decorations, four towering minarets and a stunning courtyard adorned with high arches. Also, there are several chattris over the sanctuary, which add to its appeal.
* Stroll through the Mehtab Bagh
To the north of the Taj Mahal lies the picturesque Mehtab Bagh, which is a four garden (char bagh) complex. Nestled on the embankment of the Yamuna River, the garden is home to a wide variety of plant species. Its crowning glory is its breathtaking view of the Taj Mahal from the garden, especially during sunrise and sunset – it’s a sight to remember!
* See the Taj Nature Walk
Situated approximately 500 metres from the east gate of the Taj Mahal, the Taj Nature Walk is a serene and quiet 173-acre park that features beautiful walking trails, watchtowers and rest spots. The highlight of the park is its glorious vista of the majestic Taj Mahal from different angles. Also, while wandering through the park, you’re likely to encounter beautiful birds, such as hoopoes, peacock and more. There is an entry fee of INR 100 ($1.56) for foreign national and of INR 20 for Indians.