9 Places to Visit in Agra except Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is a must visit monument for all travellers. It is one of the seven wonders in the world and symbolizes love of an emperor for his beloved queen. But, the real fun of travel lies in exploring the unexplored and seeing what has been seen less. We bring to you seven places to visit in Agra except Taj Mahal. Here goes-
1) Agra Fort
While undoubtedly overshadowed by the Taj Mahal, it is one of the best places to visit apart from Taj Mahal. It was originally a brick fort that was held by a clan of Rajputs. However, it was subsequently captured by the Mughals and rebuilt by Emperor Akbar, who decided to shift his capital there in 1558. The red sandstone construction was completed in 1573.
Shah Jahan later transformed the Fort into a palace during his rein. He was later imprisoned there after his son seized power in 1658. The Fort was also the site of a battle during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, which threatened the rule of the British East India Company.
Apart from the rich history, the monument boasts of light shows held in the evening and great marble work and lots of buildings to explore within it.
2) Mehtab Bagh
It is also called “The Moonlight Garden”. It gives you a view of the Taj from the river bank. This 25-acre garden complex is situated directly opposite the monument and was actually built before the Taj, by Emperor Babur (the founder of the Mughals Empire). It fell into ruin but has been beautifully reconstructed. The entry cost is 100 rupees for foreigners, and it’s open until sunset.
3) Korai Village
Korai, a hamlet nestled in Agra, just off the Fatehpur Sikri Highway is surely a must visit. It is a fulfilling experience that will give you a glimpse into the daily life of the tribal villagers of India.
This village belongs to former bear rearers whose only source of livelihood was making money through bear and monkey dances. However, after their bears got snatched away by the wildlife authorities because of protection of animal rights, they have been struggling to survive each day as they were not given any compensation. A must visit place if you want to get an insight into villages.
4) Agra Bear Rescue Facility
Wildlife SOS was established in 1995 by a small group of individuals inspired to start a movement and make lasting change to protect and conserve India’s natural heritage, forest and wildlife wealth. Today, the organisation has evolved to actively work towards protecting Indian wildlife, conserving habitat, studying biodiversity, conducting research and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for erstwhile poacher communities or those communities that depend on wildlife for sustenance.
Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani dedicated themselves to the mission of eradicating the abusive practice of ‘dancing’ bears in India completely. The initial days were very difficult due to lack of support and funding.
Today it is an organisation responsible for taking action against animal cruelty, rescuing wildlife in distress, working to resolve man-animal conflicts while promoting and educating the public about the need for habitat protection.. The Facility is open every day from sunrise to sunset and is located on the Delhi-Agra Road
, 16 kilometers before Agra inside Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. The entry cost, set by the government, is 50 rupees for Indians and 500 rupees for foreigners.
5) Guru ka Tal Gurudwara
It was originally built as a reservoir to collect the rain water During the time when Jhangir was the ruler. The Gurudwara was built as recent as in 1970’s. It has a great significance for Sikhs as their four Gurus have paid visit to this place. It initially had 12 towers off which only 8 remain now. It also boasts of great marble work and as it is located on NH-2 it enjoys great connectivity as well.
6) Keetham Lake
Located inside the Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Keetham Lake is a peaceful spot, ideal for nature lovers and bird watchers. The depth of the lake alternates between 4 to 8 meters. The sanctuary of which the lake is a part is home to more than 106 species of migratory birds and the lake is a great place for bird watching. Some species that you can spot here are the spoonbill, egret, greying goose, purple heron, comb duck and pintail, to name a few.
7) Paliwal Park/Hewitt Park
Paliwal Park, during the British Raj was known as Hewitt Park, is now renamed in memory of Shri Krishna Datta Paliwal, Who was the first finance minister of Uttar Pradesh, when Shri Govind Ballabh Pant was the Chief Minister of U.P State.
Paliwal Park is located in the heart of Agra, India. It is spread over an area of around 70 acres (280,000 m2). It also has a small lake and has the vast variety of trees.
Paliwal Park links the residential areas of Vijay Nagar Colony & Gandhi Nagar to the financial Hub of the city i.e. Sanjay Place. John’s Public Library, also known as the Agra Municipal Library, is also located here and one can find rare books on diverse topics here. Many people come here for morning walk, as a result this place is full especially during the summer holidays when youngsters play all sort of different games.
8) Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri is a fascinating ghost city built in the 16th century; 37 km from Agra Akbar the great, who at 26 years did not have an heir, founded this historic site. Fatehpur Sikri He went to a saint, Shaikh Salim Chishti who lived in a city called Sikri. His blessing gave Akbar 3 sons. As a gesture, Akbar built a whole new city in Sikri. Akbar named his new capital Fatehpur Sikri or the City of Victory.Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height.
It was built between 1569 and 1585 and was intended to be the joint capital with Agra, but was soon deserted because the water system could not support any residents. It remained untouched for over 400 years now and its palaces are a remainder of the extravagance of the Mughals Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Fatehpur Sikri Mosque is said to be a copy of the mosque in Mecca and has designs, derived from the Persian & Hindu architecture.
9) Dayal Bagh
It means ‘Garden of mercy’. It is the headquarters of the Radhasoami faith, where the 8th revered leader (Sant Satguru) lives and presides. The colony of Dayalbagh was founded on the Basant Day (translation: first day of spring) in 1915 by Huzur Sahabji Maharaj, the Fifth Revered Leader of Radhasoami Faith, as an ashram or a spiritual home for the followers of the faith, by planting a mulberry tree.
The colony is laid out in an open garden setting. The land where the colony was established once consisted of sand dunes. For more than 60 years residents of the colony – men and women, young and old – have worked with quiet dedication in a vast programme for reclamation of land launched in 1943 by Huzur Mehtaji Maharaj, the sixth Revered Leader of the Faith. The result is a lush green 1,200-acre (4.9 km2) farm where food-grains, oil-seeds, fodder, and vegetables are grown.