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Things to do in Agra beside Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Sikri?

When people think of Agra, they think of Taj Mahal. But believe me when I say that there are other things to do in Agra beside Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.

Besides Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri, other attraction is Itmad-ud-Daula Tomb but it is hardly a hidden attraction in Agra.

Many people visit Agra but what when anyone is asked for the attractions worth visiting they come up with names like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Itmad-Ud-Daula Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri and rarely Sikandra.


Around Agra, Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur is a popular destination but then again hardly hidden as it is popular around the world as a UNESCO World Heritage Site so is Fatehpur Sikri. Listed below are what I think some lesser known attractions around Agra.

Mehtab Bagh

Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh
Mehtab Bagh offers perfect photo ops to capture Taj Mahal in its glory

50 years ago, when the Taj was built on the Yamuna's south bank, a moonlight garden called Mehtab Bagh was also laid just across the river.

The place was once an oasis with fragrant flowers, shaded pavilions, fountain jets and reflecting pools but it ceased to exist in the due course of history. Slowly, the site became barren. This 25-acre plot has now turned in to an epicenter for the apex court-ordered project to establish protective green ways around the Taj.

Chini Ka Rauza

This was constructed by Afzal Khan - a high official in the court of Shah Jahan. Decorated by glazed tiles on the façade, the structure clearly depicts the Persian influence in architecture.

Sikandra

The  mausoleum of emperor Akbar represent his philosphy and secular outlook, combining the best of Hindu and Muslim architectures in a superlative region. Completed in 1613 A.D. by his son Jahangir, it is one of the well preserved monuments. This is the last resting place of the Mughal Emperor Akbar.

Jama Masjid

This building, with a rectangular open forecourt was constructed in 1648 A.D., by Shah Jahan's daughter, Jehanera Begum in memory of the famous Shiekh Salim Chisti and his grand son Islam Khan. Of particular important is its wonderful assimilation of Iranian architecture.

Ram Bagh

The oldest Mughal garden in India, the Ram Bagh was built by the Emperor Babar in 1528 on the bank of the Yamuna. It lies about 2.34 km north of the Taj Mahal. The pavilions in this garden are designed so that the wind from the Yamuna, combined with the greenery, keeps them cool even during the peak of summer.

The original name of the gardens was Aram Bagh, or 'Garden of Relaxation', and this was where the Mughal emperor Babar used to spend his leisure time and where he eventually died. His body was kept here for sometime before sending it to Kabul.

Braj Parikrama

The Rainy month of Bhadon, the month when the Lord Krishna was born, is a time of colorful celebrations. The famous Braj Parikrama - a pilgrimage of all the places in Braj that associated with Shri Krishna, is undertaken.

Traditionally, the Chaurasi kos (84 kos) pilgrimage of Braj Mandal, with its 12 vanas (forests). 24 upvanas (groves), sacred hill Govardhan, divine River Yamuna and numerous holy places along its banks, is undertaken annually by lakhs of devotees from all over the country.

Govardhan

A famous place for Hindu pilgrimage. The young Lord Krishna is said to have held Giriraj up on the tip of a finger for 7 days and nights to shield the people of Braj from the deluge of rain sent down by Lord Indra.

Gokul (1.6 km from Mahavan)

It was here that Lord Krishna was brought up in secrecy by Yashoda, in the pastoral beauty of this village on the banks of the Yamuna. The celebration of Janmashtami in August is unparalleled for its gaiety and melas are constant attraction here.

Radhakund (5 km of Govardhan)

Just 5 km north of Govardhan and 26 km west of Mathura, Radhakund is a large lake, where Shri Krishna is said to have killed Arista - the bull demon. To commemorate this event, every year on the 8th day of the dark half of the month of Kartik (Oct./Nov.), a large fair is held here.