When people think of Agra, the iconic Taj Mahal often eclipses all else. This marble marvel is undoubtedly a must-see, but Agra has so much more to offer. From historical forts to spiritual centers, Agra is a treasure trove of Indian culture and heritage. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of these hidden gems that make Agra a destination worth exploring beyond just the Taj Mahal.
Agra Fort: A Red Sandstone Marvel
Just 2.5 km away from the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort stands as a testament to the grandeur of the Mughal Empire. Built primarily out of red sandstone, this sprawling fortress combines military might with aesthetic beauty. The fort houses several palaces, mosques, and audience halls, each with its own unique history and architectural style.
The Sheesh Mahal, or the “Glass Palace,” is a particular highlight. Its walls and ceilings are adorned with thousands of tiny mirrors, creating a mesmerizing effect when lit. The Jahangir Palace, built by Akbar for his son Jahangir, showcases an intriguing mix of Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles.
Fatehpur Sikri: A City Frozen in Time
About 40 km from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is a city that was once the capital of the Mughal Empire. Built by Emperor Akbar in the 16th century, the city was abandoned just a few years later due to a lack of water supply. Today, it stands as a well-preserved ghost town, offering a glimpse into the life and times of the Mughal era.
The city is home to several architectural wonders, such as the Buland Darwaza, a 54-meter high gateway that is among the largest in the world. The Tomb of Salim Chishti, a white marble encased mausoleum, is another must-visit. It’s believed that wishes made here come true, making it a popular pilgrimage site.
Mehtab Bagh: A Different View of the Taj
If you’re looking for a less crowded spot to admire the Taj Mahal, Mehtab Bagh is the place to be. Located just across the Yamuna River, this 25-acre garden offers a stunning view of the Taj Mahal, especially during sunset. The garden was originally built by Emperor Babur and later renovated. It’s a perfect spot for photography or simply to sit and admire the beauty of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Akbar’s Tomb at Sikandra
Another lesser-known attraction is Akbar’s Tomb at Sikandra, located about 10 km from Agra city center. The tomb is an excellent example of Mughal architecture, featuring a unique blend of Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, and even Christian elements. The tranquil gardens surrounding the tomb make it a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Agra is so much more than just the Taj Mahal. From the historical Agra Fort to the mystical Fatehpur Sikri, each site offers a unique experience that delves deep into India’s rich history and culture. So, the next time you plan a trip to Agra, make sure to explore these hidden gems.
If you’re an Israeli citizen looking to explore the wonders of Agra and beyond, obtaining an e-visa to India has never been easier. visapro specializes in issuing e-visas to India for Israelis, making your travel planning hassle-free. Don’t miss the chance to discover the lesser-known but equally mesmerizing attractions of Agra.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready to explore Agra beyond the Taj Mahal!