Agra has become virtually eponymous with the Taj Mahal. After all, the Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world and a place of pilgrimage to lovers and art connoisseurs from around the globe. There are many facts about the Taj Mahal which leaves every art lover speechless. But is Agra only about the Taj Mahal? What can a visitor to Agra expect to see, beyond the Taj Mahal?
Here are some of the best places to visit in Agra, apart from the Taj Mahal.
Tomb of I’timad-Ud-Daulah
This white marble structure is a mausoleum built by a daughter in honour of her father. The mausoleum was erected as per the orders of Nur Jahan, wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg who had been given the honorific title of I’timad-Ud-Daulah which means “Pillar of the State”. This remarkable structure looks like a draft version of the Taj Mahal. The tomb was built sometime between 1622 and 1628. If you are planning a trip to Agra, this destination should be on your must-visit list.
The Agra Fort is considered to be as important a monument as the Taj Mahal. It occupies a pivotal place in the history of Agra and India. It was the house of the Mughal Empire till the capital was shifted to Delhi. The fort was once a bustling city that reverberated to the sounds of the hooves of horses and echoed to the sounds of haggling shoppers in the bazaars of the city. The Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a must visit place in Agra. It is spread over a massive 94 acres area with a few exquisitely designed gates, like the breathtaking Delhi Gate and the gorgeous Lahore Gate. The Fort itself is a fascinating living museum of the life, culture and history of the Mughal royalty and has been featured in many Bollywood movies including the Hrithik Roshan starrer Jodha Akbar. It would be nothing short of blasphemy to miss visiting this magnificent structure when in Agra.
Within the ramparts of the Agra Fort, stands a beautiful structure that glows like a pearl against the backdrop of blue skies. This structure is aptly called Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque. It is believed that Shah Jahan had this mosque constructed for members of the royal court to offer Namaz. A visit to this beautiful monument is an enriching experience when in Agra.
About 8 kilometres from Agra on the way to Mathura lies the tomb of one of the most popular and important Mughal ruler of India – Akbar. This monument is of great historical importance, and a must visit for history aficionados. The tomb was built by Akbar’s son Jahangir between the years 1605 and 1613. The entrance to the tomb is through a gate that is adorned with four white minarets, which gives you a sense of déjà vu after having visited the Taj Mahal. One kilometre away from Akbar’s tomb lies the tomb of his wife, Mariam-uz-Zamani. The tomb of Akbar is a four-tiered pyramid-like structure that encloses the false tomb. Like the Taj Mahal, the actual tomb is situated in the basement. So the mortal remains of one of the important figures in Mughal and Indian history lie about eight kilometres from the Taj Mahal.
Agra is like a time capsule that has captured many fascinating moments of history in its bosom. It is a place to experience a slice of history and to fall in love with. While you are here, let us host you at the Agra Regal Vista for an unforgettable family holiday.