Agra beyond the Taj

Tripoto
28th May 2014

View from Agra Fort

Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar

Musamman Burj

Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar
Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar

Anup Talao

Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar

Intricate carvings

Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar

Fatehpur Sikri

Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar

Agra Fort

Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar
Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar

Diwan-e -aam

Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar

The mirror chamber

Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar

Reflecting glass

Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar

Akbar's Tomb

Photo of Agra beyond the Taj by Amrita Kumar

Agra and Taj Mahal are synonymous to each other but what undoubtedly deserves to be one of the 7 wonders of the world dwarfs the other majestic and painstakingly built monuments for their lack of a love story.

I went to Agra to discover the little known yet beautiful sights which are often overlooked in the quest for Taj and its mysteries and came back with a smile as my endeavour paid off. Be it Mehtab Bagh, a magnificent garden or the real Panchi Petha store which has the best Petha, a sugary sweet natives swear by or even the close-by town of Fatehpur Sikri which is entrenched in Mughal history, Agra has a lot to offer.

 

 
An unmatched view of the Taj early in the morning, it wasn’t called ‘moonlit pleasure garden’ by the Mughals for no reason. There are plenty of trees and orchards in the surroundings of the Taj and the Agra Fort. A stroll here will be the best way to start your Agra trip.
Photo of Mehtab Bagh, Nagla Devjit, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Amrita Kumar
The fort has a rich history and has been a home for the entire Mughal empire as was told by my guide. You'll see separate palaces and enclosures for different kings as well as the painstakingly made servants quarter which will question current standards of living! But the real grandeur of this place is seen in mumtaz's mirror chambers where the lights are reflected through centuries old syrian glass. A sight not to be missed.
Photo of Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Amrita Kumar
Photo of Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Amrita Kumar
The city is dotted with several Petha stores claiming to be the original Panchi Petha. Nevertheless, most of the sweets are delectable and are good to carry home for friends. I stopped at a Petha store near the Sadar Market and was satisfied with my choice. There are far too many flavours of Petha available: chocolate, elaichi, mango.
Photo of Panchi Petha Store, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Professors Colony, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Amrita Kumar
A place right out of the history textbook. Its a popular tourist destination and is often crowded. I would advise you to visit it in the early evenings as the sandstone monuments can make the heat even worse. Anup Talao, Buland Darwaza, the tomb of Salim Chisti are the highlights of this complex
Photo of Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh, India by Amrita Kumar
Photo of Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh, India by Amrita Kumar
Eclipsed by the Taj, lies another monument of great historical importance which is highly overlooked by tourists coming to Agra. Akbar's Tomb is near the outskirts of the city and not as well maintained as it should be. The campus is peaceful ,with gardens and a single mausoleum building.
Photo of Tomb of Akbar the Great, Sikandra, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Amrita Kumar
Photo of Tomb of Akbar the Great, Sikandra, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Amrita Kumar
Get the best deals on leather goods fresh from the tanneries. This market is in the heart of the city, very close to Agra fort and Taj Mahal . It is lined up with several old leather shops which are popular exporters of high quality leather all over the world. Bargaining can be difficult ut the quality of goods bought is assured! I bought some leather bags and wallets for friends.
Photo of Sadar Bazaar, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Amrita Kumar
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