Just 2 Hours Away From Delhi, Agra Has An Offbeat Side That You Can Explore This Weekend

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The Taj Mahal and its surrounding monuments such as the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, the tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah are some of the obvious attractions to tick off your list during a visit to Agra.

But beyond the Taj Mahal, this iconic city of north India has secret spots all across the city that have never been highlighted, but sure deserve your attention. Beyond the Taj and other monuments in Agra, here are a few lesser-known attractions of the city that will give you a new perspective on exploring Agra differently.

Check them out.

☉Spend a morning by the Bateshwar Ghat

This unique complex of 101 Shiva temples lies a short drive away from Agra. If you're on the hunt for an offbeat spot to explore on your visit to Agra, the ghats at Bateshwar can be that ultimate destination. Almost 40 pearl white temples are lined alongside the bank that are of immense religious importance to the Hindu and Jain communities alike.

Best time to visit the Bateshwar Temple is during the Animal Fair (15-22 October, 2017) and the annual religious fair (31 October-7 November, 2017)

Credits: The Travelling Slacker

Photo of Bateshwar, Uttar Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti

☉Take the Chambal Safari to witness the pure taste of the wild 

The National Chambal Sanctuary makes for a great escape to the wilderness if you're ready for a little excursion on your trip to Agra. Beyond the Taj Mahal on this trip, awaits the lush wilderness of the protected area around the Chambal River, which is home to a surprisingly large variety of alligators, crocodiles, freshwater dolphins and migratory birds. Various tour operators around Agra organise day trips with naturalists to assist visitors and photographers on their trip.

Suggested place to stay: Mela Kothi Chambal Safari

☉Stay at a backpacker hostel in Agra

Make your stay at Agra all the more memorable by staying at the coolest backpacker hostels in the city. Agra has one of the highest traveller footfall in India and there are several backpacker hostels around the city that give you a chance to meet interesting travellers visiting the city and get a new perspective on this destination.

Suggested hostels in Agra: Zostel Agra and Big Brother Hostel

Image Credits: Big Brother Hostel

Photo of Just 2 Hours Away From Delhi, Agra Has An Offbeat Side That You Can Explore This Weekend by Disha Kapkoti

☉Check out the special Sheroes Hangout

Take a couple of hours and head to Sheroes Hangout at the Taj View Chowraha. A pay-what-you-want cafe run by acid-attack victims, Sheroes Hangout also doubles up as a rehabilitation centre for other acid-attack survivors. Along with Rupa and Ritu, three other women run the cafe and share all responsibilities from cooking and cleaning to managing accounts.

Image Credits: Will Noor

Photo of Sheroes' Hangout, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti

☉Spend a day with sloth bears at Wildlife SOS

This bear rescue facility is located inside the Sur Sarovar Bird Sacntuary at Keetam, Agra. With a one-of-its kind Education Conservation Walkway, this is just the right place for travellers in Agra who wish to get back in touch with wildlife at the periphery of the city. The Wildlife SOS deserves a mention for its incredible work in the rehabilitation of the dancing bears or the Sloth Bears and other animals caught in the human-wildlife conflict.

Click here to read more about Wildlife SOS.

Image Credits: Wildlife SOS

Photo of Wildlife SoS Bear Sanctuary, Muranda, Uttar Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti

☉Witness the unmatched craftsmanship at Subhash Emporium

In the city that has historically been known for the great artisans who have given us one of the wonders of the world, the craftsmanship runs in their blood. Subhash Emporium is a place where you get to witness the impeccable craftsmanship of the locals. Witness firsthand the art of Pietra Dura, the technique of creating inlaid pictures of stone into marble at Subhash Emporium, opposite the BSNL grounds at Gwalior Road.

Credits: Subhash Emporium

Photo of Subhash Emporium, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti

☉Pedal through the historical city on a cycle tour

Get a taste of everyday life in Agra as you pedal through the 400-year-old bazaars and experience the historical wonders of the city rather differently. Choose a cooler day in Agra to rent a bike at Moses Bike Tours at Gandhi Park, Shaheed Nagar. Take a heritage tour around Agra or a private guided tour with your friends and get ready to roll the city. This cycle tour starts at 6am before the heat of the day sets in and experience the innate calm of the destination.

Read more about Moses Bike tours here. 

Credits: Agra by Bike

Photo of Just 2 Hours Away From Delhi, Agra Has An Offbeat Side That You Can Explore This Weekend by Disha Kapkoti

☉Experience the authentic side of rural India at Kachhpura

The village of Kachhpura is associated with Sanjhi Art, the art form that can be seen in the walls of this village. Watch the local children paint the walls of the houses at Kachhpura using paper stencils and natural colours like terracota and lime. The school in this village has gradually grown as a tourist attraction. Witness the brightly-coloured houses of this village that are synonymous with the vibrant Braj culture in the region, during this rather educative village tour to Kachhpura.

Click here to find more information on Kachhpura Village Tour.

Image Credits: Sanjhi Art

Photo of Kachhpura, Uttar Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti

There is more to Agra than the Taj; there is more to Taj than the Taj itself.

You might also like: City Breaks: To Taj Mahal and Agra Fort by Dev Arbikshe

If you have been to any of the listed spots on the post, share your experience in the comments' section below. Have you been to a lesser known, but interesting spot in Agra that is located in plain sight? Tell the travellers on Tripoto about your offbeat Agra trip and share the story

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