What are the Places to Explore in Agra Except The Taj Mahal?
Agra had seen different types of rulers, from Muslim rulers to Hindu rulers to the British Raj. When we hear about Agra, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is the Taj Mahal. But do you know that Agra is much beyond and more beautiful than that? It is a city that has an immense history, beautiful heritage and is amongst the renowned cities of India. Today, we will take you on a virtual tour of Agra to show you all that it has to offer beyond its iconic Taj Mahal.
Get ready to discover Agra beyond Taj Mahal.
Top Places to Visit in Agra
1. Agra Fort
This red sandstone fort is located on the bank of river Yamuna, and is one of the biggest forts in North India. It was built to serve as a military structure but later, Shah Jahan added some marble enclosures and turned it into a palace. The Agra Fort was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The fort is a maze of buildings. Exploring the entire fort may take around 2-3 hours, and it features two gates: the Delhi Gate and the Lahore Gate.
The fort comprises multiple structures such as Nagina Masjid, Bengali Mahal, Jahangir’s Hauz, Shahjahani Mahal, Babur’s Baoli, Diwan-I-Am, Ghaznin Gate, and Akbar’s Mahal.
2. Chini Ka Rauza
Chini Ka Rauza was built in 1635 as a mausoleum for Afzal Khan, the prime minister of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Rauza is located one kilometer away from I’timād-ud-Daulah.
It is named Chini Ka Rauza because it is believed that tiles were made using porcelain bought from China. During that time, porcelain was known as “chini mitti,” which means Chinese clay.
Also known as the “Baby Taj” of Agra because it looks like a miniature of the Taj Mahal. It is located on the eastern bank of the river Yamuna. Built in the memory of Mirza Ghias Beg, father of the wife of Jahangir, Empress Noor Jahan. The double-story structure is topped with four octagonal towers. It is also known as a ‘jewel box in marble.’ This mausoleum’s wall is made from white marble from Rajasthan, and light enters the structure with delicate jali screens of intricately carved white marble.
The best time to experience the beauty of this monument is in the hot afternoon, as the marble keeps the interior cool. The tomb is renowned for its stunning decorations, including Pietra dura, wine glasses, and a variety of geometrical arabesques. This exquisite structure is a daughter’s tribute to her father.
Sikandra is located on the outskirts of Agra and was built between 1605 and 1618. The tomb is surrounded by Mughal Gardens and is unique in that it faces the sun, unlike other tombs that face the Mecca Masjid. It is the mausoleum of the greatest King of India – Akbar.
This tomb construction was started by Akhbar a few years before his death but completed by his son Jahangir. The monument undergoes an architectural shift since Akhbar had an interest in red sandstone, whereas Jahangir’s structure has direct influence from his wife, who was fond of white marble stone. Here you can find the use of both white marble stone and red sandstone.
5. Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques built by the Mughals in India. It was built during the reign of Shah Jahan for his favorite daughter Jahan Ara Begum in 1648. The structure is built with red sandstone and white marble for decoration.
The structure evokes many awes and wows as it holds an immense amount of history and cultural importance. The main entrance is through the eastern gate, and it has a large courtyard with cloisters on three sides. In the middle, you will find a fountain surrounded by four kiosks. The western side leads to a prayer chamber. Another beautiful thing you will find is the Persian inscriptions in white marble inlaid with a black stone in its central portal. There is no entry fee for Jama Masjid.
6. Shri Mankameshwar Mandir
Shri Mankameshwar Mandir is dedicated to lord Shiva and it is one of the ancient temples situated at Rawatpara near Agra Fort Railway station. It is believed that Shiv Linga in the temple is covered by silver and was founded by lord Shiva himself when Krishna was born in Mathura.
His family surrounds the Linga Swaroop of Shiva. The temple has a sanctum sanctorum, and the place includes small temples of several other gods like Saraswati, Kaila Devi, Hanuman, Krishna, Ram, Ganga, Gayatri, and many more.
7. Guru ka Taal
Guru Ka Taal is dedicated to the ninth Guru of Sikh Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. It is located in Sikandra. It was once a water reservoir, which was a great help for irrigation purposes, especially during the dry season. It is the site where Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji surrendered himself to the Mughal king- Aurangzeb.
The structure was built using red sandstone and has twelve towers, but only eight have survived the test of time. Entry to this place is free for domestic and international visitors. While at the Gurudwara, be sure to taste the langar.
8. Mehtab Bagh
Mehtab Bagh was the last of eleven gardens built by the Mughals on the banks of the Yamuna River, opposite the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. The garden perfectly aligns with the Taj Mahal on the opposite side of the bank. It is a perfect spot for photography, and you can enjoy the beautiful sunset. Chini-ka-Rauza, Mehtab Bagh, and Itimad-ud-Daulah are located close to each other.
The garden has four sandstone towers, each one at the corner. It is believed that it was specially designed for the personal interest of Shah Jahan so that he could come up here and admire the beauty of the Taj Mahal. On a full moon night, the reflection of the Taj Mahal in the waters of the park is beyond description.
Apart from these, there are several other beautiful places to explore in Agra. Monuments in Agra tell the rich history and Mughal design era. If you are planning to explore Agra, ensure a flawless experience with Yashvi Tours and Travels. We have a dedicated team to turn your vacation to Agra into the best experience of Agra.