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6 Top Things To Do In Agra
Agra is one of the biggest tourist attractions of India. A visit to Agra gives us a glimpse into the glorious days of the Mughal Empire. And then there is the incomparable Taj Mahal which draws travellers from all over the globe. Here is our list of 6 top things to do in Agra that will help you savour the unique charm of this ancient city.
Local Sightseeing Tours
The UP Tourism conducts daily coach tours that commence from the Agra Cantt station at 10:30 a.m. There is an information counter at the station where you can book tour tickets. The tour hours are in sync with the arrival and departure schedule of the Taj Express from Delhi. This tour includes visits to the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri in the company of a knowledgeable guide. For tourists hard-pressed for time, this is an extremely convenient way to see the most important landmarks of Agra.
Walk Through The Old City
To feel the pulse of Agra take a walk through the tangle of narrow lanes and bustling ‘bazaars’. The UP tourism organizes a Heritage Walk which traces the fascinating history of Agra from its times as the Mughal capital to the present days. Some of the notable architectural landmarks along the route are the Jama Masjid, Agra Fort, Akbari Mosque etc. You’ll also visit the Kinari Bazaar, famous for the variety of stores selling traditional handicraft, jewellery and garments. By exploring the lively streets, colourful markets, magnificent architecture and interacting with the locals, it gives a great insight into the pattern of life in this age-old city.
Celebrate The Taj Mahotsav
It is an annual 10 day festival held in February/March at Shilpgram, near the Taj Mahal. It is an initiative of the UP Tourism to showcase and celebrate India’s immensely rich arts, crafts, music, dance and cuisine. Artisans from all parts of India assemble here to display their unique and exquisite works of art. The Taj Mahotsav also hosts enthralling performances by artistes who exhibit India’s wealth of traditional music and dance forms. Apart from astonishing displays of art and craft, there is also a cuisine section for visitors to enjoy the great culinary wealth of India.
Experience An Off-Beat Historical Tour
This unique Mughal Heritage Walk takes you on a journey back in time as you explore the Kachhpura Tourist village which recreates the time, traditions and experiences of Mughal-era Agra. This walk takes place in the backdrop of a rural setting on the riverside opposite the Taj Mahal. It introduces the visitor to the lesser-known monuments of the Mughal era like the Humayun Mosque, the historical wells of Baoli etc.; and offers a rare insight into rural India. Local youths facilitate the walk by providing historical facts and interesting anecdotes. Proceeds from this tour are used for the betterment of the local community. From Kachhpura, one can enjoy spectacular views of the Taj Mahal!
Experience A Simple Village Life
For an experience of Agra that goes beyond the Taj, visit the Korai, a tribal hamlet, just off the Fatehpur Sikri Highway. This is the settlement of former bear keepers who lost their source of livelihood when captivity of the sloth bears was outlawed. A trip to Korai holds a unique position in the list of things to do in Agra as it offers an insight into the heart of rural India, away from the hustle-bustle of the usual tourist attractions. It gives a rare opportunity to the visitor to interact with the welcoming villagers and experience the simple village life from up close.
Visit The Agra Bear Rescue Facility
The Agra Bear Rescue Facility, set up by the Wildlife SOS, is the world’s largest rescue and rehabilitation centre for the Asiatic Sloth Bear. It is located on the Delhi-Agra Road, 16 km from Agra inside the Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. It is primarily known as a shelter to the ‘dancing bear’ that have been rescued and rehabilitated after being cruelly treated by their keepers. There is also an elephant rescue centre. The Wildlife SOS aims to protect and conserve India's natural heritage, forests and wildlife wealth. It is indeed a great cause and a visit to this facility surely counts as one of the top things to do in Agra.