The Hidden Gems of Agra: Agra, a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is a renowned tourist destination for its iconic monument, the Taj Mahal. However, Agra has much more to offer than just the Taj Mahal. In this article, we will take you on a journey to explore some of the lesser-known, hidden gems of Agra that are often overlooked by tourists.
The Hidden Gems of Agra: Introduction
Agra is a city located on the banks of the Yamuna River and is known for its rich Mughal heritage. It was the capital of the Mughal Empire during the 16th and 17th centuries and was ruled by some of the greatest emperors of India, including Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan.
The Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is undoubtedly the city’s most popular attraction. However, Agra has much more to offer beyond the Taj Mahal, which is why it is worth exploring.
The Lesser-Known Monuments of Agra
While the Taj Mahal is indeed an architectural marvel, there are other lesser-known monuments in Agra that are equally breathtaking. Here are some of them:
Itimad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb: The Jewel Box of Agra
Also known as the “Baby Taj,” Itimad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb is a mausoleum built for Mirza Ghiyas Beg, the father of Nur Jahan, the wife of Emperor Jahangir. This monument is believed to be the inspiration behind the Taj Mahal’s design, as it was built before the Taj Mahal. It is made of white marble and is adorned with intricate inlay work and lattice screens, which makes this monument truly the hidden gems of Agra.
Akbar’s Mausoleum: The Grandfather of the Taj Mahal
While talking about the Hidden Gems of Agra the mausoleum of Emperor Akbar is one of the great examples. This mausoleum is located in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra. This monument is a fusion of Hindu, Islamic, and Jain architectural styles and is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture. The tomb is made of red sandstone and white marble, and its interiors are decorated with paintings and calligraphy.
Chini Ka Rauza: The Persian Marvel of Agra
Chini Ka Rauza is a mausoleum built for Allama Afzal Khan Mullah, a scholar, and poet who served in the court of Emperor Shah Jahan. This monument is unique in its Persian-style architecture, which features glazed tiles and calligraphy.
It is located on the banks of the Yamuna River and offers a serene view of the river hence Chini Ka Rauza is precisely one of the Hidden Gems of Agra.
Mehtab Bagh: The Taj Mahal’s Moonlit Garden
Mehtab Bagh is a garden located on the opposite bank of the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal. It was built by Emperor Babur and was later restored by Emperor Shah Jahan. The garden offers a panoramic view of the Taj Mahal and is an ideal spot to witness the Taj Mahal’s beauty during a full moon night, these characteristics make Mehtab Bagh another the Hidden Gems of Agra.
The Street Food Scene of Agra: A Gastronomical Delight
Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal, is not just famous for its historical monuments, but also for its mouth-watering street food. The street food in Agra is a perfect blend of Mughlai and North Indian cuisine, making it a gastronomical delight for foodies.
In this section, we will explore some of the most popular street foods of Agra that you must try on your next visit.
Petha: Agra’s Famous Sweet Delight
Petha is a sweet delicacy that is synonymous with Agra. Made from pumpkin or ash gourd, petha comes in various flavors such as plain, saffron, and paan. The texture of petha is soft and chewy, and it is a perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The best place to try petha in Agra is Panchhi Petha, which is one of the oldest and most famous shops in the city. Panchhi Petha offers a wide variety of petha, including the popular Angoori Petha, which is shaped like small grapes.
Bedai and Jalebi: A Match Made in Heaven
Bedai and Jalebi is a popular breakfast dish of Agra. Bedai is a deep-fried bread made from a mixture of urad dal and wheat flour. It is served with spicy potato curry and a side of sweet and crispy jalebi.
The combination of spicy and sweet makes this dish a perfect breakfast option to start your day. The best place to try Bedai and Jalebi in Agra is Deviram Sweets, which has been serving this dish for over 100 years.
Kachori: A Spicy Delight
Kachori is a deep-fried pastry filled with a spicy mixture of lentils, onions, and potatoes. It is a popular snack in Agra, and the best place to try it is at Rambabu Paratha Bhandar.
Rambabu Paratha Bhandar has been serving kachori since 1965 and is famous for its spicy and flavorful kachori. The kachori is served with a side of tangy tamarind chutney.
Mughlai Paratha: A Hearty Meal
Mughlai Paratha is a stuffed paratha filled with minced meat, onions, and spices. It is a popular street food in Agra and is often served with a side of raita or chutney.
The best place to try Mughlai Paratha in Agra is Mama Chicken Mama Franky, which is known for its delicious Mughlai Paratha.
Chaats: A Tangy Treat
Chaats are a popular street food in North India, and Agra is no exception. Agra offers a wide variety of chaats, including Aloo Tikki Chaat, Papdi Chaat, and Dahi Bhalla. The best place to try chaats in Agra is Chaat Gali, which is a street dedicated to chaats. Chaat Gali offers a wide variety of chaats, and each one is bursting with flavors.
The Hidden Gems Of Agra: Conclusion
In conclusion, Agra is not just about the Taj Mahal, but it is also home to many hidden gems that are worth exploring. From delicious street food to stunning architecture, Agra has something to offer everyone.
These hidden gems may not be as popular as the Taj Mahal, but they are equally captivating and can leave a lasting impression on visitors. So, the next time you plan a trip to Agra, make sure to explore these hidden gems and experience the true essence of this beautiful city.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is the best time to visit the Taj Mahal? A: The best time to visit the Taj Mahal is during the winter months (October to March) when the weather is pleasant and cool.
- How much time does it take to visit the Taj Mahal? A: It takes around 2-3 hours to visit the Taj Mahal, including the time spent in the queue for the entry ticket.
- Is photography allowed inside the Taj Mahal? A: Yes, photography is allowed inside the Taj Mahal, but tripods are not allowed.
- Can we enter the Taj Mahal with shoes on? A: No, shoes are not allowed inside the Taj Mahal. Visitors need to remove their shoes and wear shoe covers provided by the authorities.
- Is there any specific dress code for visiting the Taj Mahal? A: There is no specific dress code, but it is recommended to dress modestly and cover your head and shoulders as a sign of respect.
- Are there any restrictions on the number of visitors allowed inside the Taj Mahal? A: Yes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are restrictions on the number of visitors allowed inside the Taj Mahal. It is advisable to check with the authorities before planning your visit.
- Is there a separate entry fee for foreigners visiting the Taj Mahal? A: Yes, there is a separate entry fee for foreign visitors, which is higher than the fee for Indian visitors.
If you’re planning to visit Agra and want to explore the hidden gems of the city, book your one-day Agra tour with Taj Mahal Day Trips. Our expert guides will take you to the best places in Agra, including the stunning Taj Mahal, delicious street food joints, and off-beat destinations.
Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to experience the true essence of Agra. Book your tour now and create unforgettable memories!
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