The city of Agra, home to the famous, white marble monument Taj Mahal, lies in the northern part of India, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Situated on the banks of the Yamuna River, this place was once the stronghold of the Mughals in the bygone era, with it being the capital of Emperors Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Akbar. During their rule, these emperors built several buildings over here including Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Taj Mahal, Ram Bagh, Jama Masjid and I’timād-Ud-Daulah. Some of these monuments are UNESCO-listed world heritage sites, and thus receive hordes of visitors from across the globe, each year. These wonderful architectural masterpieces can be visited with most Agra tour packages. Besides these famous attractions, there are a few others that may not be known popularly but do have their own charm, which attract many avid travellers. Some of these places are Anguri Bagh, Birbal Bhavan and Mankameshwar Temple.
Situated within the Agra Fort, Anguri Bagh (Garden of Grapes) was commissioned by Shah Jahan and its construction was completed in 1637. As the name suggests, it was used to plant flowers and harvest the choicest of grapes. It served as the private garden for the Mughal ladies, who spent their leisure time here. The garden is divided into different sections by intricate patterns, featuring a fountain at the centre that is encompassed by a marble paved platform. The Khas Mahal (or Private Palace) is located on one of its sides and on the remaining ones, red sandstone arcades have been built. To the northeast of the garden lies the hammams (or imperial bathhouses), which are decorated with beautiful wall paintings. The tanks located near the Jehangiri Mahal were the source of water supply to the hammams and fountain.
This structure is one of the highlights of Fatehpur Sikri that lies near the Jodha Bai Palace. There is no evidence as to who built it, but as per speculations, it might have been commissioned by either Birbal himself or Akbar. The monument is appreciated for its double-domed architecture and intricate designs that ensure that it remains cool during the hot summer months. The architecture of this structure is a beautiful blend of Persian and Mughal styles. Appreciating the beauty of Birbal Bhavan, a French author has said that it resembled a small jewellery box. This building is surrounded by lush green lawns and splendid gardens, and coming here with Agra tour packages is a great idea.
This shrine, devoted to Lord Shiva, lies in the Rawatpara area of the city. The main sanctum of this temple houses an idol of the deity, and surrounding it are the idols of Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Kartikeya, Maa Annapurna, Maa Gaura, Nandi Gadd and Ardhanarishwar. In addition to the main sanctum, there are various other shrines inside the complex that house idols of deities like Hanuman, Krishna, Rama, Ganga, Gayatri and Kaila Devi. As per beliefs, Lod Shiva promised that anyone who prays at this temple and wishes for something will get it. Therefore, the shivalinga in the premises is also referred to as Shri Mankameshwar Nathji.
To visit these splendid sites or the other popular ones, travellers can stay for a few days, either in the 5-star properties or budget hotels in Agra, as per their preference, location and budget. These establishments are dotted across the city, and with the help of their travel desks, tourists can visit all the above-mentioned attractions quite easily.
So, on a tour to this old city with Agra tour packages, travellers not only can witness the major attractions the place is known for, but also the ones that are less popular compared to them.