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Nearby places to visit from the Taj Mahal
The city of Agra, which was once the capital of the Moghul Empire, has witnessed the construction of various structures on a mammoth scale. Truth be told, besides the Taj Mahal, Agra brags of various historical monuments and tourist attractions that are intriguing and interesting in their own right and do merit a visit. If you are visiting Agra to watch the Taj Mahal for a couple of days, do extend the trip to a few more days to savour what the city and its nearby places has to offer, for the city has significantly more to offer than its masterpiece – the Taj. Add the various other tourist destinations to your travel bucket and inundate yourself with the epical offerings that the Moghuls left behind.
Agra and its neighbouring areas, including Mathura and Vrindavan, offer one-of-a-kind tourist spots in the social universe of India. While Agra is known for its UNESCO World Heritage monuments, Mathura and Vrindavan are famous for their pilgrimage places for Hindus given their long-standing association with Lord Krishna and Radha. Both these sister urban areas have various grand and stunning temple sanctuaries. Another place that merits a visit situated close to Agra is the Bharatpur Keladeo Bird Sanctuary, a definite ornithologist's delight, where one can find various bird species that thrive and discover their abode therewith.
The Agra Fort
One of the well-known UNESCO World Heritage tourist sites close to the Taj Mahal is the Agra Fort. Sited in close proximity to the Taj Complex, it was built by Emperor Akbar in the year 1565. Various augmentations were carried on in this stronghold, until the rule of Shahjahan. It is one of the better known masterpieces of the Moghul design that is made entirely of red sandstone. Read More about Agra Fort
Sikandra – The Tomb of Akbar
Akbar's tomb at Sikandra is the last resting place of one of India's most famous Moghul Emperors, Akbar the Great. It is just 13 km from the Agra Fort. The tomb has a unique design when compared to the other tombs that were built by the Moghuls. The construction of this pyrduringal tomb was competed Prince Jahangir, who was Emperor Akbar's son, in the year 1613 and has the 99 names of Allah engraved onto it.
The Fatehpur Sikri, also known as the abandoned city, is approximately 40 km from the city of Agra. Constructed by Moghul Emperor Akbar, it was completed in the year 1584. It is a one-of-its-kind city and is numbered amongst the grandest urban areas of the Moghul Empire. It is one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Agra; the other two being Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal.
The Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah
NurJahan, the wife of Jahangir, got the tomb of Itmad'ud Daullah made in mid-1622 AD and 1628 AD. It was made in the memory of her beloved father, Ghiyas'uddin Begh. Situated on the left banks of the Yamuna River, the tomb is a rich structure and is thought to be a forerunner of the Taj Mahal due to its multifaceted carvings and fantastic inlay work.
The Mankameshwar Temple
Around 2.5 km from the Taj, and under a kilometer from the Agra Fort, is one of the four antiquated temple sanctuaries of Lord Shiva that stand on either sides of the Agra city. It is encompassed by the business sectors of the Moghul era.
Worked by Babur in 1528, Ram Bagh is the most established Moghul garden in India. Situated on the banks of Yamuna, under 3 km from the Taj, it was designed as such that the wind from the river combined with greenery, would keep the area cool during the scorching summer days. This garden was initially named the Araam Bagh (The Relaxation Garden).
Swami Bagh Samadhi
Swamibagh Samaadhi, the construction of which began over a century back in 1904, proceeds till date. It is often known as the other Taj Mahal due to its brilliant blend of stone carvings and marbles that are believed to be so unique that they don't exist anywhere else in India. The monument holds the cinders of Huzoor Swamiji Maharaj or Shri Shivdayal Singh Seth.
The holy Vrindavan city, which lies close to Agra, is a standout amongst the most worshipped pilgrimage centers in India for the Hindus. The city is deeply connected with Lord Krishna and is said to house more than 4,000 temples devoted to Him alone.
Mathura is the origination of Lord Krishna. There are numerous excellent temple sanctuaries in Mathura, including one at the birthplace of Shri Krishna.
Nandgaon was the home of Nand, Shri Krishna's foster father. On the highest point of the slope is the roomy temple sanctuary of Nand Rai, constructed by the Hat ruler Roop Singh. Alternate temple sanctuaries here are devoted to Girdhari, Gopinath, Narsingha, Nand Nandan, Nritya Gopal, and Yasodha Nandan, which are found mostly on the way up the slope. Nandgaon springs are lively and flow consistently around the month of March, more like they are prepping themselves for the celebration of Holi when numerous vacationers throng the city to participate in the acclaimed "Lath Mar Holi'.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Bharatpur is around 56 km from Agra and houses the Famous bird sanctuary that homes a large number of rare and endemic bird species, including the Siberian Crane. There is the Lohagarh Fort, which stands formidably despite a few assaults by the British. Only 32 km from Bharatpur is the Deeg Palace. This solid and enormous stronghold was the late spring resort of the Bharatpur ruler and has numerous castles and gardens within its premises.
National Chambal Sanctuary
National Chambal Sanctuary is 70 km from the Taj, Agar, and is a characteristic haven and the home of the endangered Indian Gharial, from the family of the crocodile and of the Dolphin of the Ganges River, which is now endangered.
Other prominent attractions near the Taj are;