Friday, April 8, 2011

Agra beyond Taj Mahal

It is not about my one time visit to the city. I have been going and visiting the place once in every year. Reason- the city being my home town. However, in spite of belonging to the place by birth, I have always felt as a tourist out there. May be because of the gap between my upbringing and culture and the city.

Keeping all that aside, let me speak about the city (still not sure whether I should call it a ‘big- developing’ town or just a city). The place has always attracted me with its traditional lifestyle with a touch of modernity here and there. Sometimes even the roughness and the harshness the place seems to deal with, catches my attention.

It is not just the Taj Mahal, which makes the city but its culture and people. A careful look around the city and you will have some of the most cherishable moments of your life, though this walk might not be as refreshing as visiting Taj Mahal or Fatehpur Seekhri, for the simple reason of massive garbage presence at every corner!!

Loud posters of movies with names like “Caal Girls” or “Khuni Darinda” can be seen beautifying the walls in the interiors of the city. Many buildings which were nothing less than forts are withering away. You will come across many of these on your tour to Agra.

Apart from that, there are some good things to notice too..small gali with hand-pumps at the very entrance near the old agra presents you with touch of pre-British era. Elderly people draped in traditional Dhoti Kurta and a Ghandhi cap on their head also going to attract you. Try having conversations with few of them, they in their braj (dialect of Hindi) will tell you about the transition the city has gone through. It might be difficult to understand at first but yes it worth catching even the few phrases.

Marble is everywhere- you can see karigars (artisans) working on these white stones and giving them life. Though the most famous is the image is of Taj Mahal, statues of God and Goddess as well as decorating pieces are also sure to tempt to.
Moving from our tiny Taj Mahal to the real wonder, let me tell you it is indeed a wonder, its beauty, its delicate art work and design leaves you spell bound. And believe me , I am not exaggerating. It is an experience in itself. In fact, for me, its white marble structure presents a kind of relief from the other monumental buildings.

This is my Agra which has more than just Taj Mahal to offer you. Try visiting it in my way, I am sure you will like it :)


  1. You have given a new way of looking at the city "Agra"...I never had the opportunity to visit the city but after reading about your experience, I feel there is more to look out for, in the city apart from "THE TAJ MAHAL"... Keep it up Richa...

  2. @Meneka: Thanks a lot..yes the city has more than just Taj must visit it :)

  3. Once Taj was on auction, luckily withdrawn by the governor general who received a quote for 3 lakhs, now without TAJ, it is totally an ordinary place, with probably the old palace of Mansingh under crumbles

  4. @Deguide: I wasn't aware of this fact. Quite surprising to know that even TAJ was on auction!!
    You are right it is like an other city without the Taj but for me thats the very factor attracting me.

  5. The Taj is not something which you can compress or contain in some pictures or words. But rest guaranteed, once you see it, you'll never forget it. The Taj is an experience...

    Liked the way you looked beyond the Taj when writing about Agra, even though I was searching for their 'petas' somewhere in the post.

  6. @Arun John: Thanks a lot :)

    In my next post I will definetly write about the cuisines over there and yes about pethas, dalmoth and jalebi- kachori (famous breakfast of the place)

  7. Hi Richa,
    Nice write up ... Yup there is so much to see and do in Agra apart from the Taj (which is fab BTW). I feel sorry for those folks who try to visit agra in the form of a day trip from Delhi.
    Sikandara, Itimad-ud-Daulah ... and more.

  8. Good one! A different view about a great city!

  9. @Madhu: Thanks a lot. Yes I agree agra had more than just Taj to see..


  11. @Arun: Thanks for the link. I wasn't aware of this. Now this poses a big threat to the monument.

  12. Awesome!!!!
    recently I too got an oppurtunity to visit Taj mahal...its wonderful..its beauty is eternal...

  13. @Charu: right you has it own charm ..