37 kms from Agra is built a city predominantly in Red Sandstone called Fatehpur Sikri. This town was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. He had planned this city as his capital but shortage of water compelled him to abandon the city and within 20 years the capital of Mughals was shifted to Lahore. Fatehpur Sikri was built during 1571 and 1585. The city is a fine example of culmination of Mughal and Hindu architecture. Any visitor to Agra must have a go at Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri mosque was said to be built in lines of the holy mosque in Mecca. Entrance to the mosque is through the Buland Darwaza that is 54m high.
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Sikandara, the place where the remains of Akbar the Great are interred, is situated some six miles to the north-west of Agra on the Delhi and Lahore road. It was founded by Sikandar Lodi in 1504 when he shifted his capital from Delhi to the vicinity of Agra in order to be nearer to the eastern provinces of his kingdom. It was at Sikandara that Akbar decided to have his mausoleum and hence it was renamed "Bihishtabad" or the "Heavenly Abode". Akbar wanted his mausoleum to be in the centre of a large garden. Like his administration, it was to be of solid construction and like his empire it was to be of vast proportions
This structure has a perfect blending of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain motifs. The blending is much like the religion, Deen Ilahi, which Akbar started. But Akbar died before his mausoleum could be completed and his son Jehangir completed it.
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Krishna, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu was born here. Mathura, which is one of the major Pilgrimage for the Hindus is 58 Kms from Agra. It comes before Agra if travelling from Delhi. Today the small town of Lord Krishna has grown and the place has a population of almost 3 lakh people.
Vrindavan, around 15 km from Mathura, is a major place of pilgrimage, on the banks of Yamuna . Attracting about 5 lakhs pilgrims every year, it is noted for its numerous temples- both old and modern. Vrindavan is synonymous with the innocent mirth and child like playfulness of Shri Krishna. Vrindavan, the dusty little town known for the temples, big and small, famous and remote strewn all over the place.
National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary
The National Chambal Sanctuary, located in Etawah, near Agra is spread over an area of 635 sq. kms. Established in 1979, the park has a rare collection of exotic rarely found species. The unusual gangetic dolphin is the main attraction of National Chambal sanctuary. The sanctuary is presently a part of a large area co-administered by Rajasthan , Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
When Babur came to India he laid the first Mughal gardens 500 m North of the Chini Ka Rauza. This well laid gardens are not even a fraction of what they used to be. It will need lots of imagination to picture how these gardens must have looked in 1558.