Sports & nature
Taj Nature Walk (Dist 9.5 Kms): A beautiful natural forest-cover spreading over an area of 70 hectares, just 500 mts away from the Eastern Gate of Taj Mahal. An excellent view of the Taj is available from the different species are also seen here. Entry Fee for Foreigners Rs. 50/- Child Rs. 5/- Visiting Hrs. Summer 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Winter 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sur Sarovar (Keetham Lake) (Dist 23 Kms): Sur Sarovar was declared a Bird Sanctuary in 1991. It is today a home to more than 126 species of migratory and resident birds.Initially covering an area of 4.03 sq Kms it has been expanded to an impressive area of 7.83 sq Kms dotted with small islands. Entrance Fees for Indians Rs.30/- and for Foreigners Rs. 350/-
For more details please contact Dy.Conservator of Forest National Chambal Sanctuary Project, Agra.
Patna Bird Sanctuary (Dist 57 Kms): Emerging like an oasis in the arid zone of Jalesar Taluq of Etah District, is the Patna Bird Sanctuary, spread over 108 hectares of land. This resort for migratory and local birds was given recognition as a protected sanctuary in the year 1991. Ornithologists have accounted for about 200 different species of exotic birds. Besides the migratory birds. Patna Bird Sanctuary, is a permanent abode for ocal birds also. An old and historic temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, attracts thousand of pilgrims for spiritualistic pursuits every year.
National Chambal Sancuary (NCS) (Dist 80 Kms): It is a 400 Km stretch of the river Chambal with a swathe of ravines on both sides. Granted protected area status in 1979 to help revive Ghariyal population..It is an IUCN Category IV (Manages Nature Reserve) Sanctuary which is a home for Dolphins, Ghariyals, Marsh crocodiles ,Turtles and about 311 species of birds.
Culture and history info
The golden age of the city began with the Mughals. It was known then as Akbarabad and remained the capital of the Mughal Empire under the Badshahs Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Akbar made it the eponymous seat of one of his original twelve subahs (imperial top-level provinces), bordering (Old) Delhi, Awadh (Oudh), Allahabad, Malwa and Ajmer subahs. Shah Jahan later shifted his capital to Shahjahanabad in the year 1649.
Since Akbarabad was one of the most important cities in India under the Mughals, it witnessed a lot of building activity. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of river Yamuna. The garden is called the Aram Bagh or the Garden of Relaxation. His grandson Akbar the Great raised the towering ramparts of the Great Red Fort, besides making Agra a centre for learning, arts, commerce and religion. Akbar also built a new city on the outskirts of Akbarabad called Fatehpur Sikri. This city was built in the form of a Mughal military camp in stone.
His son Jahangir had a love of flora and fauna and laid many gardens inside the Red Fort or Lal Qil'a. Shah Jahan, known for his keen interest in architecture, gave Akbarabad its most prized monument, the Taj Mahal. Built in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the mausoleum was completed in 1653.
Shah Jahan later shifted the capital to Delhi during his reign, but his son Aurangzeb moved the capital back to Akbarabad, usurping his father and imprisoning him in the Fort there. Akbarabad remained the capital of India during the rule of Aurangzeb until he shifted it to Aurangabad in the Deccan in 1653.