The epic love between an emperor and his queen stands out as that monument in Agra that still pulls crowd from all over the world- timeless as the crowning glory that would befit the feeling of a Mughal royal. But Agra is more than the Taj mahal, as you will discover in the cycling tour, through the lanes and by-lanes, the lesser-known yet significant elements of the city, in the temples, the mausoleums, the locals, their daily lifestyle. So, hop on to a cycle, as you wade past the vendors, the guides and the hawkers, to unravel the heritage of the city in its nooks and niches, far away from the imposing Taj, yet as awe-striking!
Agra sports the royal bearing of the Mughals, who had held their fort here. From Akbar to Shahjahan to Aurangzeb, the city holds in its edifices, the lineage of the Mughals, their triumphs, the landmark events and their fading glory, with the incoming of the British. From the Mughal monuments to the Colonial vestiges, to the different religious sects that streamed through this region, you will get to see Agra through a kaleidoscope of culture, tradition and religion.
The cycling tour will start at 6:30 am at Mc Donalds, TDI Mall, Fatehabad Road, wherein you will be covering a distance of 14 km. A melting point of five different religions- Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, you will visit the prominent religious centres associated with each religion. You may get to hear the namaz or the Salah as much resonant with the chants rising from the Hindu shrine when you visit the Jama masjid, the ancient Manka Meshwar temple. The churches of different Christian sects are an attraction as they all have a different history to unfold when you step in. From the religious influences to the Colonial hangover, you will see the different heritage structures raised during the British era.
As the ride starts early morning, you will witness the streets waking up to the morning bustle, and see the full swing trading in the wholesale vegetable market. The Flower market will draw you into its aura of fragrance and colours as you walk past it. As you go further, visiting the Dhobi Ghat, you will also get a peek into the life of the locals, their lifestyle and livelihood, and the predominant economy that is a source of sustenance here(apart from tourism).And when you are looking to recharge your batteries, you will be tempted to try the sweet pethaas( made of ash gourd), which Agra is famous for, apart from the all-time favourite breakfast combo of Bedai(spicy) & Jalebi(sweet), showcased at the street food stalls.
With the tour ending at Mahatab Bagh, the rich past of Agra hangs thick in the air, with the Taj spelling a strong presence, and beyond, you will find the building blocks of history- the legacy that shines as much as the monumental testimony to love!