Below is a list of heritage walks designed with love by us. All these walks are led by artists from the city. We make sure that the part of the profits from our walks always go back to our local communities.
Agra 101 Walk
This tour has a little bit of everything about Agra. All topics ranging from history to politics and geography to culinay traditions are covered in this adventure packed tour.
We start our tour from the heart of “Akbarabad”, the Jama Masjid and see, feel and hear the beautiful though now chaotic city. We climb terraces to spot monuments, walk through 15th century markets, enter traditional homes and maybe meet a few local poets if we are lucky.
Start/End location : Shahi Jama Masjid Main gate, opp Agra fort station
Duration: 3 hours
Akbarabadi food trail / Zaika-E-Akbarabad
The city design of Agra is such that it encourages cultural confluence. Credit for this can be given to king Akbar the great, a secular king who laid the foundations of the city. Over time various communities have settled in Agra and with them have arrived an interesting and delicious motley of cuisines.
In the Akbarabadi food trail we cover hyperlocal food joints of Agra, from an early 19th century shop serving Braj cuisines to Muslim hotels that still preserve the age old family recipes. The food items change depending on the weather.
Dive into the authentic flavors of the city by takinig this food walk.
Start/End location : Shahi Jama Masjid Main gate, opp Agra fort station
Duration: 3 hours
Agra is mainly known for some major industries like the footwear industry, jewellery industry, tourism industry, etc. Their export system runs all over the world. But apart from these, there are a lot of small and traditional businesses like the kite factory, thread factory, wooden utensils factory, zardozi arts, etc. They have been running for centuries by some old families who live in Agra. Whenever we walk or go through the old markets of Agra, we can see very small shops that include kite making, thread making, zardozi art, and marble work, but when we enter these shops, we can see huge galleries where workers carry out their work. During the walk, we will explore the working system of these small factories that have silently been serving the city for generations. You will bear witness to the fast handiwork here along with the myriad skills.
The photo walk is aimed at capturing some of the many tales that make history a breathing, living phenomenon, an attempt to see Agra through the photographic lens. Instead of a fixed, predetermined route, we will wander through the streets following the collective instinct on each turn; tasting snacks, meeting locals, capturing moments and remnants.
Experience the taste of true Mughal cuisine. In this experience we have partnered with the women of Hakiman Street, the oldest Mohalla/community of Agra. We go to our hosts home to enjoy a three course meal which is prepared in the most traditional way using locally sourced spices and food items.
Conversations abound on this dastakhan and we have seen from poetry recitals to sharing of old stories and tales here. The woman of the household are warm and hospitable and our dining room window offers the best view of Taj Mahal.
Location: Gudri Mansoor Khan police station
Duration: 2 hours
Walk down the memory lane
What does the city look like to someone whose childhood stories are inextricably entangled with the history of a world famous city and one of the most powerful empires of all times?The walk is a evocation of memory and growing up as a local in the oldest part of the city.The walk will begin from the historic Jama Masjid and through the meandering route of intense aromas, colourful crowds, street foods, ancient temples and beautiful ruins, a snack with the women from the local communities, gazing men minutely working away with thread in a workshop that traces its roots to 16th generations, end with a visit to a 100 year shop of marble handicrafts where artisans still carve dreams in stone.
Story of Spices
Walking down the lanes of Agra leaves one absorbed by the aroma of the different spices, various food stalls and the overall diverse cuisines of the city. Be it while looking at the century-old spice shops at Rawatpada or eating the delectable and famous mutton stew at Pakiza Meat Shop, it is a wonder how different spices and flavours blend into the living history of the city, and how modern alterations to the original dishes over time have created new flavours that still retain the cultural significance of the dish. Join us on a food tour across the old city as we take you through a journey of myriad palates, with a variety of different dishes ranging from Mughlai non-vegetarian cuisine to braj ke bhalle, and discuss how the different spices/preparations used by generations have influenced the food and living culture of the city.
Military Breakfast Walk
It is not uncommon for us Agraites to get asked “So…what do you guys eat for breakfast in Agra?” The answer is obviously not straightforward as the lifestyle is diverse and complex. There is no such thing as homogenous Agra food – be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. But there are some cultural values that make Agra cuisine unique, especially the Agra breakfast. Join us on this breakfast walk through lanes of Mantola where we will be sharing stories from our childhood and exploring the vast range of breakfast recipies this city offers.
Exploring old ruins of the city
While every new construction in the city of Agra boasts of modern mechanical technology or some concrete structure, the ruins of the city hold parts that are almost 500 to 1000 years old. One can find many old Madarasa-like structures, like the Panja Madarasa ruins, with remnants of the Sufi poets around them, untold stories of the city, and different kinds of architectural styles in its balconies, windows and doors. One can experience the work of endurance and patience that has existed in these parts of the city for centuries. Sometimes, it is only the ruins that speak for themselves and their past. During the walk, we will discuss and share our experiences and childhood memories. We will also listen to and meet the local hidden poets of the area.
We have learnt in our lessons on Indian history that in ancient times, along with the religious connotations they carried, temples were seen as social hubs where people congregated. They were also sites where the arts like dance, music and combat were honed and passed down generations. Today, these temples remind us of our past and the architectural brilliance of craftsmen in those days. Join us on this temple walk around Rawatpara as we visit the temples of Mankameshwar, Dauji and others, and talk about how the temple was inseparably linked to the development of religion, sectarian traditions, society, economy and polity.
Rise of the Mughals
The first Mughal Babur came from central Asia from a small kingdom in present day Uzbekistan called Ferghana. In this walk we discuss what contributed to the success of the Mughals and how were they able to forge a strong empire in the land of beyond the Indus river.
Night Walk around Taj Mahal
The night walk is conceptualised with the hope of making the city a safe space, a space of stories and dreams. In a city that counts as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, it is strange that the residents, especially women find it unsafe to walk the streets or step out at night. We hope the walk will help the locals and the tourists connect, share stories and feel safe in this city that was once the seat of the most powerful empires ever in the world.
A walk about Mughal Women
Reading about princesses, begums and empresses of the Mughal empire, it is always fascinating to learn about their contributions and accomplishments. Be it Khanzada Begum, Mumtaz Mahal, Noor Jahan or Jahanara Begum, the women were all, right from the beginning, some of the most cultured and educated of their age. As for the physical evidence of Mughal ambition and glory, Agra is fairly studded with examples of their vision, in sandstone and marble. Join us on this heritage walk around Mariam Tomb as we visit the mausoleum of Mariam-uz-Zamani, the queen consort of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and talk about other begums and princesses of the Mughal empire and try to understand their contributions and influence on the city’s cultural heritage.
Reading the poets of Agra can make one realise that language is not a barrier but a tool to establish human connections. Be it Nazir Akabarabadi, Ghalib, or Mir Taqi Mir, the city and its culture has been documented beautifully in poetic verses. This tradition has continued with new poets emerging and evolving from different languages and communities.
Join us on this poetry walk across the old city as we visit the birthplaces of some great poets, read and talk about the poetry of Agra, and try to understand the submergence of language within the city’s unique cultural richness.
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