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Once the capital of the Mughals and the city of the Taj Mahal, Agra is just 50 km from Mathura. The Taj Mahal, a symphony in white marble, a tribute to eternal love, was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Other splendid examples of Mughal architecture in Agra include the Agra Fort with its exquisite Pearl Mosque, palaces and darbar halls; the imposing mausoleum of Emperor Akbar at Sikandra, built in an amalgam of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles and Itmad-ud-Daula's tomb, embellished with coloured stone inlay and filigree marble screens.

The wonderful city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Emperor Akbar. The marvellously preserved fort, palaces and the tomb of Salim Chishti with its delicate lacy marble screens are worth seeing.

An eighteenth century stronghold of the Jat rajas with its picturesquely contrived garden-cum-water palaces, Deeg is a popular tourist rendezvous today. Located at a distance of 153 km from Delhi and 11 km from Mathura, Deeg is easily approachable by road via Kosi, Govardhan, Mathura and Agra.

The fairy-tale palaces of Deeg are set at the edge of reservoirs of water. A central ornamental garden with water bodies, canals, fountains, ordered lawns, beautiful trees and pavilions is a charmingly green retreat. The principal palaces include the Keshav Bhavan, the Gopal Bhavan, the Sawan and Bhadon pavilions with their attractive curving roofs.

Located between Agra and Jaipur, the Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur is Asia's most spectacular bird sanctuary. Its 29 square kilometres of lakes and marshes, woodland and scrub provide a home, permanent or seasonal, for well over 300 species of birds. Some storks, cranes and smaller birds are winter migrants from Siberia, Central Asia or Europe; others are permanent residents or local migrants from among the 1,200 species identified in the Indian sub-continent. They use some 44,000 trees for nesting purposes every year during the monsoon and winter. Bharatpur thus provides a singular opportunity to observe a variety of birdlife.

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