- Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
- Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
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Interested in seeing the Taj Mahal from more than one angle? Then head over to Mehtab Bagh, or the Moonlight Gardens. Mehtab Bagh is situated opposite of the Taj Mahal on the northern side of the Yamuna River. These gardens are the last of Emperor Babur's 11 gardens that once lined the river. Babur is the founder of the Mughal dynasty, which includes the likes of Shah Jahan (responsible for the Taj Mahal) and Emperor Akbar (responsible for the Agra Fort). The gardens are modest in comparison to other royal gardens (such as the landscape at Versailles Palace), but Mehtab Bagh's purpose today is a practical one. After the empire fell, the gardens were neglected and eventually became unrecognizable. Winds would pick up sand that was left in the plot and travel to the Taj Mahal, causing officials to worry about erosion. The garden was rehabilitated specifically to protect the Taj Mahal from these natural occurrences.
Some visitors offered mixed reviews of the gardens, describing the grounds as unimpressive and neglected, while others found the site to be a verdant oasis. Regardless of travelers' feelings about aesthetics, many agreed it was peaceful thanks to its distance from the Taj tourists. Plus, the stunning views of the Taj were more than worth the trip, according to reviewers. Some say the best time to visit is at sunset, when the sky lights up with the Taj in the background.
The Mehtab Bagh is open from sunrise to sunset. Admission costs 200 rupees, or $3.50 for tourists. Children 15 and younger enter for free. For more information about the Mehtab Bagh, visit India's Archaeological Survey site.
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