Home to the iconic Taj Mahal, the relentlessly congested and clamourous city of Agra and its hinterland host an array of superb Mughal architecture, along with vigorous bazaars.
Travel bucket list idea:
Elephant Conservation & Care Centre
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India|wildlifesos.org
Elephants feature prominently in Indian culture and design, from Ganesh, the ubiquitous ‘elephant god’, to architectural & decorative motifs. But for the tiger, it would probably be the national animal.
Yet all is not well with India’s elephant population. Whether used in temples to bestow blessings, for tourist rides (for example at Amber Fort near Jaipur) or for circuses, many end up being exploited and abused.
The ECCC and its hospital look after and rehabilitate captive pachyderms, as well as educating visitors on the importance of elephant conservation.
Located near the Yamuna River and surrounded by farmland, over twenty well-fed elephants are free to roam, enjoy water pools and live as ‘natural’ a life as possible despite their domestication.
Getting there & doing it
Around 30km north-west of Agra, it’s a straightforward half-day excursion. You can also combine it with Fatehpur Sikri without backtracking to Agra, for a full day’s excursion.
When to do it
The centre is open all year round, seven days a week, but visit by appointment only.
October to March will be the most comfortable visiting period. May to June are very hot so avoid visiting during these months if possible.
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