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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Learn the stories of Agra with a local

The tour finishes at Tahir’s family haveli in the middle of the old city where you sit down for a family meal with views of the Taj Mahal…

By Aayush Rathi
Founder of Roobaroo Walks, Alfred&'s partner in India

Explore Agra beyond the Taj Mahal and dine with a local family to hear the stories behind our famous city. Your storyteller guide for the walk is Tahir, whose family have lived in Agra for generations. Tahir starts the trip with a visit to the mosque and markets in the old city, where you’ll watch people interact and worship, witnessing how the city comes together to live and pray.

As you wander the back alleys, Tahir will point out hidden architectural gems and rooftops with sweeping views over the city. Rather than just hearing dates and historical facts, you’ll discover the human stories of Agra. For instance, how the Jama Masjid was built by Shah Jahan for his daughter Jahanara Begum, who was the emperor’s advisor and enjoyed a powerful position in trade, architecture and city planning. This leads to interesting conversations about women in Indian history.

The tour finishes at Tahir’s family haveli, a 150-year-old house in the middle of the old city where you sit down with his family to chat, eat lunch and soak in views of the Taj Mahal. You can even help Tahir’s mother shop for ingredients at the market and cook your meal if you like, learning about Indian spices and recipes. You’ll feast on traditional Mughal dishes like Haleem, a type of stew cooked in a huge iron pan. If Tahir’s musician brother is around, he might play you some music while you eat. Guests love this family interaction and are able to appreciate the Taj’s beauty all the more because they understand the human context behind it.

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Alfred & Aayush Rathi

Together with his wife, Aayush Rathi founded Roobaroo Walks in 2015 to help visitors explore India’s rich heritage, curating experiences that revolve around local people and interpreting their stories through a historical lens. Having originally trained as an engineer, Aayush now works with over 20 storytellers who lead Roobaroo tours in eight destinations around India.
Aayush Rathi, founder of Roobaroo tours in Agra and Amritsar