Tour of Agra and its Pigeon Keepers

Private & Custom Tours in Agra
Image by Viator

Information from Viator

Tour description

This 3-hour private tour ventures into a phenomenal and new kind of travel exploration. This walking tour begins at the historic rail station of Agra and takes you through Jama Masjid, Vaidya Ramdutta Gali, Chidyawala Temple, Patal Hanuman Temple and Kinari Bazaar. Next, your guide will take you to interact with a local pigeon keeper, the trend of which, dates back to the Mughal Empires fascination with the sport of Kabootarbazi or pigeon racing. You will be picked up from within the city boundary and will receive complimentary mineral water, an English speaking guide and a private air-conditioned vehicle.

Your tour will begin at the historic rail station constructed during the British Raj as a sojourn for colonial tourists visiting Agra. Across the station, in the heart of old Agra, lies the Jama Masjid. This magnificently proportionate mosque was built in 1648 by Shah Jahan's daughter, Jahanara. Here, amongst the hustle-bustle of narrow streets and historic buildings, you will pass through Vaidya Ramdutta Gali which is an old lane dedicated to the memory of a traditional medicine practitioner. Your tour will also take you through Chidiyawala Temple, Patal Hanuman Temple, the Mughal Police station and the famous Kinari Bazaar (jeweller's market). With the end of the walking tour, the 'real' fun begins. You will be taken to interact with a Pigeon keeper, a profession that continues in Agra from the reign of the Mughals where Kabootarbazi was a popular form of recreational sport. A gentle contest, Kabootarbazi was the favourite pastime of many Nawabs, in fact, the Mughal Emperor Akbar is known for his fascination with the medieval sport which was eventually banned in the country. In 2004, this ban was lifted and the sport was revived by many different schools or traditions of Kabootarbazi.The Kabootarbaz (also known as Khalifa) is an individual who trains 200 to 250 pigeons and then engages them in a flight competition. The competition begins when the Khalifas order their birds to join the other groups of the pigeon in the air. As the pigeons take to the skies, their masters direct them with the sound of whistling or a cacophonous burst of 'hurr, hurr' or 'aao, aao'. After a few rounds of flight, the Khalifas start instructing their birds to fly back in their direction. After several rounds, the team that ‘catches’ the maximum pigeons wins.

What's included

  • Driver/guide
  • Professional guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Transport by air-conditioned private vehicle
  • Bottled water

What's not included

  • Gratuities
  • Camera Fees