One must have visited Taj Mahal numerous times and would return back after enjoying the beauty of one of the seven wonders of the world. But there is more to see here apart from the Taj; one needs to have a glimpse of the structure from Mehtab Bagh, especially on a full moon night, which is a sight that would sweep you off your feet for sure.
This hidden treasure in the city of Agra was built by Shah Jehan during 1631 to 1635 AD as part of Taj Mahal, which was a grand mausoleum dedicated to his beloved wife Mumtaz Begum. Mehtab Bagh in translation means "moonlight garden"; the king planned this garden as an ideal place to enjoy Taj Mahal on full moon nights.
Mehtab Bagh was planned according to the well-known techniques which are seen in the other gardens crafted by the Mughal ruler Babur. After the Battle of Panipat, Babur had shifted to Agra but was unhappy with its weather conditions and lack of water. He would often complain that there were no beautiful gardens here, like the ones he had built in Samarkand and Kabul.
Hence, he began to build baghs or gardens which reminded him of his far away home at Samarkand. These gardens were meant to be recorded in the books of history and were one of the finest examples of the Mughal style of gardening.
The typical features of these gardens were pools, fountains, corridors between patches of green in perfect symmetry and were fine examples of well-maintained gardens. Mehtab Bagh is designed in the shape of a T with its well-trimmed alleyways along with rows of low shrubs. If one would stand at one end of a corridor, the other end would offer a full view of Taj Mahal.
According to the original plan, the garden had a huge octagonal water tank along with 25 fountains at its centre, whose ruins can still be seen. Mehtab Bagh allows one to enjoy the beauty of the Taj in peace without being stuck amongst crowds. If you are thinking of taking a day trip to Agra, then this garden is a must visit.
The gardens are open everyday from 6.00 am to 7.00 pm and can be reached by driving through the Taj Ganj via the western gate of Taj Mahal. Coming to the best season to visit the place, the winter season is one of the best; and the best time, undoubtedly, is during a clear full moon night or the early morning hours.