Watch these two for minutes and you will feel how close these two creatures are to each other. The heron closely follows each step of the Blackbuck. But then, follow more closely and you will notice that heron walks so close to deer because when the blackbuck is walking while grazing it is disturbing the insects resting in the grass, which are forced to fly and then they become easy prey for the herons. How nature has created this cycle!
Well, this is Sikandara in Agra, which is mausoleum of one of the greatest kings Akbar, the third mughal emperor to rule India. I had already done a post on the blackbucks of Sikandara, sometime back after my last visit to Agra. But couldn’t resist doing one more after the most recent trip.
Sikandara has hundreds of blackbucks in the four developed quarters of gardens on the four sides of the tomb of about 24 acres each. Blackbucks have been kept here as this is a walled enclosure within the reigns of the Agra city itself. But once you are inside the mausoleum, it seems to be an entirely different world. There seems to be a perfect symphony of history, heritage and nature.
All the antelopes or the deers here are blackbucks- both male and female. Dark ones are the males and the light coloured are females. They have long ringed horns, resembling corkscrews. Forest areas of Bharatpur are not far from Agra and Sikandara is located right on the Yamuna riverbed with plenty of natural environment in its backyard.
There is no concrete evidence or document relating blackbucks to this place, but people here say that they have been here since beginning. There is also a story which says that Akbar had a very favourite elephant named ‘Hiran’ (which means deer in Hindi). Akbar was very remorseful when the elephant died. So he thought that these blackbucks (from deer family or ‘hiran’ in Hindi) will remind everybody of his beloved elephant as well. Since then these blackbucks were kept here in a protected environment where there is no predator around. Well, as we know that Akbar had himself designed his mausoleum
So have a look at these blackbucks (hirans) of Sikandara.
Besides blackbucks, Sikandara also has a lot of peacocks and parrots. Occasionally, many other birds will also come here to take refuge.