The fascination of pigeon flyong in Agra continues even now from the time of the Mughals. Mughal emperor Akbar was very fond of pigeons. Pigeon flying was considered a recreational sport.
Pigeon flying was a favorite past time of many Nawabs. The Mughal Emperor Akbar had a great fascination for this medieval game, which was eventually banned in the country. In 2004, this ban was lifted later and the flying was revived by the traditions of dovecote.A pigeoner, also known as a khalifa, is a person who trains 200 to 250 pigeons and then enters them into a flying competition. The competition begins when the khlifa orders his birds to join other groups of pigeons in the air. As the pigeons take to the sky, their owner directs them with a whistling sound or a hoarse voice of ‘Hur, Hur’ or ‘Aao, Aao’. After a few rounds of flight, the khalifa begins to instruct his birds to fly back in his direction. After several rounds, the team that ‘catches’ the most pigeons wins.