Agra: First-Hand!

Agra is easily accessible from road, rail and air, though the frequency of flights is very low, so think twice before taking this route. I chose the rail route, as I am more of a train person; it took me 2 hours 50 mins, a distance of 204.2 km via the Taj Express Highway to reach Agra from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. Ours was only a day-long trip.

Once you get down at Agra Cantonment railway station there is a proper, organised government system in place with fixed prices, whether you choose a taxi or a rickshaw, and it’s hassle-free. Choose one destination, or half day or full day services from the available options at a nominal rate. For a half-day trip, it’s just 500 for a rickshaw and 750 for a taxi. I opted for a rickshaw.

Untitled-1

From there our journey started with what else, but the Taj Mahal! It was Independence week, so security was quite tight, and it took us almost 1.5-2 hours just to get into the Taj Mahal (you have to first buy a ticket, then there are different queues for men, women, and for foreigners, or the VIP line from which you can enter by paying a higher amount).

Untitled-3

Finally I entered the Taj Mahal, whose construction began in 1632 and finished in 1648. The Taj Mahal, the eighth wonder of the world, lived up to its name and made for a worthwhile visit and experience, though the heat and long wait had killed most of my excitement.

Gallery

Right next to the Taj Mahal, is a mosque made up of red sandstone and a mirror image of the mosque; together their symmetries perfectly balance the architecture of the Taj Mahal. Personally I loved the mosque, because I like colour. For me, the red sandstone was a better sight than the white marble. I know a lot of you would disagree here, but this is what I like!

IMG_20160813_122002939_HDR

Our second destination was Agra’s Red Fort, just 2.5 km northwest of the Taj Mahal. It’s huge but was much less crowded. As we reached, it started raining heavily, a phenomenon that Agra rarely witnesses (according to our rickshawala), so the roads are just not equipped to handle heavy showers. There’s water-logging within a few minutes of any downpour.

IMG_20160813_142334797_HDR

There are quite a few stand-alone shops that sell items made of marble, banana-silk saree, cotton suit piece, etc you can check them; if you like shopping while travelling.

IMG_20160813_144343082_HDR

Coming to food, it’s better to carry munchies as much as possible as there are only a handful of restaurants that don’t serve good quality or tasty food; there is no facility to eat outside the station, and according to some locals,  the single present eatery was shut for renovation.

Agra is also known for its pethas, a special kind of sweet available in every sweet shop in the city. Agra Petha is made up of ash gourd or white pumpkin. There are almost 50 varieties of Pethas available, ranging from plain Petha and Angoori-flavored petha, to kesari petha and mango petha, to cube petha and many more.

If you’re not very much of a planner, then there are a lot of tour packages for the day, ranging anywhere between 800-1500 per person, which includes A/C Transport, Breakfast and Guide (I didn’t find the guide especially useful, so I wouldn’t recommend it).

Do remember that Agra is officially shut on Friday, so plan accordingly!

Please feel free to share your views and let me know if the article was helpful in the Comments section below!

Advertisements

2 Comments Add yours

  1. kartika says:

    Informative .. were you alone or ? Is it a safe city for girl’s to Travel alone ? And Next time you Plan to Travel do Let me know if you need travel partner I ‘ll join you 🙂

    Like

    1. I wouldn’t say the city is that safe for girls to travel alone. But its pretty ok if you’re travelling in a girl’s gang. And for sure il inform you if planning a solo trip 😊

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s