Sunday, 7 April 2013

Agra, India

The City Of Taj Mahal

Why Agra was on my list?

Agra is the city of Taj Mahal. It's a city with three UNESCO world heritage sites. It has lots of history to brag about. At the peek of it's glorified history, it was the head quarter of Mughals during their Indian occupation. Agra has also served as the capital of Hindustan during the era of Sikandar Lodi. A trip to India without going to Agra to admire the beauty of love is always an incomplete tale.

For me there was one more reason. A will to go on long bike drive with the lady of my life which we never dared to do before. If you are anywhere in NCR and want go missing for two days I would say Agra is place you are heading to, just get disappear from the radar.

Royal Gate Of Taj Mahal
















Tourist places in Agra: There are three historical places in Agra to visit:
== Photos from my trip ==
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Food and drink


If you are visiting Agra food should not be one of your concern. There are few restaurants available near to the Taj Mahal location. You can find few international flavored one in Taj ganj area too. For drinking well plenty of options available. One such place to buy drink at cheap rates is situated in main market of Taj Ganj area next to bike repairing shops. 

Stay

It should not be much of a trouble to find a good budget option near Taj Mahal itself but keep in mind: 

- Don't expect too much but worth every penny paid. 
- Be sure to check out the room before paying for it. As you might get trap in paying for a room which doesn't even exist in the entire hotel :). 
- Bargain and bargain hard. We saved around 40% at the rate initially offered.
Don't follow people offering hotel rooms on bike. Security Issues!

One of the biggest plus point of booking hotel room in Taj Gang area is that you can walk from there to the Taj Mahal and if it is your lucky day you could get a room window facing Taj itself. We were not that much lucky that day :( 

Transportation

Bus: You can get bus to Agra from ISBT Delhi costing around 400Rs. Another option to book a bus seat is near Red Fort area in Delhi. This area is basically captured by private bus/taxi service providers. Note: Since buses are not allowed to wait for pickup at the highway they will keep on circling same area for a while until it's fully loaded. But going to Agra by bus I wouldn't take that option unless it's tour operator bus.

Train: Train is much better option than bus since many trains are available from Delhi to Agra. The train service starts quite early in the morning near about 6 AM. For more information on trains you can browse through Indian railways website and on the same you can book tickets online too as per your convenience. 

Taxi: You can book taxi to Agra from Delhi. There are many taxi services available from Delhi airport or another better option is near Red Fort area in Delhi where you will find many private taxi service operators.

Route - Agra from Delhi or vis a versa: 

Route one: Most of the buses take the old route which increases the travelling time atleast by 1 and 1/2 hours or so. Road condition is pretty drive-able just near by of Mathura it gets bit crowded. When we were travelling back we took this road by mistake from Agra to Mathura.Taking trains from agra to delhi would be anytime better option than travelling via Mathura. 

Route two: An international standard express highway from Delhi to Agra. We took this route. It is known as Yamuna Express Highway or Delhi Agra express highway. 

Route goes like, Delhi - Noida - Greater Noida - Agra. 

We started 8.15 AM, reached Noida - Greater NOIDA Expressway by 9.00 AM. Initially there was hell of traffic from Delhi to Noida, it took around 45 Mins to cover 15 KM which made us think whether it was a good idea to travel by bike. 
But the moment we hit Noida-Greater Noida expressway traffic started to disappear. We covered next 10 KM in hardly 10 Mins. 

We hit the Yamuna Expressway by 9.15 AM. This highway could come as a shock to those who never traveled to any developed country. After looking at the highway all I could say was 'Is it really Indian road?' I never thought India could have such kind of straight line highway which says speed limit "100 Km/Hr". 

It was bit unbelievable at first to see such sign board in a country where you can hardly hit 60 Km/Hr. Where most of the road are filled with potholes and only god knows which one you are going to hit sooner or later. 

But this road was just plain as anything could be. The only concern now we had was weather in Agra as I heard it's get bit foggy near to Agra because of industrial pollution but it turns out to be manageable later on. It's also strongly suggested to have a look on the wheels of car before starting your journey on this road. I saw it personally that most of the people were running on very old wheels "specially taxis" and an old wheel on such a highway doesn't response well to the breaks if applied on the high speed since the road is made of concrete they tend to get bit slippery. 

All in all it was a good trip. This trip became one of the most remembered journey of mine because it was my first long bike ride :). A beautiful express highway, low to no traffic, companied by partner of my life, going to one of the wonders of this world what else can you ask for, right?

Happy travelling...

2 comments:

  1. Agra is one of my favorite cities in India. It is a city on the bank of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. I visited there last year before hop on hop off bus washington dc tour with my family. The Taj Mahal is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Agra. Millions of visitors come there to see this lovely. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third Wife, Mumtaz Mahal. You have shared sufficient information about it for all visitors and as well as for me. I’m really impressed after reading.

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  2. nice blog.thanks for share the information. I am looking a new blog on this topic.
    Delhi to Agra Taxi

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