Agra Diaries

Although tourists from all over the world come to visit Agra because it has one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, it is often taken for granted by the people living nearby. We in Delhi-NCR consider it a weekend getaway only if nothing else works out. Well, let’s just say we have our reasons (not super safe, very hot place etc). Does that mean we are not awed when we reach Agra and look at the Taj Mahal? No, we are not awed because instead, we go breathless. 🙂 Taj is so, so BEAUTIFUL.

Some of us college friends planned a one day trip to Agra. We hired a tempo traveler and used the Yamuna Expressway for our journey. Yamuna Expressway makes it super easy and fast to reach Agra (and you can always stop to click pictures, Yamuna Expressway is one beautiful site for doing that). We reached in around 3-3.5 hours. As Fatehpur Sikri was nearer to the route we were taking, we decided to go there first and then head over to Taj Mahal. Fatehpur Sikri is a city in Agra district and it has the famous Buland Darwaza (a sight to behold!). Fatehpur Sikri itself is such a beautiful city with the palace, the tomb and the mosque minus the pestering by locals to buy stuff from them or to hire them as guides (something that doesn’t bother me because it’s their job, but I know it would bother some of you). Just look at all the beautiful monuments this city houses.

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The white monument is the tomb of the Sufi Saint, Salim Chishti

While entering the tomb, these sellers literal

While entering the tomb, these sellers literally force you to buy these offerings to make a wish inside. 🙂

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I am genuinely ashamed of my ignorance, but I have completely forgotten why this area was called Taksal. All I remember is that it was something related to elephants.

I am genuinely ashamed of my ignorance, but I have completely forgotten why this area was called Taksal.

Buland Darwaza

Buland Darwaza

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Is it just me who finds this dome and that lantern British?

And then, we took a break for lunch. Will you judge me if I tell you that lunch was my favorite part because when we were looking for a restaurant, this hotel that we entered did not want to let go of us (because we were a big party) and offered us a room to relax and eat without any extra charges as their dining area was full. It was so soothing to sit in a room and just talk in that scorching heat. The food was delicious too. 😀

Post this, we headed to the Taj Mahal. Feel free to breath after a few pictures. 🙂

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I found the ‘City of Taj’ quite fascinating.

Entering the Taj premises. So much in contrast with the rest of Agra.

Entering the Taj premises. So much in contrast with the rest of Agra.

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Yeah, breathless it was.

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I am done with the pictures. 😀 Here are few key things that you should know from my experience in Agra (this time and once on a school trip when I was in class 6 🙂 ):

  1. The best thing about Agra is that it is very much doable in one day but if you choose to relax here for few days, you would not be bored. Different views of Taj from the hotels, especially Taj Vivanta if you have the money, can keep you hooked. Just viewing Taj at different times like at dawn, in the moonlight etc is enough to keep you entertained and you can always explore the local markets.
  2. A famous delicacy of Agra is their ‘petha’. I am not a big fan of this sweet but since it is famous, don’t forget to buy some.
  3. Agra is full of pick-pockets and sellers trying to rip tourists off. Be extremely aware of your belongings and bargain for everything.
  4. We chose to go to Fatehpur Sikri first since we all have been to both Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri before anyway. However, if you are visiting the Taj Mahal for the first time, it should definitely be the first thing you visit, that too with ample amount of time and decide only once you are there whether you would want to visit another place that day. 🙂

Thanks for coming till the end, guys. I love it when people actually have the patience to appreciate long posts, let me know if you liked this one. It would make me super happy. 🙂

PS: Most pictures aren’t clicked by me. I clicked many but when I saw the pictures, I liked my friend’s iPad quality much better than my phone’s.

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30 thoughts on “Agra Diaries

  1. WordPress should sooo allow us to add pictures in comments. I would have shared my yamuna expressway and taj mahal pictures too.!!!!
    Anyway till that happens let me satisfy myself with just ranting about the experience to you. 😂
    So I am a person who has just not traveled anywhere (woes of children whose parents hate traveling!) So when a chance came for a office trip to Gurgaon I grabbed it with both hands and legs. The weekend was the first weekend after the Yamuna Expressway was inaugurated. As much as my friends and I loved the first two hours of the journey (like u said, stopping and clicking pictures) we hated the remaining four hours (yes we were stuck for six hours 😟)
    Tired famished irritated and annoyed us literally stormed into Taj Mahal and that was when we realized six hours? Hell we could have traveled six days to get to this place.
    Mindblown! Stunned! In eternal awe! Love at first sight!
    It is a wonder of the world for good reason! We just couldn’t leave that place. But we had to! With our luggage full of Pethas of course ☺
    P.S. Natural fibre garments are another speciality in Agra..I bought my mom a Banana Fibre Saree from here. 😊

    • Haha, wonderful experience that! Thanks for sharing. and thanks for letting know about the banana fibre thing. Where did you find that though in Agra? Well, I too get to travel quite less due to permission issues 😀 and honestly, I wasn’t big on traveling myself till a long time but I am in love with it now. 🙂

      On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 11:53 PM, Life of Srish wrote:

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  2. I had been thrice to Delhi but could never make it to Taj. One time that we made it till Agra,you wouldn’t believe that we climbed the nearest building and took a look from there(Taj wasn’t on our itenary and we tried to squeeze in somehow which didn’t happen) What a sigh! Pics are fab btw 🙂

  3. Great pictures. We had been there in June and I was awestruck looking at The Taj Mahal, but the restaurant outside The Taj had horrible food and the people were trying to litter everywhere. I was really sad looking at how people were not bothered to preserve something as beautiful as this.

    • Thank you 🙂 I can understand, people really don’t care about cleanliness in public places, in fact, consider it a stupid enough thing to even bother about. :/

  4. I just loved all the pictures that you have clicked…I went for a tour in Rajasthan bt that time i was to small to remember anything now.,…Hence i am planning to travel there again….

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