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.
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. 🙂
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 🙂 ):
- 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.
- 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.
- Agra is full of pick-pockets and sellers trying to rip tourists off. Be extremely aware of your belongings and bargain for everything.
- 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.