- Destination: Agra
- Time to Visit: Any time.
- Suggestion: If possible, visit early in the morning. It could be very crowded later in the day.
- Date of travel: 04th March 2015
- Note: Entry charges vary vastly between Indians and foreigners
- Guide: Refrain from taking local guide if you are bad in bargaining skills. Prefer to take audio guide (available in many language like english, german, spanish etc.) available at the entrance of the monument which costs around Rs.100
- Other option: One can buy Taj Mahal entry ticket online to avoid long queue.
- Transportation – Number of transport available from Delhi like trains, buses and also conducted tours.
About: The Taj Mahal located on the southern bank of Yamuna River in the Indian city of Agra. It is designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site and also appears in the list of Seven Wonders of the World. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife Mumtaj Mahal.
Trip Planner: Delhi -> Agra -> Haridwar & Rishikesh -> Nainital -> Kausani -> Jim Corbett National Park
Our Journey Starts: Anindita’s friend Patrick Mennig from Germany payed a visit to India. Our plan was to show him some of the beautiful places of India. After an extensive planning, Me, Anindita and Patrick are all set to start our journey. The destinations we will cover in this journey are Delhi, Agra, Haridwar and Rishikesh, Nainital, Kausani and Jim Corbett National Park. As Delhi is the centre point for all trips to Uttarakhand, Uttaranchal and other places. After having a successful Delhi trip in day 1, our plan is now visit Agra on day 2 of our trip. The cab we booked at Delhi for Rs. 1500 came at 3.30AM to receive us. Taj Mahal can be very crowded later in the day. So our plan was to reach early in the morning. It takes around 6 hours to reach Agra via Taj Express. So, we are on our way to Agra. However, the journey turned out to be a very uncomfortable one as the weather was too foggy and chilly. And the car didn’t had a heater. The driver stopped at tolls and we had tea/coffee there. Finally we reached Agra after 6 hours. We pre-booked our Taj Mahal entry tickets from https://www.asi.irctc.co.in/ . The entry charge for an Indian visitor is Rs. 20 and for a foreign visitor, it is Rs. 750. After a heavy security checks, we all entered the main gate. To see Taj Mahal, one has to walk for 2 minutes from the main gate. Once we reached there, we all turned breathless. Whatever we heard since childhood about the beauty of Taj Mahal finally proved true by my eyes. The white marble mausoleum has all the beauty of its class. People from all over the world gathered to witness the beauty. Need not to mention, we had several photo sessions from all possible angles. To get a closer view, we went inside the Taj Mahal. One needs to wear a shoe cover (available there) or need to go bare foot. The actual tomb of Mumtaj Mahal and Shah Jahan is placed there. Taking pictures is prohibited inside. One can witness the Persian calligraphy on the walls of The Taj Mahal. One can also observe, how the English soldiers stolen all the precious stones from the walls by looking at the marks on the wall. The view of the river Yamuna from The Taj Mahal is also marvelous. Later in the day, it became heavily crowded. After spending over 2 hours there, we came out, bought some souvenir from local shops and boarded the cab for our next destination. Our next destination was Agra fort, which was about 2.5 km northwest of famous Taj Mahal. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the end of Shah Jahan’s life, he was deposed there by his son Aurangzeb. It is rumoured that Shah Jahan died in a tower there with a view of the Taj Mahal. The Agra fort is a huge one and Taj Mahal can be seen clearly from there. It has some lovely chambers, the throne Shah Jahan used while ruling is also kept there. The fort has some lovely sculptures to admire. After spending more than an hour, we boarded the cab and came back to Delhi by evening. We met one of Anindita’s friend at Connaught Place, Delhi. After dinner, we moved to Delhi station (DLI) via metro for our onward journey to Haridwar and Rishikesh. Need to mention, I have never seen a platform so crowded like this before. We boarded train “Mussoorie Express” which departs Delhi station at 22.15 and reaches Haridwar next day at 05.45. Train ticket was also pre-booked. Had a good sleep in the train. Freshened at Haridwar retiring room, which was very clean and we are ready again to explore Haridwar. Agra is a beautiful place. Foreigners from all country diverge there to see the The Taj Mahal. The beauty of the mausoleum was immense and cannot be described in words. Stay tuned for more updates on the remaining trip…