Visit to Agra with Family
One fine evening two of us friends alongwith our families decided to visit Agra, the city of Taj Mahal. We drove in our own cars. The visit though only for two days duration was memorable, enjoyable and smooth with no hassle at all. All the pictures here are from that memorable visit. Agra is very easy to reach from Delhi. Here’s how.
How to reach Agra from Delhi.
There are three ways to travel from Delhi to Agra as follows :-
By Bus. Agra is well connected by bus to cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior, Lucknow and Kanpur. Daily buses ply between these cities. Agra has two major interstate bus terminals called Idgah Bus Stand, which is located in the centre of the city. The distance from here to Taj Mahal is mere 8 kms. Another bus terminus is the ISBT, located at a distance of 12 kms from the Taj. From Delhi the road distance to Agra is 180 kms appx.
By Train. Agra is situated on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai route and is well connected to most cities across India. There are regular trains to Agra from cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior and Jhansi. Agra is also well connected to cities in other parts of the country such as Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. There are five railway stations in Agra – Agra Cantt Station (the main station), Agra Fort Railway Station, Raja ki Mandi, Agra City and Idgah Railway Station. The Taj Mahal and Agra Fort are a short distance away from Agra Cantt railway station and one can hire a pre-paid taxi, auto rickshaw or even a cycle rickshaw to get to these attractions.
Your Own Car/Vehicle. Agra is connected to Delhi by NH2 and the Yamuna Expressway. The drive time is about 4-5 hours depending on traffic and time of the day. Jaipur is connected to Agra by NH11 and is a 4-hour drive. Gwalior, connected by NH3 is a 1.5-hour drive while Lucknow and Kanpur, connected by NH2, are about a 2-hour and 5-hour drive respectively.
We have driven to Agra from both the routes viz NH2 and Yakuna Expressway. The drive is smooth but the the drive from Delhi to Agra via Taj Express (Yamuna Expressway) is absolutely fantastic.
Places of Interest in Agra
Agra sits on the banks of the Yamuna River and is located just 130 miles south of New Delhi. The city is known for its architectural marvels and Mughal history. Agra forms part of India’s tourist circuit known as the Golden Triangle, along with Delhi and Jaipur.
There are a number of incredible tourist sites worth visiting in Agra. However, two of the most popular are The Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is recognized around the world as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World and is called the jewel of Muslim art in India by UNESCO.
When is the Best Time to Visit Agra
Though Agra can be visited at any time of the year. However, the best time to visit Agra is between October and March. If possible one must avoid the scorching heat of the summers and the torrential monsoon rains. Also please avoid making the visit on Friday as it remains closed.
Be Prepared for Beggars and Touts
Beggars and Touts are big irrigants in Agra. They act as deterrents to tourists especially women travelers. As soon as you land at Agra station, you are accosted by beggars and touts. In fact, it is said they operate in gangs and they identify potential targets at bus stations and railway stations. Most of these touts claim to be guides or taxi drivers. They use ploys such as free guides, free taxis, and the promise of heavy discounts at shops.
Christine Kaaloa has written a very useful article on How to Deal with Touts, Scams and Beggars. Hope you find this very useful in Agra and anywhere else.