My experience was quite amazing when I visited Agra. The drive was quite amazing and the driver was great. The driver’s name was Amar and he was quite knowledgeable about the local area. He used to conduct daily tours for people from Delhi off to Agra. We left from Delhi at around 6 a.m and reached Agra at around 10 a.m. We made one stop in between to freshen ourselves up. The journey was quite comfortable as we have booked a tempo traveler 9 seater luxury one. The seats were pushback seats and at every moment driver was considered about our well being. At last we reached Taj, our guide was quite knowledgeable and he explained us about the history of the sites. He even knew about the minute details of the every site. One thing to take note is that you must pay for the battery cars and the toilet papers inside the Taj. A smooth transportation from all necessary site attractions was provided to us and the journey was very memorable. Mr. Amar took us to a small shopping center where we could buy some souvenirs before returning us to Delhi. Initially we thought of coming to Agra by express train but as we were ending our journey, all the comfort and luxury that we experienced in the tempo traveler made us think that we made a wise decision. We reached Delhi around 6 p.m in the evening and took our connecting flight to Chennai.
PLACE TO VISIT IN AGRA
- Agra Fort
If you are in Agra and if after visiting Taj Mahal you are not visiting the Agra Fort then you are missing something big. Initially when we had planned to visit the Agra Fort then we decided to look it from outside and return back to the journey due to time constraints, but when we looked it from outside and after seeing its mesmerizing beauty we could not stop ourselves from stopping by, and seeing it from inside. We paid the entrance fees and entered the premises and the beauty was grand. We couldn’t stop ourselves from admiring the architecture of the place. I have heard so many stories about the great castle and it was just thrilling to be there. But, the sad part about the monument was the stolen precious stones from the castle. The leftovers can be clearly seen and if those stones would have been present then the beauty would have been incomparable. Big gardens and large gathering added to our pleasure. We interacted with so many people and shared our views about the beauty of the place. After visiting and monitoring the place deeply, I developed a Mughal style and it was amazing. Another disappointing fact about the fort is that only 25% of the fort is open for the general public and the part built by Shah Jahan is just amazing. We spent around 1-2 hours there and every second was worth remembering.
- Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid depicts the Mughal architecture. It is just opposite the Agra Fort near the Railway station. I visited this place along with three friends and it was a great experience. If you are visiting these places then you must have a guide book along with you so that you could know about the place in a better way. We didn’t stayed here for too long, but it was worth remembering. This place has a huge reputation which I have heard about and it is one of the biggest mosques in India, so that’s why I was interested to see it. We were made to remove our shoes and I was hopping around the place. One advise to all the visitors is that you must wear the socks when you are expected to visit the place because the floor gets heated up very easily and it can be little irritating and uncomfortable without the socks. We were there for around 15-20 minutes and it was peaceful, as well as soothing to the eyes.
- Guru Ka Tal
It is a big and peaceful Gurudwara on the outskirts of Agra, and easily reachable by road. We went there around 3:30 in the afternoon, it was hot, but the essence of the place is such that we got soaked into it. The gurudwara is located at the place Shri Guru Teg Bahadur ji was kept as prisoner. One can see and pay homage at the exact place also. The place has very good vibrations and when you are away from the crowded city then you get some divine feeling about this place. Sitting on floor and eating tasty Langar is a great feeling. The great thing about the sikh temples is that you get tasty food in the form of Prashad. The parking lot is very big and the shops around the complex have basic items which you require in your day to day life. It is located about 5 kms from Raja ki Mandi Railway station. The travellers can get room here at a very nominal rent and the food is absolutely free. I went there along with five friends and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
- Mehtab Bagh
Although it is not a garden, moreover it is ruins of a garden. The trees are planted all over the garden and there are few places to sit. It is one of the last gardens built by Mughals. When we went there, there were 20-25 people enjoying the beauty of the Taj from the sidewalks of the garden. People were very enthusiastic about their visit. It was developed as a moonlight pleasure garden later known as Mehtab Bagh. It is on the banks of river Yamuna which used to flow from here. It was developed in a terrace pattern and you would have a clear view of Taj from here. The Taj Mahal was itself crowded, but from here you would get plenty of time to soak up the beauty of the Taj. The maintenance of the garden is poor that’s why it remains unexplored by many people. Don’t cross the fence of the garden otherwise you would get to meet the buffaloes in the water. If you want to have a different view of Taj then this place is a must visit. To make this place a must visit for the tourists the authorities would have to work a little bit harder.
- Panch Mahal
If you love to explore historical places then this place is a must visit for you. It is like other forts, but it has history attached to it, so having a guide is a must. I visited this place during festival time, I clearly don’t remember the festival name, but it was treat to be there during that period. Good to have a guide otherwise one can miss a lot of insides of the place. It feels little bit scary from the top, but one must experience it once in their lifetime as it feels amazing. The architectural delight is just a treat to watch and the robust structure has faced many ups and downs, but it is still standing still. It lies in Fatehpur Sikri, few kilometres away from the main city. It has a manmade lake which used to fill up with rose petals to supply floral fragrance to the surrounding. Although we went there in the afternoon, but our guide told us that, the best time to visit this place is in the morning. The red sandstones become glaring as day draws over-head in India. We enjoyed our stay there and we would like to visit it again.
- Tomb Of Akbar The Great
Tomb of Akbar the Great lies 15 kms away from Agra in Sikandra. Regular tourists don’t include it in places to travel list as they want to cover Agra in a single day. And it is located away from the main city, but I chose to visit it due to its historical importance. The architectural work is amazing and clicking photos is fun here. I was there along with my five friends and we enjoyed a lot there. One of the amazing features of this place was that, I got to see lot of peacocks here. They were dancing and expanding their wings which were like some divine intervention. It was built hundreds of years ago, but even today it looks so grand and amazing. If you are visiting this place then you must have a guide who can deeply explain you the history of the place, otherwise you would not feel connected to the place. My guide was very knowledgeable his name was Manoj. He explained us how the gateway of the monument reflects three different hybrid architecture, it is related to Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. The perfect time to visit this place is between September to March and we enjoyed a lot during our visit.
- Tomb of Itmad Ud Daulah
Tomb of Itmad ud Daulah is a great place to visit if you are in Agra. It is in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Along with the main building the structure consists of the sub-ordinate building which add to its beauty. It is made up of Red sandstone with marble decorations all over the building. The work on marble is such that you would not forget for a long time. If you are visiting this place and you are on your own then you would not be able to get the complete history of the building, so have a guide. The peacefulness of the arena is so soothing that you would go into a different world. The monument is the center of the garden and the garden is so beautifully decorated as it adds to the beauty of the place. The monument has some similarities with the Taj Mahal and is often known as baby Taj. It is near to Agra Fort and if you are passing by then you must include it in your visiting list. Another funny fact about this place is that you would get lot of monkeys here, but feeding them is not allowed. We stayed here for about 30minutes to 1 hour and it was worth it.