If you stay in Delhi a road trip to Agra is a must. Especially with Yamuna Expressway now started is it much easier to reach there than it used to be earlier and return the same day. Agra was one place that I was planning for long but was not happening. After our Murthal drive Saurabh had planned for a long drive to Agra and I convinced him for it, we tried to bring in few more friends but no one agreed as it was a weekday and no one was as jobless as both of us. Finally I convinced one more friend of mine to join us who was as crazy as we are to wake up early morning start moving and come back the same day. Saurabh wanted to drive on expressway, I wanted to see Agra and my friend, she wanted to click as much of Taj as possible.
We started from Hauz Khas metro station and drove towards Greater Noida, Saurabh always has a lot of story to tell so the drive never goes boring. The expressway started from Greater Noida and the road is true to all the hype, it was a pleasant change after hustling and bustling through Delhi’s traffic. The expressway was almost empty, smooth and wide on both sides so that one could drive freely. There were toll plaza that had eating joints that served real bad food (the coffee we had, it sucked.) But it was every kind of facility from cold drinking water to washrooms, it is a good place to take a stop and take a little rest if one gets tired while driving. After a little bit of drive we reached Agra and we were back to traffic filled congested roads.
The roads of Agra are as bad as roads of any tourist spot in this country I have been to (Atleast most of the North Indian destinations are.) The Roads were broken, narrow with cows blocking the path and rest of it was blocked by some construction work going on. Also there is not a single signboard that’ll tell you that the road leads to Taj, you’ll see it from some distance and all you need is to drive towards it. Finally we reached Taj’s parking spot from where Taj Mahal was 1.5 kms away. You can take a Camel ride or electric rikshaws that will start from 100 rs and it depends on your skills how less you can fix them for.
Anyways we decided to take a walk, it was a weekday and early morning so we were spared from long queues and lines. The premises around Taj is as dirty as any tourist location in North India (me being a North Indian telling that.) very disappointing for a place that is visited by so many international tourists every year.
So finally we crossed the main entrance and saw the huge monument standing tall in its glory. There is this funny part, when you visit Taj you’ll see professional photographers walking around promising to click your pics with different poses around the structure. These poses include pictures of your flying and jumping above Taj, holding the building in your palm and few more funny ones and people actually get themselves clicked in all these ridiculous poses, may be that is their way to remember their visit.
After walking around we left the place as we were hungry, it was already 12 when we were supposed to leave for Delhi but after lunch we decided to drop by at Agra fort. We roamed around the palace, the architecture in here looks more like Rajput ones than the Mughal ones and it gives direct view of Taj from its windows or Jharokhas and the interiors are way more splendid than what Taj offers.
It was around 4 and we had to return back to Delhi, no matter how much idea of visiting Itmad-ud-Daula and Akbar’s tomb was tempting us it was important to return back to Delhi because we were tired like anything by now and I had to search my missing wallet (that I never found).
So as planned that we’ll return back to Delhi by 2 PM in evening, we finally returned around 10:00 PM planning for next visit for more of Agra.