Naive Traveler - Agra Trip
I have started traveling since last Diwali to break the routine of my monotonous lifestyle which revolves around office and home. From Diwali i.e November 2015; I have visited Jaipur, Delhi's different places (twice covering different destinations at both occasions), Rashtrapati Bhavan tour the experience of which I have shared earlier and now Agra. Since I have Mondays off so I with two of my friends visited Agra this Monday (25th July 2015).
We took Taj Express from Nizamuddin station at 7:15 in the morning luckily it was not late so we reached Agra at 10 am. We have checked the places to visit on google so didn't waste a single minute in hiring an auto for the purpose. The prepaid autos there takes Rs 500 and show you just Taj Mahal, Itmad -Ud - Dualah, and Agra Fort but we convinced one to show us Sikandara (Akbar's Tomb), Mehtaab Bagh (Taj's back side) and other places if time left, we paid him Rs 600.
|Gate of Akbar's Tomb|
|Main Tomb Building|
Bedai and Jalebi is famous breakfast dishes of Agra so we tasted them before going to anywhere. First we visited Sikandara (Akbar's Tomb) which charged Rs 20 per visitor. In its complex also lies Kanch Mahal (Mirror Palace) and Lodhi Tomb both were in ruined states we saw people working there sleeping inside Kanch Mahal while restoration work is on in Lodhi Tomb. Once a great king has hardly any visitors to his tomb and negligible if you compared to Humanyun's Tomb in Delhi and Taj Mahal in Agra. Itmad - Ud - Daulah build 26 years before Taj Mahal was inspiration for it and is also known as Mini Taj. This was our second stop which has tombs of Nur Jahan's father and mother along with some other tombs. We also give a small visit to Guru Ka Tal - the largest Gurudwara in Agra.
|Itmad - ud - Daulah|
|Itmad-ud-Daulah from its gate|
Our next stop was Mehtaab Bagh from where we can see back side of Taj Mahal. It is also a paid place and charges Rs 15 per person. It was believed that Shah Jahan was planning a black Taj Mehal replica at this place. Ruins of the base of that building is still there in this garden built in Mughal style. I noticed that the garden is not as good as other Mughal gardens or perhaps this is because it is not flower blooming season. I observed few varieties of flowers and trees repeated at all over. Agra Fort was our next spot. Its ticket costs Rs 40 per person similar to Taj Mahal but at Taj they check your ID proof also before giving you ticket. Agra fort is bigger than Delhi's Red fort but many of its places were closed at the time of our visit for restoration work. Our next stop was Taj Mahal.
|Guru Ka Tal|
|Taj Mahal from Mehtaab Bagh with ruined foundation|
of Black Taj supposed to build there.
Taj built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz's remembrance was our last stop, it was also the most populated place of the places we have visited that day. This shows love has more power than any other powerful man in this world. It has tombs of Mumataz and Shahjahan in the main white marble building. Cleansing and restoration work is currently going on in main building of Taj Mahal. It is a beautiful place. We were exhausted when we reached there and the entry, exit arrangement juiced out more of our energy. Bad arrangements and unhelpful staff is what I observed there and I don't know why there was a VIP entry where we have to walk less. Isn't there equality in India?
|Taj Mahal from Agra Fort|
|Taj Mahal Entrance|
|Minaret of Taj Mahal|
Agra received so many visitors every year for its world famous Taj still condition of its road is pathetic. Even the area around entry gates of Taj is congested and poorly maintained. After Taj, Petha a sweet dish made up of pumpkin is most famous in Agra. A brand Panchi Petha sell the best pethas and they have different varieties of it but the original Panchi Petha Store is in Sadar Bazar but autos and taxis will take you somewhere else where they get commission. It was a nice one day trip and we reached Agra Cant station after spending sometime in Sadar Bazar area. We returned from Bhopal Shatabdi which dropped us at New Delhi Railway Station at 11.30 pm from where we took auto for our homes.