Trip to Agra and Agra Attractions – Taj Mahal and Red Fort | Golden Triangle Tour | Travel Guide

Trip to Agra and Agra Attractions – Taj Mahal and Red Fort | Golden Triangle Tour | Travel Guide

Trip to Agra and Agra Attractions – Taj Mahal and Red Fort | Golden Triangle Tour | Travel Guide

Agra is the home of the Taj Mahal in thestate of Uttar Pradesh. Agra is part of the Golden Triangle, a popular touristroute which also includes Delhi and Jaipur. The easiest way to get to Agrafrom Delhi is by train or car. If youre taking a train, get off at Agra Canttstation. At the station, use the prepaid taxi or auto rickshaw to get to yourhotel. It will take three or more hours to get to Agra from Delhi. We recommend takinga chauffeur-driven rental car from New Delhi or once you get to Agra. Cars areclean well maintained and air-conditioned. The driver tourist/ guideknows how to get to all the attractions and available to you at all times. Hellremain with you and guide you through your itinerary and will make stops alongyour road trip. For instance on most recent roadtrip from Jaipur to Agra and back to New Delhiwe were able to stop and see local marble and stonemasons, roadsideentertainers, and we saw a huge local gathering. We also ate at a localroadside cafe, and viewed the countryside, and when needed, he made stops for ourpersonal needs. For us this is a comfortable and up close way to travelin India. Look below in the description section for the link for private carrentals for this tour in Agra. Agra is located on the banks of theYamuna river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Agra has become a majortourist destination because of the Taj Mahal, the Agra fort, and the Fatehpūr Sikrīall UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We started our golden triangle tour inDelhi and then drove to Jaipur and then drove another four and a half hours from Jaipur to Agra. We arrived in Agra in the evening and as we traveled through itsstreets we saw cows, vegetable carts, stores, stalls of all kinds, and crowds ofpeople and of course extreme traffic during the peak hours. As we drovethrough one of the street markets going to our hotel, we were stuck in heavytraffic but you dont need to be frustrated with traffic if you getcaught in it. Instead consider it part of the Indian local experience and beamazed as I was watching what appears to be chaos and deadlock resolve itselfthrough honks and shouts. After a delicious and relaxing breakfast we visited theTaj Mahal. The Taj Mahal or the Taj is a white marbled mausoleum built along thebanks of the Yamuna River in the city of Agra. The Taj Mahal is open from sunriseto sunset generally 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and Sunday and isclosed on Fridays. You can purchase your tickets at any of the three gates west,south, or east. The East Gate provides the easiest access. Whether you arrive bytaxi or rickshaw or a private car, your driver will probably drop you off at theShilgram parking area where the ticket office is located. In an effort topreserve the Taj, polluting vehicles are not allowed near the complex so once youpurchase your tickets you can walk either the 15-20 minutes to the actualentrance of the Taj Mahal or you can catch an electric bus from the ticketcenter to the entrance. If you are not an Indian citizen or a visitor of a SAARC orBIMSTEC country, you have to pay the foreigner entrance feeOnce you arrive at the entrance, youll have to go through security. Your bagswill be checked. You may be frisked, and you will go through metal detectors.There are separate lines for men and women. Make sure to take your passportwith you. Please purchase the correct tickets for your status or you will beturned away. This process can be cumbersome but once you see the Taj forfor yourself it is so worth it! Please note that large bags and backpacks arenot allowed in the Taj Mahal complex. There are many restrictions, please checkat their official website. Please also note that children below the age of 15are free. Once you pass through security, follow the signs to the main gate intothe complex and be prepared to be wowed. Once you see the Taj for yourself youwill agree that it is one of the seven wonders of the world. At the far end ofthe complex youll see the Taj Mahal with two large red sandstone buildings whichis a mosque and a guest house which mirror each other and face the sides ofthe Taj. In front of those buildings will be a 300 meter square Mughal garden.As you walk through the mughal garden to the Taj, you will observe raised pathwaysthat divide each of the four quarters of the garden into sixteen sunkenflowerbeds. Halfway between the tomb and the gateway in the center of the garden is araised marble water tank with a reflecting pool. It is at this spot thatyou will find the main photo bench. You wont miss it, theres usually a crowdwaiting for their turn on the bench. The tomb is the central focus of the TajMahal complex. This white marble structure stands on a square plinth andconsists of a symmetrical building topped by large dome and finial. Fourlarge minarets trim the tomb, one in each corner of the plinth facing thechambered corners. The main chamber houses the false tombs of Mumtaz Mahaland Shah Jahan. The actual graves are located at the lower level. Before goingup to the tomb. you must wear your shoe coverswhich were provided with your ticket then you will climb up the stairs to themain chamber level. The Taj began construction in 1632 by over 20,000artisans and was completed in 1653. The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built thismausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, after her death. The Taj Mahalcomplex is 42 acres. What makes the Taj Mahal so spectacular are not only themarble structures but the artistry in the decorations on the inlay tiles aswell. The Taj Mahal is certainly my favorite place to visit in India and isa must-see. Take the time just to take it all in before you leave the Taj Mahal.Once we finished our visit to the Taj Mahalwe visited the Agra Red fort. the Agra Red fort also known as the Agra fort isa UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Agra, India and is about 2.5 kmnorthwest from the Taj Mahal. You can get to the fort by a taxi or rickshaw or byprivate car. The Agra fort is open from sunrise to sunset generally 6 a.m. to 7p.m. daily. If you are not an Indian citizen or a visitor of a SAARC orBIMSTEC country, youll have to pay the foreigner entrance fee. You may also becharged a video and a camera fee. Personal guides are available for anadditional fee and can be hired where you purchase your tickets. They willapproach you. Guides may be helpful in maneuvering through relatively quicklyhowever its not really necessary. Once at the entrance, youll have to gothrough security. Your bags will be checked, you may be frisked, and you willhave to go through metal detectors. There are separate lines for men and womenAgra fort was built in red sandstone as a military base and royal residents forAkbar and the capital of the Mughal Empire until it was moved to Delhi in1638. Once you pass through security, you will enter the fort through theAmar Singh gate. Once you pass the gate you will see Jahangirs palace which ismade of red sandstone. In front of the palace youll see the Hauz-i-Jehangira huge bowl carved out of a single block of stone which was used for bathingIf you continue walking east youll find the Musamman Burjand Khas Mahal, theKhas Hall is a white marbled octagonal tower and palace where Shah Jahan wasimprisoned for eight years and until his death in 1666. It was from here where ShahJahan could gaze out at the Taj Mahal You will also see the Mina Masjid, ShahJahans private mosque which is now closed to the publicAnother mosque is the Nagina Masjid or gem mosque built in 1635 by Shah Jahanfor the ladies of the court. Below was the ladies bazaar where the court ladiesbought their goods. Along the eastern wall of the fort is the Diwan-i-Khas , the hall ofprivate audience. The hall once housed Shah Jahans Peacock Throne which was inset with precious stones and the Koh-i-noor diamond. Overlooking the YamunaRiver and the distant Taj Mahal is a huge slab of Onyx with an inscriptionaround the edge. Near here is the Sheesh Mahal , the mirror palace with walls inlaidwith tiny mirrors. As you continue into the complex, you will go to the Diwan-i-Amthe Hall of public audience. In front of the hall is the grave of John Colvin alieutenant governor of the Northwest provinces who died of an illness in thefort during 1857. On your way in or outside of the complex, dont forget tosee the main and the largest gate the Delhi Gate which faces the city on thewest side and is embellished with inlay work in white marble. Theres also awooden drawbridge flanked by two life-sized stone elephants.The fort will take you an hour more depending on your interest. You can visitthe Agra fort, Taj Mahal, and the Fatehpur Sikri in one day. If you plan to goto multiple attractions in Agra, consider buying a composite ticket for a discountOn our tour of the Golden Triangle we started out in Delhi, we flew in andtoured around Delhi for a few days and then took a chauffeur-driven road trip toJaipur which took about five hours. After we completed visiting Jaipur, then wewent and drove from Jaipur to Agra which was about four and a half hours; and thenwe drove back to New Delhi which took three and a half hours. We have goneroad tripping through the Golden Triangle several times and we preferthis itinerary, mostly because its shorter back to New Delhi.Happy TravelsGo to taxifortour.blogspot.com for more information or go to our Travel blog and be sure to subscribe for regular updates.
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