Travelling is my hobby and whenever get free time I try to visit places,last year when I was in Gurgaon and one of my friend wanted to visit Agra for Taj Mahal and without wasting any time made a quick plan.As it was March and we chose weekdays so seats were available on Gatimaan Express.We booked return ticket and ready to go.
Gatimaan starts from Nizamuddin and we were staying at Gurgaon so Metro was the most economical option to reach Nizamuddin. We started from Huda metro station around quarter past 6 and was at Sarai Kalen Khan/Nijammudin metro station around quarter past 7,need to change metro at Dilli Haat /INA to Pink line.Nizamuddin railway station is just 5 minute walk from metro station.We walked to Nizamuddin station and the train was already at designated platform,we took our seat and wait for train to start.
Delhi Metro http://www.delhimetrorail.com/metro-fares.aspx
Indian Railways https://www.irctc.co.in/nget/
There are only 2 classes in Gatimaan Ex,AC Chair Car and Executive Chair Car,we booked Executive chair car,its little bit more comfortable than AC Chair car with 2X2 seating and more leg room and broader seat,in fact legroom was better than economy class of any airlines I had travelled yet.Also there is luggage rack above to place our baggage,though we had just 1 small back pack but its was good for any mid size trolley too. Meal is also included in ticket price.
The train started sharp on time,after that we were served tea and breakfast,breakfast had 2 slice of bread,omelette with fries,a small juice,2 biscuit with tea,yogurt,muffins and a small sachet of butter and ketchup,overall ok breakfast to keep you moving after arriving Agra.
Train reach Agra exactly on time,after disembarking we walked to outside,on the exit gate there were many taxi/auto driver offering service but we just pass them and went outside of railway station campus.If you want to do all attractions with a single vehicle then may talk to them.We went outside near the round about,there are few tea shop 1st had hot tea then booked an Uber to Taj Mahal east gate,there are 2 entry gates for Taj Mahal,East and West,East gate is mostly relatively less crowded so we decided to use east gate.
Our Uber arrived in 5 minute and too 20 minute to reach Shilpgram parking,cost around rs 100,from Shipgram parking no petrol/diesel vehicle allowed but its just 1 km to gate,there are paddle and E riksaw available but we chose to walk,was just 10 minute walk.1st thing we did was to buy ticket,as expected there was no queue and in 2 min we bought the tickets.For Indians ticket price was rs 50 for Campus entry and 200 for main mausoleum entry,we bought both.There are few things like Tripod,food items (except water) etc which are not allowed do check that and if having any prohibited items you can leave those at cloak room which is situated just behind the ticket counters,small back pack can go without problem .Also if bought both ticket then do buy shoe cover from vendors selling them,we bought at rs 10 per piece.
Website to book Taj and other monuments in Agra ticket in advance https://asi.payumoney.com
After that time to visit the Wonder of the world.Didnt experience long queue at security too,if having bag or bag pack have to be checked manually after scanning.Then a small walk to the gate and then view of the majestic Taj,it was marvellous.
Then we walked towards the mausoleum and on the way photo with Taj in different pose.No words to explain the beauty of Taj but in the same time very sad to see the condition of Yamuna river. Spend one and half hour there,then after exit spend some time at the market in front of the Taj,had some light snacks and beverage and proceed to next attraction which was Agra Fort.
* Though in my opinion 2 hr is good to visit the Taj but tourist should keep in mind that from Dec,2019 3 hr is given to any tourist for visiting the Taj.Other than ticket a token is given to tourist which is needed to be scan at turnstile during entry,just when we scan the token at entry point the 3 hr starts,when we exit we need to dispose it at the turnstile at exit,if its more than 3 hr the turnstile wont open and have to pay for another ticket and then only can exit.
We walked towards exit from western side,near car parking we got a share E riksaw to Agra fort,its hardly 1 km from parking,a 15 min walk but as it was afternoon and sun was in full form so took the E riksaw ,cost just rs 10 per pax,drop us just in front of Agra fort.
As any attractions 1st to buy ticket,the was totally mismanaged,bought tickets and then proceed to fort,on the way was approached by many offering guide service but we were not interested.
The fort is big and majestic,for those who are interested in history may engage a guide,we spend around hour there visiting different parts and taking photo.
After Agra fort our next destination was Itmad Ud Daulah also called as Baby Taj (Though we didnt find any reason to compare it with the Taj).We booked Uber,it was just few km from Agra Fort but on opposite bank of Yamuna,took 15 min and rs 70.Ticket was rs 20 plus rs 5 ADA fees.This place was small and also very less crowded than Taj and fort,thats what I liked about this place,the Tomb was small and also not well maintained but its said “we get what we paid”,for rs 25 its ok when you have time,for us half and hour was more than enough.
Then our next destination was Sadar Bazaar,it remains close on Tuesday but as we were going for food so no problem. Sadar bazaar is famous for street food,Chaat gali is a lane where many street food outlets,may be as it was Tuesday and just around 3 so many of the food outlets but few were open and among them was Agra Chaat House which was among our pre selected place,read many good about this place.We tried Gol Gappe,Aloo Tikki and Dahi Bara (they call it Dahi Gujiya),everything was freshly prepared,good and tasty,worth to visit when in Agra,after that had Lassi from a nearby shop then took share Auto to Agra Cantt railway station.
It was around 4:45 when we reach ,still an hour before our train departure.We were returning from Agra and didn’t bought famous Agra Pethaa,our next destination was Panchhi Petha outlet at platform No 1.Panchhi Petha are considered as one of the best Petha shop in Agra and they had opened a shop at Agra Cantt railway station too from where we bought some,their Kesariya Petha and Paan petha were drooling .
Finally after some wait our train arrives on time,got our seats and was time to relax little bit after an hectic day tour.Evening snacks were served with tea/coffee,the train reached Nizamuddin on sharp on time at 7:30 and this was the end of our day trip to Agra.
Our Total Expense
>>Gatiman Express Ticket rs 3000 per pax one for return journey
>>Uber>> rs 270
>>Ticket >> Taj Mahal >> rs 250
>> Agra Fort>> rs 40
>> Baby Taj >> rs 25
>>Share Transport >> rs 20 per pax
>>Miscellaneous/Snacks/drink rs 400
For those who wants to do on more budget friendly way
>>Use AC chair car,rs 800 per pax,more economical option can be 2nd class sitting in Taj express or any other train but that can take more time but cost little above rs 100.
>>Use share?public transport in Agra,share e rikshaw available from railway station to BijliGhar which is near Agra Fort,from Agra Fort you can walk to Taj Mahal or can take share E rikshaw.What we understand there are share auto available for Baby Taj to/from Agra Fort railway station which is close to Agra Fort,you may check that.
>>If arriving and departing by Shatabdi,you can visit Fatehpur Sikri also,frequent bus are available from Idgah bus stand.
Hope this may help any one who is planning planning a day trip of Agra from Delhi using train.
Thanx for reading.