Personally, I consider Agra as the gateway to all North Indian tours. Whenever I plan a tour of North India, Agra is always on the list, primarily because it’s the first tourist spot when traveling by train from South India. Not just because of the Taj Mahal, another reason to include Agra is the flexibility and affordability in roaming the city.
With careful planning, you can roam the entire city for less than 1000 Rupees, which includes food. This plan is particularly helpful for those who prefer traveling by train and want to cover many destinations within a short span.
Things to Do after Arrival:
Book your train in such a way that it reaches Agra before 10 am so that you can cover most of the places in a day. Upon reaching Agra, I recommend not booking a hotel to get ready. Check-in time is usually from 12 pm to 10.00 am the next day, and most hotels booked through apps do not allow check-in before 12 pm. If you ask me, my suggestion is not to book any hotel.
The waiting halls in Agra station are big and the bathrooms are very clean and so crowded. I suggest you get ready at the waiting hall and keep your whole luggage in the cloak room in the railway which is safe.
For a bit more comfort, consider booking a cab outside the railway station. Cab drivers generally charge around Rs. 2500 for the whole day to cover all the main tourist attractions. If you’re okay with any means of transport, auto-rickshaws are a more economical choice, charging up to Rs. 500 for the entire day.
Don’t worry about breakfast. There are numerous options around the Taj Mahal. For a specific suggestion, try Agra Chat House. While you won’t get regular South Indian breakfast, you can enjoy delicious North Indian food. After breakfast, head directly to the Taj Mahal.
In the mornings, especially during holidays, the crowd is generally high at the ticket counter. Brokers may offer tickets at double the price. If you don’t have patience and time, you can buy tickets from them. Audio guides and physical guides are available outside the Taj Mahal. If you’re interested in history, you can hire a personal guide, But I am not sure that guide will give you accurate details. . I suggest enjoying the beauty of the Taj Mahal without any disturbances, as most of its history is displayed on the walls.
There are four gates to the Taj Mahal, so ask your cab or auto driver which one they will pick you up from. Try the special Taj Mahal chai near the Taj Mahal, which is very famous.
A tour around the Taj Mahal generally takes 2 to 3 hours. After coming out, numerous shopping options are available. Quality may vary, but heavy bargaining usually works. Eat lunch near the Taj Mahal and then proceed to Agra Fort.
Agra Fort is another famous tourist spot in Agra that you cannot afford to miss. Visiting both the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort should be done by 5 pm. Avoid shopping at places your cab or auto driver takes you. Ask to be dropped at Shahganj Bazar, Kinari Bazar, or Sadar Bazar. Sadar Bazar is near Agra Cantt railway station and is famous for leather items and marble handicrafts. Verify the quality before purchasing.
Try local dishes like kachori, jalebi, Shahi Tukda, and Kesar Pista kulfi at any place in Agra. Agra is known for its rich Mughlai cuisine. For dinner, you can try famous restaurants like Pinch of Spice, Jhankar Choti Haveli, or Shankara Vegis for vegetarians. If you want dinner with a view of the Taj Mahal, numerous rooftop restaurants offer a breathtaking view.
Petha is a must-try food in Agra. It is a sweet made from ash gourd that you can take back to your hometown.
Night Visit to Agra:
If you want to visit the Taj Mahal at night, it’s possible during a full moon day. Check the availability on the official website, and you can book tickets online TICKET BOOKING SITE. Booking is available seven days before the full moon day. If you plan to visit the Taj Mahal at night, a one-day plan is not feasible, and you’ll need to book a hotel for the night. Plan accordingly.
Otherwise, book a train after 9 pm to your next destination.
Places to visit: Taj Mahal, Agra Fort
Famous food: Kachori, jalebi at Idgah bus stand, Petha, Mughlai cuisines
Famous Market streets: Sadar Bazar, Shahganj Bazar, Kinari Bazar
Don’t plan your visit on Fridays.
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