Trip to Agra - the City of Taj

Today we go by train from Jaipur to Agra, with departure scheduled at 7:00 and arrival at 12:00, for a journey of about 250 kms. We get up at 06:00. At 07:45, the train arrives at the Jaipur station. The train is electric and a little more modern than the first one we took. It also has air conditioning.

Shortly after leaving the station, a waiter passes by with tea, coffee and pastries. At 1:00 pm we arrived in Agra, left the station and took a taxi to our next hotel. The service as in Delhi, totally composed of male staff, who were very friendly and helpful. Next to the hotel there is a restaurant and we eat there.

After lunch we visit Agra Fort, made with red sandstone. It is quite large and very well preserved too. During the occupation of the Mughals, they built fortifications and palaces, followed by the British. After the visit to the fort we go to the Sadar Bazar. It is destined for the local public and it is stressful no matter how chaotic it turned out to be.

We continue to the Taj Ganj, near the south gate of the Taj Mahal, where we read that there are many bars and restaurants that have terraces overlooking the most famous monument in India. When going through the main street the hunting-clients invite us to go up to the terraces. We tried one of them and upon reaching the top, the view is spectacular and of real luxury.

We take a few beers with the view of the Taj Mahal as it gets dark and the feeling is of total relaxation and peace. We are about to put on our back another of the wonders of the world and this makes us immensely happy. Late at night we dined on the same terrace and then returned to the hotel.

Trip to Agra - the City of Taj

Day 2

Today we will visit the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, which is 36 km from Agra and to go we will take a local bus. After breakfast we left the hotel and stopped a tuk-tuk to take us to the bus station of Idgah and from there the bus to the abandoned city. Once at the bus station we took out the tickets. And they indicate the bus number we should take.

As soon as we see it, we cannot believe it. It is pure scrap metal. It sounds like a loose sheet and it emits smoke like a steam locomotive, and this is idling waiting for the time of departure. Several more tourists are assembled and we all look at each other. Surely we all think, where have we got to? But they are a few more tourists, who may already be used to these buses.

The truth, at first is that we wanted to get off but we thought here we have to endure whatever it takes. The bus starts and all the way it was impossible to have a conversation without shouting and air conditioning. All the windows and the door remain open for air to enter.

We left at 09:30 from Agra and arrived at the city of Fatehpur Sikri at 10:45. It takes one hour and fifteen minutes to make 36 km. On the road there was a lot of traffic. Cows, of course are everywhere. They go their way and do not flinch, for nothing. We cross the village of Kiraoli and the road is muddy where the smartest passes first. The driver of the bus does not slow down and is splashing mud all and everything.

We continue and arrive at Fatehpur Sikri without any problem. We get off the bus and walk about 500 meters along the main street, which is also a bazaar full of shops and stops for all kinds of products. Near the end of the street there is a climb and at the end of this is the abandoned city.

After entering, a fellow connects well. He tells us that he is not a guide and that he works in the abandoned city to help tourists and he will guide us without charging us anything. We do not believe it, but we think that it will not hurt a guided tour and when we finish we will negotiate the tip, which he will surely ask for.

The truth is that the guide was perfectly knowledgeable of the city. We were with him for about two hours. He guide us all and explained the whole history of it. After the visit, he accompanies us to a corner where there is a stop for souvenirs. Now we understand, he will try to sell us something and his benefit will be, we assume, the commission to compensate for the work of the visit.

After taking a look at the souvenirs we saw a few that we liked and we started negotiations. In the end we brought back memories for all the family and friends, and we left with full backpacks. This time we were able to look calmly and buy what we liked. As there is some more palace outside the main enclosure and it is still early we continue to contemplate and visit these buildings.

At one point we are surrounded by five or six vendors with a lot of souvenirs and insist that we buy them. We tell them that we have already bought everything and we do not need anything else. We show them the full backpacks to be believed but they keep insisting without ceasing to surround us.

They follow us and insist that we buy from them. We say no again but they keep following us until we stop without paying attention to them to see if they leave. There is nothing to do as they insist but we continue to ignore them. During the rest of the visit we did not see any more.

It is time to return and going the reverse way we return to the bus station. If the outbound bus was pure scrap, this one was a bit more. It was more dilapidated but it made the same noise as the outward one. Back to Agra we find the same thing as the traffic and chaos but we already take it another way. We have passed the test and we are cured of fright.

We arrive in Agra, go to eat and then to the hotel to rest. Once rested we ​​left the hotel and taking a walk we arrived at Tajganj. We went up to the terrace of the bar that we already knew and we relaxed totally seeing again the sunset with the Taj Mahal in the background. We feel happy in spite of everything.

It's time to eat, so we went to a restaurant. We ordered several typical dishes like naan, chicken tikka and mutton biryani. Of course, first the bread, naan, in different versions, of garlic, cheese and spices. and took a night walk to see the area. We decided to return to the hotel.

Upon arriving at the hotel we went up to the room and decided to enjoy the pool facilities. And what a wonder when the waiter brings them us presents us with some typical snacks. We have dinner and go to bed, as the day go by and a new day full of new adventures awaits us.Tomorrow we will dedicate the whole morning to the Taj Mahal and we do not want to miss any corner.

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  • Kala
    Kala March 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Great commentary. And that first image is stunning!

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