Monday, 2 November 2009

Destination Agra

Blast from past!

This was the first time i was traveling with an all girls group in North India. I was a little apprehensive as i had heard a lot of stories. We managed to hire a cab known to the owner of the service apartment we stayed in. Luckily he turned out to be a good one and the bit of tension i had as i was responsible for  2 of my colleagues/friends became a little easier. Though i have a traveled extensively in India and other countries, I feel India is not the safest place for women travelers except maybe some parts of South India

We had set upon a journey to Agra. The first place you hit before entering the city is Akbar's tomb at Sikander. Nothing surprising here except the herds of black bucks, egrets and langurs lounging around its grounds. This made the place feel more lively than it was.

We checked in to  Hotel Ganga Ratan. I know not the most appealing names but this was recommended and we had no time to research before we set out on this trip. Its a no frills place , good to crash and head out for sightseeing.

Our first stopover was the Agra fort. It had all the inklings of a typical Mughal fort with its red sand stone, marble inlays, combination of hindu and persian architecture. It had its Jahangiri Mahal , Anguri Bhag, Khas Mahal , sheesh mahal, diwan -i- am, Diwan-i- khas and many more all of which should not be missed.

How can one visit Agra and not see the Taj. I have been to Taj twice before. I could recall it well. Hence it was a no  surprise for me. I agree it is one nice monument but i feel there are better ones in other parts of India.

The road trip to Agra was one of the most vibrant trips i had made with its mustard fields and most colorful dressed women and even more colorful means of transport on the road. Of course how can one forget the road side Dhabas- the best palak paneer and naan of my life!! A great trip!!

Location: Agra, Uttar Pardesh
Date of travel: November 2009

Tip: Always take a guide at heritage locations but insist you will not be rushed through the tour unless of course you have a guide book.
Must do:Sikander fort (Akbar's tomb), Agra Fort and Taj Mahal
First:Be a part of all female travel group in North India outside the tier cities.

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