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Delhi to Agra in a day

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Delhi to Agra in a day

I am sure that this question has been asked many times before but a quick scan through the forums didn't reveal a recent discussion. We are a family group of 3 and are in Delhi for three nights at the end of July; arriving on the 24th and staying at the Hotel Palace Heights. We want to have a day trip to Agra and would welcome advice on the best way to organise this and the possible pitfalls to avoid.

Annie

1. Re: Delhi to Agra in a day

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2. Re: Delhi to Agra in a day

As there are 3 of you, I would opt for the car, and driver.

The train is OK, but for one day only ? it could be a very long day if the returning train is delayed, and the return trains usually are delayed. Delays can be for 4-5 hrs or more.

There would be room in the car for a guide too, a guide will make the tour better, you will, for sure need a guide. The car will be used for getting around the various sights, so, you are gonna need one at some stage.

You need to set off from Delhi at about 5.00 - 5.30 am (starting off at that time will greatly reduce your journey time) to arrive at a reasonable time in Agra, or it will be very crowded after 10.00 am, when the Taj Express arrives, delivering thousands of eager tourists to see the Taj.

Edited: 04 July 2010, 16:41
Agra, India
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3. Re: Delhi to Agra in a day

Hi,

I think you are stepping in the right direction and the train tour for Agra is the most suitable....it reduces the traveling time to minimum as the train just takes 2 Hrs. each way (Delhi to Agra and Agra to Delhi) by road it will take you atleast 4 hrs. Each way.... The train tour gives you a good 12 hours in the city....You can visit the Taj Mahal...Agra fort and Fatehpur sikri easily in the given time and will be left with 2-3 hrs. in your hands before you depart from Agra.

The shatabdi express would be the last train to get late....as it is given clearance ahead of other trains.....very seldom does it gets late....

The tickets can be booked online if you desire at www.cleartrip.com

At Agra you can arrange for a prebooked vehicle to pick you up at the station (it is a nightmare getting out of the train station at Agra on the Shatabdi Express as there are 100s of touts around, ready to take you for a ride), if you want a guided tour, book a guide in advance, the car and the guide arrangement can be done thru a travel agency or directly.

Happy traveling.....

Sunil

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4. Re: Delhi to Agra in a day

Thank you for your very helpful replies, do you have any advice as to what is a reasonable price to expect to pay for these various options?

New Jersey
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5. Re: Delhi to Agra in a day

Annie,

Years ago when my wife and I were in Delhi for the first time we took a day trip to Agra to see the Taj. We took the a trip offered by Delhi Tourism. Their bus left early in the morning and returned to Delhi late at night. They had a guide who accompanied us throughout the trip. The trip covered lunch at one of the four/five star hotels in Agra and also included a stop at a handicrfats place where we could buy products made by local artisans.

When my wife and I were in Delhi with our kids last time, we arranged an air-conditioned car and a driver to visit the Taj. This gave us more freedom/option to see things around including a trip to Fatehpur Sikri, just outside Agra.

The train journey should also be good but once in Agra you will be on be on your own, unless you make other arrangements. Also, you run the risk that the trains might be running late as one of the posts indicates.

Your hotel in Delhi should be able to help you out with a driver and car for the trip. If not, there are literally scores of India government approved travel agencies in Delhi that should be able to arrange this trip for you and your family. Most of these trips cover lunch, and dinner as well. They will pick you up from your hotel in the morniing and then drop you off there in the evening/night.

The only drawback of the car option would be that unless you have experienced the road traffic in India, the ride might, at times. appear to be a scary one. Traffic rules in India are chaotic, and cars do not necessarily follow the same safety standards that are in place in the western countries. That said, you may tell your driver beforehand to be cautious with his driving. Somehow I noticed that drivers there have built up a defense mechanism of their own, and during all of my all trips in India I never experienced any untoward incidence involving the drivers I/we used.

I guess driving in New York or London won't be any fun for Indian drivers used to the challenges of traffic conditions in Delhi, Mumbai or Calcutta!

Good luck.

Gadfly

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6. Re: Delhi to Agra in a day

The first thing to figure out, actually, is whether or not a day trip to Agra makes sense.

If you are planning to visit other places (Rajasthan), then a long day trip to Agra makes no sense; you are better off going to Agra and then going from there to Jaipur or Ranthambhore or your next logical destination, instead of returning to Delhi.

If you are visiting only Delhi and Agra, then whether you go by car or train, a day trip to Agra is a loooong day.

The train trip works like this:

- Leave hotel at 5:30 am

- Take 6:15 train to Agra, arrive 8:15, breakfast on train

- Get to Taj Mahal by 9:00

- Get to Agra Fort by 11:30

- Lunch 1:30 to 2:30

- Get to Fatehpur Sikri by 3:30

- Return to Agra by 5:30

- Shopping/waiting for 8:30 pm train

- Arrive 10:30 pm Delhi train station

- Return to hotel by 11 pm.

This is tiring because end-to-end it takes 18 hours plus a lot of walking in the afternoon hours.

The car trip is also equally tiring. It works something like this:

- Leave at 5:30

- Stop at 7:30 for breakfast (there is a hotel on the way, clean restrooms, coffee, eggs, toast, Indian parathas etc)

- Arrive Taj Mahal 10:00 a.m.

- Go to Agra Fort 12:00 noon

- Lunch 1:30 to 2:30

- Drive to Delhi via Sikri, arrive Sikri at 3:30

- Leave Sikri at 4:30

- Arrive Delhi hotel 9:30

The benefit of the car trip is that you don't have a morning deadline to catch, so if you wake up late its not a problem. The downside is the long drive, if you don't like roads or get car-sick it can be a real pain. I have long favoured car over train, only because I actually like the roads and enjoy watching and photographing villages, farms and shepherds and markets and so on and so forth, so for me, the whole journey is fun.

The big plus on the train journey is, in my view, not the much-talked about shorter time (end to end you don't really save anything). The big plus is the train trip itself. The actual experience of the Indian railways is a tourist experience in its own right, and has fans all over the world. The bustle and hubub of the train station, the meals on board the train, the turbanned guy that comes along to give you a free newspaper...these are all great fun. I have a photo-essay on the Delhi Agra train trip; if you want it, please message me and I will send you the flickr album link.

If you are doing the trip by car, I suggest you skip Fatehpur Sikri. In that case, you will be back by 7:30 p.m. in time for a shower and drinks / dinner in Delhi. Sikri is very nice, but personally I do not find it worth the extra drive and effort to see yet another Mughal fort on the same day as I am seeing Agra Fort. There are a lot of differences from Agra Fort, yes, but the similarities are more than the differences, in terms of architecture, the various functions of different rooms, etc. It may be better to visit Sikandra or Itmad-ud-daulah in Agra rather than go to Sikri.

A different idea - if you want to have a less tiring Agra trip - is to go to Agra in the evening, stay overnight, see the Taj at dawn, then Agra Fort and Sikri and return to Delhi the next day by car. Agra hotels are cheaper than Delhi hotels.

In terms of cost, there is little or no difference for three people between a train trip or a car trip. If you go by train, you pay for six tickets plus two train station transfers in Delhi and car hire in Agra. It will cost you the same to hire a car for Delhi-Agra-Delhi. The train makes more money-sense if you are not planning to hire a car in Agra, but take local auto-rickshaws instead.

- Deepa

Edited: 05 July 2010, 06:38
Mumbai, India
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7. Re: Delhi to Agra in a day

I've had people tell me they can drive Delhi-Agra in 4 hours. I'm kinda paranoid about speed, so I prefer slower driving, and I like to relax over breakfast, that's why my estimates have 5 hours instead of 4. The earlier you leave Delhi, the earlier you will reach the Taj because there is lower traffic.

Agra, India
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8. Re: Delhi to Agra in a day

Answering the question asked.... The cost can be broken up for the train journey....

Two transfers to and from the station...@ rs. 900 each = Rs. 1800.

chair car train tickets @ rs. 450 each approx. = Rs. 2700.

Car in Agra would be around Rs. 2500

This is the basic cost I have told you approx. + if you require a guide that will cost you extra...guides can be had from rs. 250 to 2500 (all depends on the quality of the guide). + lunch

Best advice is to take a quote from differnt 2-3 different travel agencies and choose, for recommendations search for Agra trip/day trip to Agra in the white box above and you can see recommendations.....

Happy Traveling.....

Sunil

Agra, India
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9. Re: Delhi to Agra in a day

If you hire a Toyota Innova, it should cost you Rs. 6000 - 6500 for a sameday trip to Agra including all tolls, parkings, driver expenses etc.

Sunil

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10. Re: Delhi to Agra in a day

car will be best for day trip to Agra.

Cheers !