We traveled from Delhi to Agra by train. Traveling by train in India is very easy you can even buy tickets online. There are different classes in the train we tried 2nd and 1st classes and all of them were comfortable for us. Besides that traveling by train is very cheep in India and we felt like it’s a very nice experience meeting local people in the train and waving at all the lovely kids outside.
We stayed at Taj Vilas which is a very simple hotel. We book most of our hotels trough this page because it’s very easy with the app and there is a lot of choice in all different price ranges.
First thing we visited in Agra was the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah better known as Baby Taj. It is very beautifully tiled building which is definitely worth to see.
Be aware that there are women beautifully dressed that want to take pictures with you and afterwards they ask you for money. These kind of things happen a lot in India. It’s nothing bad but we think it’s good to know so that you can say no if you don’t feel like. Sometimes it’s hard to see the difference in India because a lot of people ask you to take selfies with them because their are fascinated of our white skin and western looking and they just ask for the picture and nothing more. That is also something you should know when traveling in India. We always felt extremely honored by the attention we got from the local people.
The same day we visited Agra Fort as well. In India there are a lot of Forts in every city. They are very nice to see and walk around. Agra Fort has beautiful courtyard after courtyard and is made of red sandstone and marble. It is definitely worth a visit when in Agra.
You can reach the Fort by Tuk Tuk. There are a lot for people trying to sell you a guide which is not compellingly necessary. We always go with the information we get from our Lonley Planet guide (big fans) and the internet as well because we prefer to explore everything by ourself in our own speed.
But of course the main reason why we visited Agra was the fascinating and magical Taj Mahal. It is one of the newer world wonders and if you stand in front of it you know why. It is truly magical and so beautiful.
We went to visit the Taj Mahal in the early morning to avoid the crowds and were there at Sunrise. But that day the President of Israel was guest in Agra and for that reason they closed the Taj Mahal to public at 10am. Unfortunately for that reason many people went to see the Taj in the early morning and we had to wait in line even we were there very early. But normally this should’t be the case 🙂
Visiting the Taj Mahal is a must when in India. It has a special magic around this beautiful building made from white, decorated marble. You can go to the inside as well but you are not allowed to take pictures inside. The building can not be entered with shoes so please take your shoes off and visit it with bare feet. They sell people some covers for their shoes but this generates a lot of waste which is not necessary in our opinion.
When you go to the Taj Mahal by taxi or Rickshaw they can’t go within a 500 m radius of the Taj because of pollution rules. Keeping the Taj clean and white is hard work especially because of pollution. The entrance fee for foreigners is 1000 rupees.
The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his wife who died giving birth to their 14th child. The death of his wife Mumtaz left him so heartbroken that they say his hair turned grey overnight. Building the Taj Mahal itself took them about eight years but the whole complex was completed about 20 years later. Shah Jahan got overthrown by his son and imprisoned in Agra Fort where for the rest of his days he could only gaze out at his creation the Taj Mahal trough a window. After his death he was buried alongside his beloved wife in the Tomb Taj Mahal.