A city of about 15 million inhabitants, New Delhi is not only one of the biggest cities in India, but also in the world in terms of population. As we landed here, we felt the positive energy and warmth Indian people express in every encounter.
As we get picked up by our guide Tarun, with a big smile and warm welcome, we start driving to the hotel. Getting in a car in New Delhi is something we have never experienced before, a 4 lane marked road becomes 8 or 9 lanes somehow, everyone is honking their horns, people swirl around others on the street better than Schumacher would in any race. Tarun said “in Delhi, you need 4 eyes on the road because two is not enough” is not short of a statement.
The hotel is very authentic and spacious, but the main attraction is the location. Jyoti Mahal is in the middle of the main Bazaar in Delhi, a huge market of everything you can think of, also probably half of the city is here, or so it seems. But the ambiance, the smells of food, the honking, the energy of the people is something indescribable but as I would say, a beautiful mess.
The following morning, we wake up at 4:30 AM to catch the first train to Agra, and it’s another experience all together. The most overcrowded trains we’ve seem, people hanging oﬀ the wagons, running after the train as it’s moving, and everyone sleeping around the station waiting to get on. Luckily, Tarun from the Tour e India Agency, booked nice seats for us in an air conditioned wagon, otherwise we would have been hanging oﬀ the wagons as well as it’s very hard to figure it all out on your own.
We took the train from the New Dehli train station to Agra Cantt station. On the way back, we stopped at the Nizamuddin rail station. More information is available here. The ticket back and forward costed us 24$ in the AC class.
As we get to Agra, there are hundreds of ready tour guides in the famous tuk-tuks (Rickshaw) to give you the guide around Agra, starting with the famous and one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal.
In entering the Taj Mahal, you see a beautiful protecting red wall, and as you walk into it, you can see in the background the white marble Taj Mahal. The feeling of love only comes to your mind, the whole place is somewhat breathtaking, and the story of the Emperor Shah Jahan building this mausoleum for his 3rd wife Mumtaz Mahal, who he loved very much but died during the birth of their 14th child. All of his love was put into building the Taj Mahal for her and after it was finished, the Emperor decided to bury her body there and when he died, his body was placed next to her. It’s prohibited to take pictures inside and you must wear shoes protection, provided by the guards or to take oﬀ your shoes in order to preserve the place.
The Taj Mahal must be experienced in person as no photo would worth the experience.
Additionally from the Taj Mahal, Agra is a buzzing city where you can stop to buy some souvenirs but 1 day to be spent there is enough. You can ask a tuk-tuk to take you on a city tour but do not forget to hustle with them to get cheaper price. For a 3 hours tour in Agra, we paid 500 Rupees.. to be honest it is not really worth the money. The tour guide in Agra, also consist of stopping in various shops for you to buy things but you don’t have to, keep that in mind.
With all of the experience we had in less than two days in Delhi and Agra, we head to the south of India in Kerala where a rainy season awaits us which only means lots of rest and relaxation.
See you soon and Namaste!
Taj Mahal: If you are not planing to visit the Rajasthan or to go further than Agra, it is possible to visit the Taj Mahal in 1 day from Delhi by fast trains. Fast trains leave early morning from Delhi. You can get on returning trains in the afternoon from Agra direct to Delhi.
How to plan your trip in Delhi: If you need any help in booking train tickets, hotel etc, Tarun will be a great help:
Internal flights: You can easily book internal flights with the website: http://www.makemytrip.com/
What to do: Between shopping, restaurants and historical attractions, you have a lot to do in Delhi. Dont miss the Gandi grave, India Gate and the main Bazaar in central Delhi. For more things to see, please click here 🙂