It’s never a bad idea to go for a mini trip, isn’t it?
In my recent visit to Delhi, while I was scrolling my phone to find out a nearby getaway for 2 days, I found out that the closest of all the hot destinations like Manali, Shimla, Rishikesh, Mussorie and so on and forth is Agra. I took no second thoughts and decided to visit this place because –
a) I had never seen the most beautiful wonder of the world – The Taj Mahal
b) It was the closest road trip possible as it took literally 2-3 hours to reach Agra via Delhi
I booked my hotel online with a priority of having a room with the Taj view. You can book The Gateway Hotel by Taj, located at Fatehabad road which has awesome rooms from 5k to 10k with Taj and non-view rooms.
THE TAJ MAHAL
The but obvious first agenda was to visit the Taj Mahal and from my experience, I would suggest you to either go at the early morning hours or if you are not a morning person like me then go at around 5:00-5:30 PM so that you can have great pictures of this incredible wonder. But, do not go after sunset as they close the doors henceforth.On the entrance, there is a big gate which is known as THE ROYAL GATE that is made of red sandstone and is around 100 feet high. The Arabic calligraphy from the Holy Quran looks magnificent on the gate with the work of semi-precious stones inlaid in the white marble.
Then, comes a long passage from where you head towards the Taj Mahal. I am not a walk-walk person but with the view of the Taj in front of me, it was an easy walk to remember! 😉
Some do’s and don’ts for visiting the Taj Mahal –
- Do not carry any eatables, books, stationaries or anything metal in your bag
- Wear comfortable shoes/footwears because there will be a lot of walking and also because once you reach the marble flooring, you will have to wear scrunchie bags on the top of your shoes to protect the marble flooring from the dirt and dust
- Carry a selfie stick to get better pictures as it’s too crowded during the evening hours
- For moonlight Taj view during full-moon, do not carry your phones, key, wallets as they only allow digital camera and nothing else
Counted as one of the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal is incredible in every aspect and manner. The ivory colour of the marbles, the knitted architecture and the thought process behind making this epitome of love just blew my mind.
I was lucky enough that I visited Agra during the full moon week; I also took the ticket for moonlight view of the Taj Mahal which was an incredible experience in its own way. The Taj Mahal looks even more beautiful in the moonlight. Unfortunately, I could not take any pictures of the night view Taj Mahal as I wasn’t carrying any digital camera and they don’t allow cell phones during the night view.
STREET FOOD IN AGRA
There is a very famous place – Sadar Bazar where you find all the local shops and sweet shops (Panchhi Petha). Also, there is a chaat gali at Sadar Bazar where I tried 4-5 street food like Pani Puri, Bhel Puri, Dahi Puri, Aaloo Tikki Chaat and Aallo Bhalla Chaat.
Personally, I loved the AALOO TIKKI CHAAT and AALOO BHALLA CHAAT. They were quite different in taste as compared to the typical aaloo chaat that we eat. Aaloo tikki chaat has fried potato patties with tamarind & green chutney on the top with the garnishings of some cashews and coriander. YUMMM!!!!Aaloo Bhalla Chaat on the contrary has an aaloobhalla which is dipped in some sweet curd like a normal dahibhalla and toped with green & tamarind chutney and lots of phikisev & coriander. This is a great chaat for all those who love dahibhalla. Chatpatakha!!!
LUNCH AT THE OBEROI AMARVILAS
The Oberoi Amarvilas is situated at Tajgang, Agra. More than the food, this place is a must visit for their hospitality, interiors and the feel. I think this was the best lunch reservation that a friend of mine made for me on the special request.
I was awestruck with their Rajasthani outdoors and royal indoors with two lounges of giving you the Taj Mahal view.
What I had at Amarvilas:
More than their Ala Carte menu, I got enticed with their buffet menu. Also due to the fact that buffet lunch provides more options of exploring different cuisines, I chose to go with their buffet which would cost you around 4,000 Rs inc taxes.
Although the food was good, not excellent though the experience was worth every penny spent here. I loved the fact that they had a special counter for Indian Desserts. I especially loved the watermelon & feta salad, mashed potato and mushroom focaccia, Singapore style noodles, mutton raan and freshly fried peta bread with hummus.
With some savings, this is a place to must visit once on your stay in Agra!
Although I am not a fort lover and have never been interested in history, still there is something about this fort is which is captivating. maybe the fact being that it was the main residence of the Mughal dynasty plus everything here in the fort is red which stole my heart at the first glance itself.
You must visit the fort at around 5 in the evening so that you can even enjoy the music and light show that happens after sunset every day at the fort.
Fine details on the walls and roofs of the Mehal
I hope the Agra Blog was helpful. You can contact me for further information on firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also on instagram – BellyKanungo
See you soon with another review, till then keep travelling and eating and keep your bellies happy!