Well-Known Member
Hi Folks,
I visited Agra to visit the Taj Mahal on the occasion of my Marriage Anniversary.
I will be sharing the detailed TL soon.

Till then, please enjoy some teasers:


Well-Known Member

Happily married since last 1 year. I made it a point to celebrate every occasion that was 1st after my marriage like 1st birthday of my better half, 1st birthday of me, 1st New Year and so on ….

Since, I’ve long planned to celebrate our 1st Marriage Anniversary. The choice of location was left to my wife. She chose Taj Mahal for obvious reasons (I was first reluctant to this choice, but gave in after I thought of celebrating this togetherness). Location doesn’t matter, company does!!

Now, since the location was chosen. I shuffled through internet to look for travelling and accommodation options.

I finally decided on the following:

1. Travel:

NDLS Shatabdi Express that leaves at 6:00 AM sharp from PF#1 of New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS) and arrives AGC (Agra Cantt) at 8:00 AM (+- 15 minutes, reasons unknown).
In 2 hours, you reach Agra. So, it was a very fast and efficient way to go to Agra.

Back to Delhi by same train (leaving at 9:05 PM from AGC) arriving NDLS at 11:30 PM (+-15 minutes).

Travel from Home to Railway Station and vice versa will be via Meru Cabs.

2. Stay:
Aura Mumtaz Mahal: It turned out to be very bad decision (blame it on Internet or my laziness, I don’t know….). But it was blessing in disguise and I enjoyed my stay there all thanks to my Wife and Me who happen to extract jolly moments from dullest of the dull moments.

I will share the detailed review as I advance through the TL. Keep on reading.

1 Day before departure:
I booked a Meru Genie Cab from their website for 4:30 AM for drop at NDLS.
I would be charged additional INR 60 if I book through their call center for Meru Cab and INR 30 for Meru genie.

Plus, having a buffer time of 1:30 hours was sufficient for me to make alternate arrangements just in case they fail to provide a cab on time.

On the day of Departure:
4:06 AM: SMS informing there are no cabs available. I was confused as what to do, the moment I got this SMS.
4:08 AM: SMS from Meru Genie that a cab is reaching the pickup point. I was delighted!
4:33 AM - Cab arrived.
We boarded the cab at around 4:40 AM and reached NDLS at around 5:15 AM.

Since, I told the cab driver that I need to catch Shatabdi, he took a detour towards State Entry Road (Connaught Place) than Pahar Ganj side and we are directly on Platform-1 (via the VIP gate with no checking!).

We checked-in to the Upper Class waiting room, as we still have time and enough time for me to gaze through various locos that cross Platform-1 and to click some pictures. But due to presence of some police personnel, I refrained from doing so, but satisfied by eyes by watching various chugging locos-WAP5, WDM4A, WAP7 ……
(Clicking pictures w/o permission is a punishable offense ... railfans will be knowing this).

At around 5:30 AM, the Shatabdi pulled to the platform (hauled by WAP5, GZB loco shed).

We took our seats and waited for it to leave NDLS.

Nothing special in the travel en-route, just the usual commotion of travelers and the food.

This stretch is one of the fastest route in the Indian Railway network. The Shatabdi touches 150 km/h in this route (after Asaoti, I guess, please correct if I am wrong).

7:30 AM – Arrival at Mathura Junction.
8:05 AM – Arrival at AGC.

There was a mad rush of taxi drivers, auto drivers to get hold of passengers boarding down. I made my way to the exit of the Station and called a auto-rickshaw to take us to our Hotel at Taj Nagari, East gate of Taj Mahal. I was charged 80 rupees for this.

………………… to be continued.

(Please excuse me, there are no pictures till this section. Thanks!).


Well-Known Member
Day#1 in Taj Nagri:

I checked into the Hotel at around 9:00 AM. Since, we had 3 days at our disposal so we were not in hurry to see anything but to have some good sleep. After waking up, we went straight to the hotel’s rooftop restaurant as it promised a Taj View from the top. Taj Mahal’s upper dome is visible from the rooftop, but I don’t think it was a very big deal, all hotels in the vicinity have that view (you can come to this conclusion only if you have visited or stayed in/around that location).

Below is the view as seen from my digital camera:


After spending few minutes on the rooftop, we went downstairs to go for a casual stroll and to inspect the outside area.

View from the street:

Since, the Taj Nagri area is under heavy make-over, half of the road was dug-up from Shilp Gram to the first police check post.

But, the road was found to be in worthy condition after the first police check post.

It was getting dark so we headed back to our hotel room and call it a day.

Day#2 in Taj Nagri:

After freshening up, we went to the Shilpgram (walkable distance from hotel, 15 minutes) to purchase tickets for Taj Mahal. I forgot to mention that Taj Mahal’s East gate is the entry point from this side.

It being a VIP entry gate, you find many military personal and couple of men from Agra Police guarding the area 24x7. Their presence made us a bit secure in this part of Agra.

Please note, personal and commercial vehicles are not allowed beyond the first check-post. Hence, you had to park your vehicle at the Shilpgram parking and board a battery powered cart or small bus (Shuttle Service) to get to the Taj Mahal. It’s a 1.5 kms walk to the East Gate of Taj Mahal from the parking area, so it’s individual’s choice to take the shuttle or not. We decided to board the shuttle. It will cost you INR 10 per person.

In my opinion, Shilpgram is the best place to buy the Taj Mahal’s entry ticket. As, being a VIP entry point, there is hardly any queue on the ticketing window.

Now, let the pictures speak for themselves.

The East Gate:


Entry gate to Taj Mahal:


Wah Taj!












Great !
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"Shilpgram is the best place to buy the Taj Mahal’s entry ticket. As, being a VIP entry point, there is hardly any queue on the ticketing window."

Only some people know about this !