Trip Start Jan 28, 2011
51Trip End May 23, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
My adventures to Agra began when I chose to make my journey from Jaipur to Delhi, then Delhi to Agra, rather than directly from Jaipur to Agra. I joined my newly-found friend, Deepak, for the bus ride to Delhi, and we boarded the 3pm bus for what should have been a 5-hour ride. It quickly became 6 hours. And then 7 hours. And then eventually it expanded into us arriving at the bus stop in Delhi at 1am. A first time for Deepak to arrive so late. We made our way to my hotel and booked Deepak a room so that we could each get a couple hours of sleep.
Three hours later, we were up and about making our way to the train station. After a three hour ride in the rain, we arrived to a warmer and mildly sunny Agra. Deepak proceeded to find a tuk-tuk driver while I remained hidden so that I did not lessen his bargaining power as the white tourist. Upon securing a driver for the entire day, we bought some local fruits and made our way to a less-populated site in Agra. Given that for numerous days I had severely decreased my food intake, I became quite tired and didn't manage to find much energy while touring around there.
After intaking a number of fruits and bagged snacks, we proceeded to the famous Taj Mahal. There, we purchased our tickets -- 20 Rupees for Deepak the local, and 750 Rupees for me the tourist. Then we proceeded to walk the 1/4 mile to the Taj Mahal entrance, during which time the cycle rickshaw drivers criticized Deepak for not 'permitting' me to take a ride with them and for hoarding the money he was 'earning' from me. We had a good number of laughs over the fact that everyone assumed that Deepak was my tour guide, especially since this was his first time visiting the area. Upon arriving at the entrance, Deepak handed our tickets to the gate guard. The line to enter the Taj Mahal had no waiting time for foreigners, whereas a 10-minute wait for the locals. Given that Deepak was my 'tour guide', he was told to enter with me, the foreigner. We had another number of good laughs as we entered the gate in a very timely manner.
The Taj Mahal was really a grand site, and walking around barefoot on the marble enhanced the experience. I learned a bit about the history of the building and its construction, along with some other random facts about India. A brief overview of our entrance to the Taj Mahal is shown in the accompanied videos.
After several hours, we made our way back to the train station to catch a 6pm train. Upon exiting the tuk-tuk, the driver proceeded to yell at Deepak that he should pay more money than we had originally agreed upon and physically tried to restrain him. This was quite a shock for me since I had thought he was a sweet older man, and I was interested in giving him a nice tip. We made our way into the station paying only the amount originally agreed upon to find that our train had been delayed three hours.
We managed to get on a different train that was set to depart an hour later, but that train arrived to the train station late as well. Upon entering the train, I had my first experience from one of those scenes that depicts India with tons of people loaded into one car. Given that there were so many passengers and our tickets did not guarantee us a seat, I thoroughly enjoyed and laughed at the craziness and authenticity of all of the activities taking place in the train. The scenarios that happened during our trip to Agra -- only in India.