The Golden Triangle – Agra

To avoid sitting in Delhi traffic for hours, it was an early start to Agra.  It paid off and we had a fantastic journey, taking an excellent toll road and seeing no suicidal cows, until we hit the outskirts of Agra.

Taj Mahal through the gate in shadow

My 1st glimpse of the Taj Mahal

However, our driver was very, very, very, very hard work.  He’s a pretty solemn character and communication is almost virtually impossible.  Luckily, he knew the way to Agra and once there, the hotel was pretty well sign-posted; so with lots of shouting, gesturing and pointing we finally reached our destination.   Hmmmmm… I am so glad I spent months organising an English speaking driver.

A gardener in the Taj Mahal

Gardener at the Taj. Women seem to be always working in India.

The next day we head to the Taj Mahal.  Our driver drops us off at a car park and that’s where the fun started.  Bombardment of Indian guys trying to get us to the entrance via rickshaw or camel, “students” wanting to be our guide and young boys trying to sell us postcards.

Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal

View of the river from the Taj Mahal

Initially I was very polite and say “no thankyou”, but they are so over powering that I eventually end up telling everyone to sod off and we end up walking the 1.7km to the gate.  Perhaps, in the Indian heat, it would have probably been a good idea to hitch a lift, but when you are surrounded by twenty guys all touting for your business you just want them all to back off.

Camel Ride, Taj Mahal

I succumb to a camel ride back to the car park.

On buying our entry ticket, a few more guys try to be our guides, a few more cross words are spoken and then finally we are safely inside.  The rest of the morning was peaceful; spent walking around the grounds, taking heaps of photos and simply admiring the amazing Taj Mahal and its beautiful surroundings.

The view of the Taj Mahal from Agra Fort

The view from Agra Fort

The Taj Mahal is incredible and I think it should be on everyone’s bucket list!!!

I have hired a driver for the Golden Triangle.  He costs a minimum of 2850 rupees a day, which includes driving 200km a day, the driver’s accommodation and food. Anything over 200km is an extra 13 rupees per kilometre and I have to pay all tolls/state crossings. I have in the past caught the train to Agra, which is easy.  Just book a few days in advance from the tourist office upstairs in New Delhi train station.

Entrance fee into the Taj Mahal is 750 rupees and camel ride back to the car park cost 150 rupees for 5 people. 

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