My tryst with Agra

17th May 2018

In my short life of 25 years so far, I would say I have been to a fairly good number of destinations. Although I haven’t spent much time out of the country, except for the one summer I spent with my maternal uncle and aunt in Halifax, I have explored quite a bit of India. I have seen the pristine beaches of the south and the mighty mountains of the north; I have spent time in the quaint monasteries of the northeast and I have also admired sprawling fortress of the west. And with the exception of a rare few, I have been smitten by almost every corner of this beautiful country I visited.

However, it wouldn’t be right if I say that I am equally in love with every part of this nation. We all have our favorite places in the world just the mention of which evokes the memories of the incredible time that we spent there. For me, that place is Agra. I still have a vivid memory of the first time I got the opportunity to visit this place and behold its gorgeous white marvel named Taj Mahal with my own two eyes.

It was my first year in college and I along with my best pals embarked upon a road trip to this majestic city on the banks of the meandering Yamuna River. The four of us spent two entire days admiring the best that it has to offer and had the time of our lives; I know at least I did. Even after living less than 250 km from this remarkable place, it took me 20 years to finally capture it. But it was worth every second of the wait. Here’s a brief about my trip:

Day 01: Delhi to Agra by road (5 hours), Visit to Taj Mahal

Since we left early in the morning, we had arrived in the Taj Nagari a little before noon. And I must say that the road journey was no less exciting, bringing us across numerous roadside dhabas serving delicious food.

After arriving in the city, there was no doubt that the first place we wanted to see was the stunning Taj. By this time, I had only seen the colossal mausoleum in movies and books and at the very first glimpse of it, I realized that it was more astonishing than anybody had ever claimed it to be. Perhaps I could weave words to try to explain the stellar beauty that it is but I am sure all my attempts would be in vain. Believe me, it’s that good!

A small town which once served as the capital of the Mughals for about a decade, it teems with magnificent monuments that bespeak the architectural brilliance of the Mughals.

After spending a few hours spellbound by the Taj, we finally realized how famished all of us were and headed straight to the famous Joney’s Place to gorge on some mouth-watering dishes.

We called it a day after sauntering in the local markets for some souvenirs.

Day 02: Agra Darshan and road trip back to Delhi

Well, a visit to Taj Mahal may be synonymous with an Agra trip but the mighty monument is definitely not the only great thing the city has to offer. Having served as the capital of the Mughal Empire in the olden days, the city is dotted with a gamut of monuments that narrate the tale of its glorious past.

Agra Fort, Jama Masjid, Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb and Akbar's Tomb kept our spirits high as we spent our second day in the city.

Before making our way back to our homes, we also got the chance to spend an hour and click like a zillion epic snaps at the expansive Fatehpur Sikri.

We soon made our way back to Delhi but not before loading up on the famed Agre ka petha from Panchee Petha Store for our loved ones back home.

This definitely is, and I am sure will always be, one of the most amazing journeys of my life and remain etched in my memory forever. The trip sort of turned my life around and made me more of a diligent traveler that I am today than a casual, laid-back tourist I was until that summer of 2012. No matter where life takes me, Agra will always be my favorite place on earth.