3 cities, 2 friends, 1 bike. Only ₹2000 in pocket.

15th Aug 2014
Photo of 3 cities, 2 friends, 1 bike. Only ₹2000 in pocket. by Akshat Singh Rathore
Day 1

This is the starting of never-ending love for travel on motorcycle. You are going to read #1st chapter "Jump".

(Me and my best-friend) We both were free, nothing to do but spent some saving on a chai tapri when a common friend of ours informed use that he planned a 3 days vacation in Agra with his girlfriend. We were jealous, not because we didn't had such a girlfriend at that point of life but because we didn't had money for such lavish holidays. Expensive hotels, city tours, 5 star restaurants was not our style. I was fortunate enough that my parents got me a new Bajaj Discover 125CC 3 months back which i could ride to Agra.

The plan was to ride till Agra from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh on Independence Day 2014, stay one night there take another 2 hours ride next morning to Fatehpur Sikri then come back to Agra for a night stay and leave Agra on 3rd day for Kanpur. We never did long rides, I was 18 enough to ride a motorcycle, Hemant was on learners license (which means he could only ride in city, not on highway).

We left our home at 3:30 am, it was dark when we hit the highway but soon sun came up and so do trucks. Like an amateur rider we didn't checked our tire pressures before-night, so we had to stop at our 1st 20 km for our tires. The plan was to reach Agra in 6 hours but due to our long breakfast halt we were an hour delayed.

We entered Agra city by 10:15 am and started our hotel hunt. I had already sorted out few option beforehand, we just had to choose from them according to the current prices.

HOTEL: Finally we chose Pyrenees Home-stay which had 4 stars on google rating. Checked-in for just ₹500/night for 2 nights. It was a nice property, in well secured society. I parked my bike in front of the property and it was safe there according to the property owner as his bike was also parked there too. He was humble enough to provide us room before usual check-in time without charging any extra bucks. It was a small budget room with an attached bathroom (extra small but clean and comfortable). It only had a bed, a fan and most important free WiFi, what else do you expect in ₹500 and moreover we only had to spent night over there, rest day we were out exploring. My simple mantra is "SAVE ON HOTELS, SPENT ON FUEL".

TAJ MAHAL: We took an hour to freshen up in our small washroom one by one and left our hotel at 11:45 am. We took bath now it was my bike's turn to take a shower and then roam around the city. First stop from hotel was a bike wash station near Taj. Our hotel was hardly 2 km from Taj Mahal but we were tired enough to walk. After wash we had pasta and maggie on our way to the main monument. Back then the tickets were ₹25 for Indian tourist and ₹10 for shoe covers, didn't need a guide for Taj as i had enough facts about it by myself that i could be a guide for a day. Though it was my second time in Agra and Hemant's first we were excited to see our 1st wonder of the world. The plan was to meet my so-called friend and his girlfriend (they booked an expensive hotel which we couldn't afford) at the entrance but as usual they were late because she was doing her makeup from last 3 hours (according to her boyfriend). It was Independence Day in India (a national holiday) so all the busy people visited Taj on that particular day as we witnessed the longest queue of our life (it was before demonetization), around 150 people standing for a security check on Eastern Gate of Taj complex. Hats-off to those military personals who are expert in their jobs it took us only 20-30 mins top to enter in the main gate. We entered, decided to visit Taj without our friend as he was still at his hotel, walked forward towards Darwaza-i-Rauza( the great gate) and there was one of the most amazing view of my life, at first it looks huge through the gate but as you walk forward you can witness one of the best example of architectural engineering of all times, Taj resizes due to optical illusion created by Darwaza-I-Rauza. Plan was to spent a whole day there, enjoy sun-set and then leave. We spent our evening at Yamuna water front in Taj complex. Agra is not a city known for it's night life, markets close early by 9:00 pm but local dhabas and restaurants are open late night, at one of them we had our first proper meal of the day spent ₹200. We were tired so we went directly to the bed as we had to ride for 80 km next day for our next city. Day #1 ends

Day 2

Fatehpur Sikri: I got up early by 5:00 am, kicked Hemant out of bed as he wasn't ready to leave the blanket. While riding from Kanpur to Agra we enjoyed rain on highway but forgot that our bag wasn't water proof, we tried our level best to dry up our cloths under the room fan as it was pouring outside during night, luckily it worked but the task was to pack them back in less then 1 hour as we had to leave for Fatehpur Sikri. Property owner informed us about a rooftop restaurant where we had our aloo paratha and lassi for ₹12o(was tasty and cheap). Left our hotel by 9:00 am, we struggled with city traffic for half an hour and finally came out of Agra. Now it was sunny day with few cloud patches in sky and single lane road with high traffic for next 15 km. We were enjoying our freedom on road and also had chance to see a Sukhoi takeoff from Agra Air Force Station. It was a 75 minutes ride to Buland-darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri. As we entered the city, we were spotted by locals who claim themselves guide and were stopped by one of them saying "bikes are not allowed through this point" we didn't believed him and rode till the road ended in front of Buland-darwaza. It was our first time there so we had no idea about any rules or regulation. Didn't found a place to park so I left my bike at one of the vendor's shop and his nephew agreed to guide us about the tomb of Salim Chishti and Buland Darwaza. He also took us to the local market place inside to complex where we could buy flowers, chadar and thread. Flower and chadar are offered inside the tomb and threads are tied with belief of fulfillment of wishes we place over there, since ages.

Jodha Bai palace: Next stop was a palace build after the name of Mughal Emperor Akbar's only hindu wife Jodha Bai. Palace was build for Jodha Bai when she was pregnent with Akbar's first son Salim who was named after Saint Salim Chishti. It was build next to the residence of Salim Chishti at that time according to locals. We found a proper government parking at the entrance of the palace and also came to know that we could have easily got a Government tourist guide for whole complex at the cost we paid to that vendor, it was our mistake and we learnt from it. Main attraction were Daftar khana, Panch Mahal, Diwan-e-khas, Diwan-e-aam, Birbal Bhavan, Tansen chabutra, and Fatehpur Sikri fort. It took us 2 hours to roam around the complex. We left Fatehpur Sikri by 12:45 pm. Had our lunch on Fatehpur-Agra main road. Our plan was to visit Agra Red Fort on same date so that we don't miss it on next day.

Agra Fort: We reached Agra fort around 2:30 pm and found our so-called friend at the Amar Singh Gate purchasing ticket, so we didn't had to stand in the queue. Agra fort is one of the important military fort in India till date, it is the fact and that is the reason only 1/4 of the fort is open for tourist and common public since British period, rest is said to be used by military. But i believe that government has only opened an important portion of fort for tourist rest area doesn't have such importance in history so to save maintenance cost it is closed. whatsoever is the reason behind, accessible area is also large enough that it took us 3 hours to explore whole. Main attractions are Tomb of John Russell Colvin, Jahangir's Hauz, Shish Mahal, Diwan-e-aam, and Moti Masjid. There was a light and sound show at 7:30 pm but we missed it because we were low on cash and had to pay for the dinner and hotel.

We headed back to our hotel had dinner, went to bed but wasn't sleepy so decided to visit our friend's expensive hotel room. We left our hotel again at 10 pm in search of his hotel, both of our smartphones were showing low battery and were about to die and we were relying on google maps for direction. And it happened in less than 10 minutes, both of our phones were dead and we were lost in the same city in which we were roaming from last 2 days. It was 12 am when we found 2 police constable who helped us with directions to our hotel room. We do found the expensive hotel when we were returning to our room, but it was too late to disturb them as they had a train to catch in next 4 hours and we have to ride back home next day. So we needed sleep, most important thing when you are riding on highway. Day #2 ends.

Day 3

We followed same routine packed our bag, had breakfast at rooftop restaurant and checked-out. We where back on NH19 in no time, luckily we didn't got city traffic this time. On our return journey we only took 1 long pause for lunch and reached Kanpur in 7 hours 40 minutes.

Total Kilometers: approximately 700 km

Total expenses: ₹1700/head

Total cities: Kanpur-Agra-Fatehpur Sikri

Expense Details

Fuel:- ₹1150

Accommodation:- ₹1000

Food:- ₹800

Tickets and guide:- ₹450

Total:- ₹3400

1 Comment(s)
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First Road trip bro.... Absolutely ossum
Wed 02 07 18, 08:38 · Reply · Report