This was probably my eighth or night visit to Agra. Every time we had some relative from Kolkata visiting us, my father would plan a one day trip to Agra- Mathura- Vrindavan. But this time our Agra visit had an exciting twist to it. It was not a day trip to see the Taj Mahal; it was a three day weekend visit to our sister's place in Agra. So, this was a chance to see Agra up and close. What was more thrilling was that we drove down to Agra from Delhi via the much famed Yamuna Expressway. Not to forget, it was my birthday and nothing could have been better than celebrating it with Didi, Jiju and their two sweet daughters.
We started at 12:00 noon from our residence in Delhi. Yamuna expressway is a delight to anyone who loves driving. The smooth wide concrete road had scanty traffic and is flanked with beautiful scenery and posh constructions coming up on both its side. This was the first time my husband Rupam was driving such a long distance. We were a bit petrified as we heard numerous tales of ghastly car crashes on the expressway. As a safety measure Rupam got his car tyres filled with nitrogen. Beside this slight anxiousness on our mind, rest of our long drive experience to Agra was pretty smooth. Before moving ahead you got to check the beautiful Yamuna expressway out in these pictures.
I was looking forward to a road trip since a long time. It was the day today; and I was enjoying every bit of it. We diverged from the expressway at Mathura to visit Rupam’s engineering college. For reasons unknown I was keen to see my husband’s college. We took a quick halt at Mathura McDonalds to refuel ourselves. Unlike the highway Mathura roads were narrow and congested and the drive was rough. Rupam had ear to ear smile as he entered Anand Engineering College. He was nostalgic after meeting few old professors and evidently proud to see his college titivated and sprawling over acres of land.
We reached Agra in the evening. Agra was pretty hot. The climate change, although not very pleasant, but wasn’t too discomforting too. It is a good idea to visit Agra only between October to March when the Sun is not too harsh.
It was supposed to be a chilled out three days break and hence we did not have much places on our 'TO GO' list in Agra. We visited the Sadar Bazar; which is apparently the best market place in Agra and undeniably a heaven for shoe lovers. Guys if you ever plan for Agra trip, make it a shoe shopping trip. The market has amazing leather shoes, boots, sandals, ballerinas, stilettos etc etc. You think of leather shoes and the lacklustre images of black or brown boots crops up in mind. I was floored to see the leather footwear in all latest designs, cuts and colours and that too in an unimaginably low cost. We shopped till our hearts were gratified and I am so proud of my collection now :))
Agra is the city of Taj and the foremost attraction for anyone visiting Agra. However, no one at home seems to be keen to go to Taj. It is like ghar ki murgi dal barabar. Finally I managed to drag Roopam to drive us to the Taj mahal. Hell! We chose a wrong day to visit. It was a Friday and the Taj Mahal is always closed for visitors on Fridays. Next morning once again we went to see the Taj Mahal and this time little Mehal came along. As this was my eighth or ninth visit here, I too had lost curiosity in spending much time here. We just clicked lots and lots of pictures, took a round around the compound and returned before the temperature got too hot to handle.
I saw rest of the Agra sitting in car as shown by my personal guide Mr. Rupam Roy Chowdhury. Let’s take a sneak peak in and around Agra roads as captured by my camera( in pictures).
Agra holds a splendid heritage site; one of the wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. This city can be so much more than what it is. It can be turned to a traveller’s paradise. Sadly, the authorities have not yet taken keen interest in overhauling the city’s substructure. It can be so much more than what it is and capable of earning much more fame worldwide. A city that has a legacy of one of the wonders of this world, is not in its best state for sure.
Our weekend trip was approaching its end and it concluded with me stepping in the next decade of life. I had a perfect birthday eve with family.
It’s not how exotic the location is where you travel; it is always how exotic the memories that you make there. Journey back home in Delhi was pretty smooth with a break in Highway Dhaba. Thank to whosoever invented GPS and navigation system. We were always on the right track.