India : New Delhi+Agra

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Preface : New Delhi is big and hectic, but there are many beautiful places and plus UNESCO World Heritage Sites hidden around the city.

 

In my opinion for
New Delhi

Public transportation : ✪
Getting around on foot : ✪ ✪
Daytime safety : ✪ ✪ ✪
Nighttime safety : ✪

Agra

Public transportation : ✪
Getting around on foot : ✪ ✪
Daytime safety : ✪ ✪ ✪
Nighttime safety : ✪

✪ = poor,  ✪ ✪ = fair,  ✪ ✪ ✪ = good, ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ = very good

Hygiene

  • Drink only water from a sealed bottle
  • Eat only well cooked food!
  • Bring a small bottle of disinfection with you

 

HOW TO SPEND 3 DAYS IN NEW DELHI

I would like to recommend that you should hire a taxi for your sightseeing, and forget about Hop On Hop Off tour or HOHO Delhi, because it seldom arrives on time and doesn’t stop exactly where it supposes to, due to crazy traffic in Delhi.

Speaking about hiring a taxi, it’d be a smart idea to ask your hotel to help you negotiate a day price for you. It should cost around 3000-3500 Indian Rupee.

Here are my must see places in no particular order.

The Masjid-i Jahan-Numa or Jama Masjid
This beautiful mosque was built between 1644-1656 and constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. It has 4 towers and 3 gates and is the largest mosque in India. Visitors should remove their shoes at the top of the stairs.

Humayun’s Tomb complex (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
It was built in 1570 and inspired by islamic and persian architecture styles. This complex consists of 3 main parts: The Humayun’s Tomb, Isa Khan Niyazi’s tomb and the beautiful and well-designed park. A little tip for you…. If you want to take a nice picture, you will have to go to the side of the building, because there aren’t many people there.

Qutb complex (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
This complex was built in 739 and consists of some iconic buildings including Qutub Minar, Iron pillar, Tomb of Iltutmish and Alauddin Khalji. It was amazing to see how people in the medieval time used their limited technology to build these beautiful complex. Go there in a late afternoon and you will get nice pictures.

 

The Lotus Temple
It’s a beautiful house of worship, designed by Fariborz Sahba.

 

 

 

Laxminarayan Temple (no camera is allowed inside)
It is a beautiful Hindu Temple, located in Mandir Marg, near Golmarket, and situated west of the Connaught Place. The complex was built and inspired by Nagara style. As for the architecture, it was influenced by the principles of the Swadeshi movement of the early 20th  century.

 

 

 

The Textile and Spice Market

It is located in opposite the Delhi Train Station on the east side in Chandni Chowk area. These are really eye opening experiences. It is considered Asia’s largest wholesale spice market. You can find hundreds of shops, exotic spices. This place is rich in colors and photographic opportunities.

 

 

 

 

THE FOURTH DAY A day trip to Agra and Taj Mahal and this is a must see trip once in your life time. The best way to go there is hiring a taxi for a round trip from your hotel. This shouldn’t cost more than 80 Euro for a day. It isn’t recommended to;

  • go by yourself, because you will waste a lot of time hassling from the train stations in both Delhi and Agra, plus from Agra to Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal.
  • hire a taxi from streets. It is a smarter idea to let your hotel organize for this service due to safety and other related concerns. This way, the hotel knows your driver and your driver’s taxi license.

Finally, my dream came true. This is what I always wanted to see and I had been waiting for 42 years to see the beautiful Taj Mahal.

 


Taj Mahal

 

 

In Agra, you don’t only visit Taj Mahal, but also Agra Fort. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty, because Agra was the capital of India at that time, before it was relocated to New Delhi in the 17th century.

 


Diwan-i-Khas or Hall of Private Audiences in The Agra Fort

 

Akbar’s tomb

Other important tips
  • Visa: If you plan to make less than 3 entries, you will not need to apply for a visa at the Embassy, but you will be able to apply an e-Visa which costs less.
  • If you love to take photos, you will need to check whether you are allowed, otherwise you will have to leave your expensive camera outside in a locker (if available)
  • There are often lanes for foreigners to enter museums and tourist attraction places, but you got to pay more. Unless you can spend hours waiting!
  • If you want to visit Agra and Taj Mahal, you will need to check weather conditions beforehand, because the roads to Agra can be very foggy and it can be dangerous to drive.
  • Drink only water from a sealed bottle.
  • Eat only well cooked food in well known restaurants.
  • Bring a small bottle of disinfection with you.

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