Planning a trip to Agra is not a farfetched dream at all. In fact, if you have a car at hand you can drive to Agra from Delhi or Noida in less than 4 hours. To spend minimum time on the road you should leave the city as early as possible to avoid the highway traffic. All you need is some snacks and plenty of water for your drive since most of the dhabas on the well congested highway is overpriced and not so hygienic. Hiring a one way outstation cab is a great way to save time on navigation as the exits can be a little tricky for people who are going by road for the first time.
Taj Mahal: if you get to Taj Mahal by 6 am you can park inside the premise as well. You can spend your entire day loitering on the grounds, eating at the yummy street food stalls right outside the Taj Mahal and clicking tons of breathtaking pictures of its changing colors throughout the day. Right beside the Taj Mahal is the Mehtab Bagh from where you can get a beautiful view of the Taj Mahal against the fiery red sky during sunset.
Agra Fort: Agra fort is located right next to Taj Mahal, this is an imposing beauty composed on red sandstone. A testimony of power and changing trends of medieval Indian architecture, this crescent shaped fort is bound by a deep moat on the outer wall. The forts nestles a number of other architectural feats of the Mughal Empire including the Jahangir Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-e Khaas, Diwan-e Aam and Mina masjid. Dedicating a day to exploring the beauties of both Taj Mahal and the hidden gems of Agra Fort is simply not enough.
Staying in Agra:
Weekenders at Agra usually choose to stay at the many hotels located near the main tourist spots to leave early for another round of sightseeing the next day. These hotels usually charge between Rs. 500 to Rs 5000 per night.
Fatehpur Sikri: Fatehpur Sikri is another popular tourist haunt in Agra. This was built by Akbar and it served as the capital of the Mughal Empire for over 10 years. This houses a number of remarkable buildings including the Jama Masjid. This is now a world heritage site which requires at least an entire day to be explored.
The second day people usually choose the less visited sites which guide them out of the city more towards their own homes.
Chini-Ka-Rauza: These include Chini-Ka-Rauza, this is a tomb designed in Persian style with glazed style décor, lined with colored enamel tiles and Arabic calligraphies.
Idmad-ud-Daula: This is another popular tourist site which is known as the miniature Taj. It was built by Noor Jahan for her father. This is made out of pure marble which marks a changing point in Mughal architecture. This is the first instance where white marble was used instead of red sandstones for construction of a Mughal building.
While planning a weekend trip time is of utmost essence. To save time on waiting for public transport and booking for tickets it is always smarter to go for outstation cabs. A single way outstation cab can easily help you reach Agra from Delhi in less than 4 hours.