Agra Travel Guide

Agra is very spread out and its sights too widely separated to explore on foot, so wherever you’re staying you’ll end up spending a fair amount of time in rickshaws or taxis.

Agra tour is very spread out and its sights too widely separated to explore on foot, so wherever you’re staying you’ll end up spending a fair amount of time in rickshaws or taxis. Getting from one part Agra to another can prove surprisingly time-consuming thanks to the sheer volume of traffic and the poorness of the roads, and crossing from one side of the Yamuna river to the other is particularly tedious, given the condition of the city centre’s two massively over-used and under-maintained bridges.

Cycle rickshaws are good for short trips in Agra and provide a livelihood for some of the city’s poorest inhabitants, as well as being cleaner and greener than autos. On the downside, they can be unbearably slow for longer journeys unless you’ve got a lot of time and patience and don’t mind being sat amongst noisy and smelly traffic for extended periods. Unfortunately, the city’s thousands of cycle rickshaw drivers are probably the single biggest source of hassle in Agra – attempt to walk anywhere, and these persistent folk will be on your case, doggedly chasing you down the street and ringing their bell in your era.

There are also a fair number of tongas (horse-drawn carriages) around Taj Mahal tour Taj Ganj in Agra, but the sight of these skinny and near-lame horses tends to put most people off; if you do take a ride, expect to pay about the same as you would in a cycle rickshaw. Auto rickshaws are faster and fares, including waiting time, are very reasonable if you don’t mind bargaining fares from Taj Ganj to Sadar Bazar to Agra Cantt Station and to the Fort. Taxis are handy for longer trips to Sikandra or Fatehpur Sikri; agree a fare before you set off, since they’re unlikely to have operational meters (or, if they do, to be willing to use them).

Up market hotels in Agra have their own fleet or vehicles, and there are car ranks at the stations; alternatively, your guesthouse should be able to arrange a vehicle for you. There’s also a cheap and environmentally friendly electric bus which shuttles back and forth between the fort and the west gate of the Taj Mahal, though you could easily spend twenty or thirty minutes waiting for it to arrive.

Whichever form of transport you choose in Agra, expect to have haggle hard. Agra sees so many “fresh” tourists that drivers will always quote significantly inflated prices to start with (the best policy, if a rickshaw driver names a silly price, is simply to walk away – they’ll usually chase after you and offer a more realistic fare).Also, note that the main agenda for many rickshaw – and taxi drivers is to get you into the city’s jewelers, marble shops and other such places where they can earn commission, often a more important source of income for them than what they earn in actual fares.

Some will even quote you a lower fare if you agree to visit a couple of emporiums en route India Tours – though if you agree to this and then decide to buy anything, remember that the rickshaw driver’s commission will be added to your bill. Many locals in Agra get around the city by bicycle, although for foreigners unused to the anarchic traffic and treacherous and surfaces, India travel on two wheels can be stressful and potentially dangerous. You’re better off hiring a cycle rickshaw and getting someone else to do pedaling for you.

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