My short trip to Delhi & Agra. Due to my short time there, I only got to spend two days in New Delhi and one day in Agra. Here’s all I could fit in within that time.
To be honest, this city was my least favorite of all the cities I visited in India. It’s super crowded, noisy, dirty and full of people just trying to rip you off. The air quality is just the worst in the world. Literally. As soon as you get out of the airport you will get a headache. I think for you to enjoy this town, you really need to know the hidden gems of the city. Because on the surface there’s nothing nice about it.
The best way I found for getting around New Delhi was with the metro. It’s a really nice and clean system. The routes are pretty straight forward. Download your google map and just get directions with metro. If you ever get confused, just ask someone. English is spoken widely in Delhi. And Uber and Olacab (India’s car rental app) are widely available.
However, I did see the most beautiful Hindu temple of my life there. Swaminarayan Akshardham is just magnificent. it’s an architectural masterpiece which is hard to believe it has been build in modern time. For the first few hours that I was there, I was completely speechless and had tears in my eyes. I mean… MY GOD. The details on the structure will tire your eyes. The feeling and the size of the stone carvings and Gods will make an atheist start believing. Ok, maybe I’m getting carries away, but seriously it’s sssoooooooo beautiful. Don’t miss it if you’re in New Delhi.
Some fun facts, over 11,000 craftsman, 300,000,000 hours of volunteer hours & it only took five years to build it.
Keep in mind that you can’t take any sort of electronics inside. So cellphones, cameras and what not you have to checkin at the gate. Which actually makes the experience much better, because there are not thousands of people trying to take pictures and selfies at every corner. Try to go during the week though. It can get crowded. There’s also a water show that you can see at night, I didn’t do it, but it could be cool to checkout.
Red Fort & Jama Masjid
After Akshardham, no structure would really fascinate me in New Delhi. I went to see the Red Fort & Jama Majid. It was easy to get to and I figured why not. But honestly it wasn’t more than just crossing off couple of places of the list. If you have better plans, don’t rush to get to these two places 🙂
There’s a bazaar nearby where you can find really good food. Try Karim & Sons if you are meat eaters. But be aware, you need to work on your spice tolerance before coming here.
If you found yourself near the Red Fort area, go and try the Aloo Tikki at Natraj Cafe.
Agra (Taj Mahal)
So there are plenty of sites out there which can give you a lot of good details on visiting the Taj Mahal. I booked a cab with makemytrip and left early morning from Delhi to reach Agra in the morning to beat the crowd for Taj Mahal. I found the below website super useful for my visit. Getting a guide can be cool if they don’t have a heavy accent and are knowledgeable & enthusiastic. I used the Captiva Tour app for an audio guide… meeehhh… it was good for getting some basic info and history.
Taj mahal guide: https://www.twowanderingsoles.com/blog/taj-mahal-best-travel-tips
I got sick half way through my visit in Agra and threw up a lot in a restaurant… like a lot! :/ so be careful about what you eat.