North Indian Sojourn-1 (Agra & Delhi)
I wanted to cover as many places as possible, chalked out a plan for that. Below are the details of the trip:
Day 0-2: We had to catch the 12649 Sampark Kranti express from Yesvantpur at 22:10 hrs on 25th Dec. Luckily we got the tatkal reservation done, thanks to my wife for that. The train took around 36 hours to reach H.Nizamuddin station passing through Kacheguda, Nagpur, Bhopal and Jhansi. We reached H.Nizamuddin at 10:30am on 27th Dec. We checked into a hotel in Karol Bagh in New Delhi and relaxed till lunch time. We had kept the evening for some shopping around Karol Bagh. It was winters and it was like a carnival at Karol Bagh. My wife had a gala time shopping for around 3 hours. We then had our dinner and came back. We wanted to go to Connaught Place as well but as it was a Sunday, the shops were supposed to be closed. The next day's plan was to leave for Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan. So we slept early.
Day 3: We had booked a tourist bus for Agra, the bus left Delhi at around 7:30 and to our horror, the NH2 to Agra was choc-o-bloc with traffic. It was a complete waste of time on the road and because of the long weekend it had become worse. What was supposed to be covered in 4 hours, the bus took 6 hours to cover. We finally reached Agra Fort at 1:45pm. We went inside the fort for which tickets were available at the entrance. The fort, originally built by the Rajput kings in the early 10th century, was ruled by Sikandar Lodhi which was later under Babur. The fort was plundered and the famous Kohinoor diamond was looted by the Mughals under Babur.The fort is built in 1080 AD is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The view of the river Yamuna and Taj Mahal at a distance was really breathtaking. By the time we came out it was almost 3pm. Quickly we went to the Taj Mahal. We entered through the East Gate. The first sight of the Taj rendered us speechless. Basking in the evening sun, it was all in its glory. The winter evening crowd was a bit too much to handle. It took almost 2 hours to go inside the minaret and come out. The carvings and the craftsmanship inside the Taj was excellent and this monument thoroughly deserves to be in the list of 7 wonders of the world.
It was 5pm by the time we started back towards Mathura. Though this was the second visit to Mathura, in both occasions it was too dark by the time we reached Mathura. I suggest people to spend 2 days to cover Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan. Went to the Krishna temple and it was great. Chantings of Hare Krishna was like music to our ears. We had matka lassi which was too good.
After visiting the Holy city of Mathura, we proceeded to Vrindavan, it was really too late to view the beauty of this place. The guide showed us around the place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood days. We climbed the stairs and went to various temples insde the complex. Its a pity that we could not capture any picture of the place. I would surely revisit this place in leisure. Finally we reached back to our hotel in Delhi post midnight.
Day 4: We had booked a tourist bus again for Delhi sight seeing. The bus took us through the usual places like the Birla Mandir, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament house, India Gate, Indira Gandhi Memorial, Qutub Minar, the Lotus temple, and the Red Fort. After Delhi, we started towards Amritsar by an overnight train from H.Nizamuddin.
Trip schedule: Dec 25: Started from Bangalore on 24th Dec by 12629 Sampark Kranti express at 22:10
Dec 27: Reached Delhi on 26th Dec at 10:30 am
Dec 28: Day Trip to Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan from Delhi
Dec 29: Delhi local sightseeing, departed for Amritsar 8:15 pm by 18237 Chattisgarh express
Dec 30: Reached Amritsar on 29th Dec at 08:30am; Departed from Amritsar to Chandigarh at 11:30pm by Punjab roadways bus
Dec 31: Reached Chandigarh at 04:00am
Jan 01: Chandigarh
Jan 02: Day trip to Shimla
Jan 03: Departed from Chandigarh to Delhi airport at 11:00 pm
Jan 04: Reached Delhi 3:30am, boarded a flight from Delhi at 07:00am, reached Bangalore at 09:30am
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