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Hyderabad to Agra

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Any opinions on the best way to get from Hyderabad to Agra (to see the Taj Mahal) as a fairly quick adventure while on a business trip?

We found some train schedule information on through Top Travel (www.indiabudgettours.com) but would like some input from someone with experience. Anyone know anything about this company or other recommended tour companies? All the regular tours take too much time for this case. Would flying be a better option? What about hotels near the Taj Mahal?

Thanks to all you worldy people!

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    One important things to remember: the Taj is closed on Fridays, so you have to work this into your schedule.

    You don't need a tour to do this, as you can easily get there by yourself. A train ride would be a rather long journey, about 12 hours, but would definitely give you a chance to see the countryside and the people. There is no place more fascinating on earth, IMO, than an Indian railway station, unless it is 2nd class on an Indian train!. I assume you have looked at train schedules at www.indianrail.gov.in.

    I would suggest you fly to Agra via Delhi. Your only choice will be Indian Air, as they are the only airline serving Agra. Website for Indian Airlines is http://indian-airlines.nic.in/ (Not to be confused with Air India, which is international flights only.) I don't believe there is any non-stop service between Hyderabad and Agra, but do check.

    Depending upon how much time you have, you could spend 2 days in Delhi first and then go to Agra for 2 days. You can take a train from Delhi to Agra in 2-3 hours, or have a car and driver take you in about the same amount of time. There is a lot to see and do in Delhi, not to mention the shopping.

    IMO you need at least one night in Agra so you can see the Taj at sunset and sunrise and as often as you can because it looks different at different times and in different weather. (The entrance fee is pretty steep these days, so this may cut down on the number of times you want to visit. If you can afford it, stay at the Amarvilas mentioned below with a Taj view. ) Agra also has good shopping. The preserved city of Fatephur Sikri about an hour away by car should absolutely be on your itinerary as well.

    Hotels in Agra I would recommend are:

    Amarvilas, an Oberoi hotel
    very luxurious and with a Taj view, basically on the Taj grounds
    Go to oberoihotels.com and look at Amaravilas.

    Mughal Sheraton Agra
    more motel-like, and not within walking distance of the Taj, but a nice hotel in pretty grounds.
    Go to starwood.com




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    Fly Hyd to del and then book a car del-Agra and back. You will anyway have to return to delhi to fly out as it is a hub. Other advantage is then you have a car during your agra trip which is useful. Given proximity to airports in most cities and delays on flights the car option will be very time efficient. You must do Fatehpur Sikri - if you have the car your driver can just stop there en route to or fro. Speak to a good travel agent who will book you a good car and a hotel - totally agree with amar vilas reco. if you are going for just a night splurge and stay there. Your agent may be able to get you a better rate than the net.

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