Short trip to the Taj Mahal

Oct 27th, 2009, 01:08 PM
  #1  
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Short trip to the Taj Mahal

Advice needed on a quick trip to see the Taj Mahal. I am flying to Mumbai on business. The meeting ends on Nov 11 and my flight home to EWR is on Nov 13 at 11:30pm. I would like to get to Agra somehow on the 11th, stay over and return to Mumbai for my flight home. Is this too much to plan or is it do-able?
travlbum is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 06:30 PM
  #2  
 
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While technically it may be feasible, IMO, it’s not an attractive option. I also wonder if you really want to travel 14 hours+ over a 48 hour period and then get on a 18 hour or so flight to the US.

The Taj will be closed on the 13th, as that is a Friday, and the Taj is always closed on Fridays, so you really will spend a lot of time trying to get to Agra on the 11th, and you must see the Taj on the 12th in order to see it at all. I like Agra a lot, and if offers other things to see and do, but many people do not it, and it is mostly people who run in on very short trips like yours who don’t like it. You may feel at the end that the trip was kind of a waste.

There are no commercial flights into Agra. So you have to fly to Delhi from Mumbai (3 hours), and then you most likely you are going to have to take the train (2-5 hours depending on what train you get, also add in about an hour to get to the train station in Delhi from the airport). So that’s is a minimum of 6-7 hours of traveling on the 11th. (Not counting time to get to the Mumbai airport, if your meetings are in say the Colaba area, and you want to take an afternoon flight, I personally would count on 2 hours or more to get to the airport. If you are meeting in Andheri or Juhu this will save you some time.) Look at flight schedules to Delhi from Mumbai and then the train schedule to see if it works. While you can drive to Agra, you should not be driving the Delhi-Agra road after dark, at least I wouldn’t. You can always drive back up on the 12th or 13th and then fly out to Mumbai. But my assumption is that with a meeting on the 11th already, by the time you get to Delhi it will be 5 pm or later. Too late to start the drive, IMO. In November in north India, the sun will set by 5:30 pm.

If you could reroute your int’l flight to fly out of Delhi this would save you some time and backtracking, but probably won’t do much to mitigate the rushed travel. And it may even add more if you try to “see” Delhi in one day.

It’s the lack of the airport in Agra that is going to be your problem. I personally think it is a crazy idea. I think the Taj Mahal is very beautiful of course, but there are MANY other things to do and see in India. You can see things in Mumbai on 12th and 13th, if you don’t want to sightsee of shop, then have an ayruvedic spa treatment (f you have not had the 2-person rhythmic massage you have not lived IMO, or the Shirovasthi oil treatment for your third eye), or take a cooking lesson.

You could also possibly fly someplace like Jaipur or Udaipur which has non-stop air service from Mumbai. Those would be very quick trips, but more reasonable IMO than trying to get to Agra.

I would look at flight schedules for Kingfisher and Jet Airways and see what works.
Cicerone is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 07:01 PM
  #3  
 
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There's another way to answer your question:

go here [to my latest fave site in the world]:

http://www.skyscanner.net/flights/bo...mber-2009.html

Kingfisher Nov 11
08:05 BOM– AGR 12:40
4h 351 DEL
$230.25

looks like an attractive option. I can can only assume that, since Cicerone posted, they've finished construction on Agra airport... lol lol lol

Everything else she said is 100% correct.
dogster is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 07:07 PM
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Go here - I've done it for you:

https://cat.sabresonicweb.com/SSWIT/...360956f4cf62c&

48 hours in Agra. $368 rtn.
dogster is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 07:33 PM
  #5  
 
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Thanks, dogster. This is a connectiong flight via Dehli. The biggest issue I see is that the OP has to take this flight on the 12th, and she could not leave on the 11th due to her meeting schedule, which means she will miss sunrise at the Taj, which is, IMO a big part of the experience. This leaves only the afternoon to see the Taj, which is probably feasible, but a lot of travel for an afternoon, IMO. The return flight leaves Agra at 1 pm on the 13th, which means part of the morning in Agra, which will not include the Taj as it is closed. This is really a LOT of flying for a few hours at the Taj. And you better pray that the connecting flight on the 13th is on time. (Kingfisher generally has a good on-time record). She then has to transfer from the Mumbai domestic terminal to the int'l terminal to get the flight to EWR (about 5 miles, you can take a taxi, there is a bus which can be a pain with luggage and if you have a tight connection I would not reccomend it.)

I did not realize that Kingfisher was flying to Agra again. They did so for about 8 months in 2005 or so. Agra airport is the air force's airport and has been open to commerical flights in past years, and then closed. And then opened. And then closed. There is a movement to keep it closed because of the impact on the marble of the Taj. If the trip is next month, and Kingfisher is showing flights, it may be OK. I am not sure I would count on these flights continuing for an indefinite period.

Even with a flight to Agra, with that short a period of time, I still think it's a crazy idea. But less is more is my travel mantra. If you want to go look at the Taj for a few hours, that can be done. If you want to experience India, then I would stay where you are. There are many other interesting things to do and see, even in Mumbai, which I normally don't recco as a tourist city, but as the OP will already be there, she can certainly take advantage of.
Cicerone is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 08:35 PM
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I'm totally with Cicerone.

The whole idea is madness - but, on my recent abortive Azamara cruise I saw people get off the ship in Kochin, travel to the Taj for about four minutes, then shlep all the way back to Mumbai to pick up the boat two days later - at a staggering, idiot's only cost of US$3000...

More to the point is adding all that travel - arghh. Horrible.
Go stay at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai instead. You can still tell your friends you saw the Taj Mahal, just don't tell them which one.
dogster is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 03:00 AM
  #7  
 
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If you will not be back to India for some time, I would try to go see the Taj Mahal - but only if you can spend at least half a day exploring it. The weather should be nice right now (i.e. not too hot). Bear in mind, everything in India always takes a lot longer than it does elsewhere!
puttakka is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 08:08 AM
  #8  
 
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For me the Taj was one of the very greatest sights on earth, but man all that traveling sounds AWFUL.

puttakka said it right. If there is a chance you will get back to India again then wait. If you may never be back, then go ahead and do it! Even an afternoon is worth it.
waynehazle is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 03:02 PM
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Good idea to visit the Taj. Bad idea to do it with the tight time you have - especially from Mumbai. I won't repeat what's already been said, just another vote for "don't do it".
Jaya is offline  

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