travel between Delhi & Agra

Apr 13th, 2006, 02:39 AM
  #1  
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travel between Delhi & Agra

My finacee and I are planning our honeymoon, part of which will be taking in Rajasthan. What is the best way to travel between Delhi & Agra - would it be car/air?train? we would like the most comfortable option, (it being our honeymoon!) and India Airlines don't seem to run flights between Delhi/Agra, so were wondering if car travel would be feasible?
tanuchen is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 06:00 AM
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Car travel is quite "feasible" between Delhi/Agra and would be my personal preference over train travel. The train is quicker but you have to be transferred to the station and deal with luggage/porters etc. Also, on the train, you will miss the interesting scenery along the way. An a/c van or SUV would be the most comfortable. By the way, neither Agra nor Delhi are in Rajasthan but maybe I'm nitpicking...
Craig is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 06:02 AM
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i am doing it by car and driver but you can also take the train...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 11:11 AM
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Not quite sure that I am qualified to answer this, but will give my imput anyway. We recently did the train trip from Dehli to Agra. The train was reasonably clean and arrived in Dehli on time. Unfortunately, this was a fog day...so we sat in dense fog for a long while. How often that happens, I don't know. The train station in Dehli was a little crowded and unsettling if you were not used to it. If I were on my honeymoon, I think I would have a driver...and agree SUV with A/C and maybe plans could be made for a nice lunch along the way. Have a great time.
Mincepie is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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We took the Shabadi (sp?) express train. Very pleasant; it's faster and safer than driving. Tea and breakfast served free in 2AC. Have your hotel in delhi get you the tickets and take you to your seats. Would you be spending the night in Agra? If so, again have your hotel meet you at the station. I fyou aren't spending the night, you can leave your baggage at your hotel in Delhi.

You can also do the car/driver route.
lcuy is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 06:01 PM
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Just three weeks ago we made this very trip via car. We pre-arraigned a car and driver to meet us at the domestic terminal at the Delhi airport and he took us direct to our hotel in Agra. This was the best option for us as our flight arrived at Delhi in late afternoon and to have to transfer from the airport to train and then again train to hotel (not even sure if there was a train at that hour) would have been difficult.

On the other hand, the drive was about 2/3 in the dark, which was about the only night travel we did in our three weeks in India, and the traffic was very interesting to say the least. Only half of the vehicles on the road have any tail lights, to say nothing of the animals. By western standards, this is not a very safe way to travel, but the concentration of our driver was excellent (by any standard) and we arrived in one piece.

We also returned the same way with the same driver to the international terminal in Delhi a couple of days later. This was a daylight run and we noticed that there was less traffic during the day, probably because the weather was hot. The traffic still did include all the various animals and machinery.

The price for the car, which was an a/c Chevrolet Van and driver was US$240 for four days including the two airport transfers and two days in and around Agra.

tatersalad is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 07:14 PM
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many fodorites have suggested that you do not make long trips after dark because of the safety issues on the roads....
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 03:32 AM
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Oh, by train for sure. Appreciate it is your honeymoon (congrats!!) but you have chosen to go to India. And I don't know what the rest of your travel plans are. Perhaps all by air.

But to go to India and not travel by train at least once...

Look - it depends on the sort of people you are. You can go to "India" and skim over it. It's not a destination, it is a whole new world. You want comfortable - but you may never visit again. The train to Agra is the easy way to get at least a taste of what India is about. So I recommend it.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 05:26 AM
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We did this by car last yr. and it was brutal due to traffic conjestion getting out of Delhi and again through Agra to out hotel, the Taj View. It took 6, yes 6 hrs. going and a bit less coming back. Bear in mind some of that is due to where we began in Delhi and the traffic we had to get through to reach the highway. A train is better IMHO. Congratulations on your wedding!
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 14th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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I'll have to admit we left Delhi for Agra from the airport in the very early morning when there was little traffic. With "normal" traffic the drive takes 3-4 hours. I agree with Fuzzy about the train being part of the Indian experience - if you don't take the train to Agra, be sure to take it somewhere in Rajasthan.
Craig is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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Here's another vote for the train.

A taxi to the station, then a porter will carry your luggage to your seat (and show you the way), then a porter will take you to a taxi at Agra station, then a taxi to your hotel.

If you can get away from tourists and meet Indian couples/families on the train, you will be astonished at how genuinely happy they are that you just married, and how equally happy they are that you chose their country to visit for your honeymoon.

Take along with you some photos of the wedding (and photos of your home and hometown) and you will realise just how short a two-hour train journey is in India.

I donít understand the comment about driving (so that you donít miss the scenery), I find my eyes firmly fixed on the road ahead when Iím in a car, itís great fun watching near-accident after near-accident. (Iím not being sarcastic, I do love the adrenalin rush one gets from being driven in India, then again I would, Iím a motorbike courier).

You can see the scenery from the train without the worry of a potential accident.
steven_ber is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 10:31 AM
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Steven lists a good point. Driving in India is what I call controlled recklessness. You have to see it to believe it. You will see that the vast majority of side view mirrors on cars in India are folded in because otherwise they will be knocked off.
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 14th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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Steven - the windows of the trains are often dirty and you can not stop the train to take photos. If you are not driving, there is no need to keep your eyes fixed on the road ahead other than to observe the colorful happenings going on everywhere you look, including the crazy drivers. Your point on the opportunity to meet Indian people on the train is a good one.
Craig is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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As for train or car; I can see several advantages in both. In my previous post I stated what worked best for us.

As jacketwatch posted ďDriving in India is what I call controlled recklessness. You have to see it to believe it. You will see that the vast majority of side view mirrors on cars in India are folded in becauseÖÖÖÖĒ. In our case on the way back to Agra from Fatipur Sekri (sp?) in broad daylight; our driver folded the side mirror of the car in against the hand of a pedestrian as we were traveling about 45mph. Controlled recklessness or semi-controlled recklessness? We donít know the fate of the person who was hit, but we donít think that he was knocked down. Iím sure that he still has some pain. Our video camera was running at the time so we are able to know now that it was a man who along with a large group was walking in the middle of the right hand lane and swinging his arm about just as we were passing some vehicle (or animal).

As Florence posted here some time ago:
ďthe following precedence must be accorded at all times. In descending order, give way to: cows, elephants, heavy trucks, buses, official cars, camels, light trucks, buffalo, Jeeps, ox-carts, private cars, motorcycles, scooters, auto-rickshaws, pigs, pedal rickshaws, goats, bicycles (goods- carrying), handcarts, bicycles (passenger-carrying), dogs, pedestrians.Ē

It is true, pedestrians come last.

Traveling the roads of India is also part of the experience.
tatersalad is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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tatersalad: Perhaps a bit of both.
jacketwatch is online now  
Apr 14th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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Craig - Your point about the windows is a very valid point, there is a clear anti-glare strip attached to the train window (all air-con classes only) to reduce the brightness of the sun, over time it slowly becomes 'dirty' and your view is slightly hampered.

In older trains this can become a big concern (though the older trains tend to run on the slower routes).

The early morning Shatabdi to Agra doesn't have this problem; it has brand new carriages that only came into service late last month.
steven_ber is offline  
Apr 15th, 2006, 05:30 AM
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Please don't let the notion of not being able to take photos from the train put you off. You are there, when all it said and done, to BE THERE, not to snap, snap away.

Only posting again because some of the most memorable experiences I had in India were on a train. I travelled thousands of kilometres on them. You don't have the time (and maybe not the inclination) to set out on a 24 or 36 hour journey. Like I said before, Delhi to Agra is your opening.

And don't miss the Taj at dawn.

Get up really, really early.

It's worth it.
fuzzylogic is offline  
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