Agra City Life and Visitor Travel Tips
India is one of the oldest civilizations with a rich cultural heritage. It covers an area of 32,87,263 sq. km, extending from the eternal snows of the Great Himalayas in the North to the cultivated peninsula of far South, from the deserts of the West to the humid deltas of the East, from the dry heat and cold of the Central Plateau to the cool forest foothills. It measures about 3,214 km from North to South and about 2,933 km from East to West. It has a land frontier of about 15,200 km. The total length of its coastline including its group of islands viz Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands is 7,516.6 km.
A city with landmarks of epic proportions and famous the world over, tourists travel to Agra from every part of the planet. However, to be sure that you really make the absolute most of your holiday in Agra, do be sure to always use your commonsense and try to act a little streetwise.
Some of the main things to remember when visiting Agra include bargaining hard, avoiding touts, not visiting shops recommended by taxi drivers, tip at your discretion, avoid unofficial travel agencies, and always try to visit the Taj Mahal as early as possible, before the crowds descend. Travellers visiting Agra will find that a great way to sightsee is to hire an auto rickshaw for the day. If possible, do try to end up at the back of the Taj Mahal, where the sunsets and views from the river bank are particularly outstanding.
Language and Dialect
The official spoken and written languages in Agra and throughout Uttar Pradesh are both Hindi and Urdu, although most people involved with the tourism trade will be able to speak English at some level. Bring a pocket-sized phrasebook if you intend to communicate with the locals in Agra in their own tongue. Basic Hindi phrases are shown here.
Hello - namaste
I do not understand - mai nahii samajta hu
Where can I find... - kahan milenge...
Thank You - dhanyavaad
Please write it down - zara likh dijiye
Right - dahine
Left - bayen
Excuse me - shamma kare
Dos and Don'ts, Advice and Scams
Here we have collected some of the information for you, before travelling in India.
- Religion - Hinduism is the main religion constituting 80.5% followed by Islam with a population of 13.4%. The Christians constitute 2.3 while others viz Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis etc constitute 3.8% . The country is the birthplace of four major religions viz Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
- Climate & Weather - India is home to an extraordinary variety of climatic regions ranging from the deserts in the west, alpine tundra glaciers in the north and humid tropical supporting rain forests in the southwest and eastern India. It is largely subjected to four seasons: winter (January and February), summer (March to May), monsoon (rainy) (June to September), and a post-monsoon period (October to December). Generally, the best time to visit India is during the winters, when the weather in most places is relatively cool and pleasant.
- Sim Cards for your Phone - Can be arranged for you by our staff at a nominal cost, let us know a day in advance. We will need your passport copy and a recent photograph to arrange the same for you.
- Phone Calls - Phone calls from hotels are expensive and should be avoided unless urgent. International sim cards usage also attracts very high roaming charges, keep in mind when making calls. Phone booths are available in most of the cities in India and you could tell our drivers to find them for you. Alternatively, we could always arrange local SIM cards for you at a nominal cost.
- Internet and Wifi - Internet and wifi costs are usually very high in hotels. If possible Cyber cafes could be used for internet access or we could also arrange for Internet data plan on your sim cards at nominal costs. We would need a day's notice to arrange the same.
- Credit Cards - Major credit cards are generally accepted by large establishments, including hotels, shops and airlines. Hotels may refuse to accept credit cards at certain destinations. It is best to pre-check.
- ATM & Cash Machines - ATM'S and cash machines are easily available in big cities in India but not in villages & small towns.
- Animal Performances - roadside performances by various animals are aimed at tourists, often featuring dancing bears and monkeys. These animals are usually poorly treated and watching them only supports this practice
- Auto Rickshaws - if an auto rickshaw driver stops at a specific shop, make it clear that you are not interested and have no intention of leaving the vehicle. They are simply expecting to receive commission from the shopkeeper, when you pay their inflated prices
- Banks, Cashpoints and Currency Exchange - the main banks are located at Chhipi Tola Road, Fatehabad Road and around the Sadar Bazaar
- Children Peddlers - when children approach you in Agra and try to sell you their wares, make it clear that you are not interested. If something does take your eye, buy it when you are leaving, otherwise it is that likely they will follow you around whilst you sightsee
- Gem Import Scam - naive tourists in Agra may be persuaded to pay good money for worthless gems, expecting to be able to sell them on for a good profit to non-existent representatives in their home country
- Hotels - don't worry if your Agra hotel is not close to the Taj Mahal, since bus transport is good and travel here on a regular basis
- Internet Access - Internet cafes can be found on the Taj Road and also along Fatehabad Road, while the main hotels also feature computer access, which is usually charged per hour
- Left Luggage - secure lockers are available at the Agra Cantonment Train Station and also at the Yash Cafe at the Taj South Gate, close to the Taj Mahal itself
- Photographers - when visiting prominent landmarks in Agra, expect to be bombarded by photographers taking your photo and then trying to sell it to you. Do not feel pressured into buying something that you don't actually want. If you do agree, they will often take many more photos than you agreed an then try to sell you a complete album
- Tourist Guides - many unofficial guides and touts around Agra are only after their commission and many will offer to take your photograph outside landmarks, such as the Taj Mahal, and then offer to take you to a workshop, restaurant, marble emporium or gift store, where you often feel obliged to spend your money. Avoid these people at all costs
- Visiting the Taj Mahal - if possible, visit Agra's famous Taj Mahal complex as soon as possible after it opens, from 06:00 onwards. This is the time when it is at its least crowded and you will be able to take the best photographs, particularly when there is a good sunrise.
PLEASE NOTE: Taj Mahal is remain closed on every Friday.