Friday, June 7, 2013

See the Taj at Dawn.

(The Brunch magazine last week published some fascinating articles about - 10 things you can do on summer morning in Delhi. I've posted these articles at Motley Delhi for the people who do not read the Brunch magazine.) Stay connected for more.

Zip down the Expressway and beat the tourist onslaught.

The last time we went from Delhi to Agra to see the Taj, we drove for four hours and took another 60 minutes tackling the traffic jams within Agra city. The queues, just to get into the Taj compound, were nearly a mile long! And there was a separate queue at the ticket counter. Plus, we were told there were more than 2,000 people inside waiting to see the Monument of Love. (Well, that’s the way an average day in Agra is like!) We simply turned back towards Delhi.

So, this time round, we drove to Agra in the early morning hours to avoid the traffic. Starting from Delhi at 5am, we zipped down the Delhi-Noida-Agra expressway and were in the Mughal city in about two-and-a-half hours. (Yes, it takes that long and not 90 minutes as the ads claim – if you drive within the speed limit of 90 kmph, that is).

The drive itself is a pleasure. Free of heavy traffic and potholes, the expressway in the morning is every driver’s delight. By 7.30am, we were among the first people standing in the queue at the Taj. Tickets were done in less than two minutes, and we sat down at a dhaba outside the main entrance for an early breakfast of chai and samosas. That done, we went in with only a small group of students for company.

Walking inside the tomb with the sound of birds is both romantic and refreshing. We even posed for the quintessential Taj picture.
In less than four hours, our trip was done and we were back on the expressway to Delhi. This time I really felt like saying ‘Wah Taj!’

 A hassle-free, romantic drive to the Monument of Love.