Travel Diary: Agra, India

During my trip to India, after visiting New Delhi we arrived to Agra which is the home for the world famous Taj Mahal!!!

I always dreamed of traveling to India to experience the Taj Mahal in person. In pictures the Taj Mahal was so beautiful but just seeing the Taj Mahal right in front of your eyes is the most majestic and magical place I ever seen. Seriously, pictures don’t make justice to the Taj Mahal’s beauty!!

The Taj Mahal is known as a symbol of eternal love and it took more than 16 years to complete it. A trip just to see the Taj Mahal is priceless.

As the Taj Mahal is located in Agra you have the option of going there by train which takes about 4 hours (many places didn’t recommend this option) or you can hire a car to take you there which takes about 2.5 hours. We decided to hire a driver to take us to Agra and stay only for a night. Of course we choose to stay at the luxury Oberoi Amarvillas which is the only hotel with uninterrupted views of The Taj Mahal in every room!!!

Where to Stay:

What can I say??? The Oberoi Amarvillas is a hotel to die for!!! The Oberoi Amarvillas is not only breathtakingly beautiful and luxurious also the staff is really friendly and customer service is sooo perfect!!!

Our room at the Oberoi Amarvillas was tastefully decorated with a king comfy bed, a beautiful all marble bathroom with a bathtub and a separate rain shower. Our room was perfect but the most beautiful feature of our room was the balcony directly looking to the Taj Mahal!!! You can’t beat that view!!

Oberoi Amarvillas is located just 600 meters from the Taj Mahal and the hotels is a piece of art of it’s own! Entering to the hotel you feel so welcome and your eyes can’t believe the hotel’s beauty. At the Oberoi Amarvillas you are received with the traditional welcome… petal flowers from the sky, flower necklace and the third eye red dot sign for good luck! I love it!!!. The hotel lobby is so beautiful and as soon as you walk in you can see the Taj Mahal. Oberoi Amarvillas has an amazing pool! OMG! A spa, a boutique, one bar and 2 restaurants with one of the restaurants being western cuisine and the other Indian cuisine. The bad thing is that the restaurants don’t have a view to the Taj Mahal only the beautiful bar on the lobby.

Since Oberoi Amarvillas is conveniently located to the Taj Mahal, you can easily walk to the entrance or the hotel offers a ride in a golf cart as well as pick up. Oberoi Amarvillas has everything planned out with different services that they offer during your stay and seriously is the only hotel worthy of staying in Agra! Not only that Oberoi Amarvillas is the only luxury hotel in Agra but also because no other hotel has the view to the Taj Mahal in every room. I recommend 100% this hotel. Yessss the stay is really expensive but it is soooo worthy!!! Trust me and you would not be disappointed.

What to do in Agra:

Everywhere I researched they said that the only thing to do and see was visiting the Taj Mahal since Agra is a very dirty city with not much to see. Yes, everyone that said that was right! Agra is not a nice city and it is really dirty (only watched it from the car) but also our driver explained that it was somehow unsafe in the city since there’s a lot of pickpocketing in the area of course not inside hotels! But yes by looking at the city you could see that it was not the cleanest city in India.  Anyway, the Taj Mahal is in Agra so visiting the Taj Mahal is a must!!!!

The Taj Mahal not only is a symbol for eternal love, it’s also the most famous real estate in the world!!!

I would recommend visiting the Taj Mahal early in the morning as soon as the door open. Doors open at sunrise and the Taj Mahal closes at sunset. We visited the Taj Mahal at 5:30 in the morning, the sun was rising and the guards open the gates to the complex. We were the first ones to enter that’s the reason why we were able to take pictures without many people around. Looking and experiencing the Taj Mahal was a dream come true. I always knew the Taj Mahal was beautiful, but I never imagine in a million years that it was going to be the most stunning and fascinating monument I ever seen, didn’t know it would replace the Eiffel Tower’s beauty.

While visiting Agra, you can also visit Agra Fort which is really busy with locals and tourists and I thought it was very similar to the one in New Delhi. We only stayed there for a few minutes. What I really enjoyed about Agra Fort was feeding a super cute squirrel!!

But yes there’s another must in Agra besides the Taj Mahal which nobody ever wrote about and is the most honest and compassionate place on earth and soooo worth visiting and I promise it will change your life…. is the Wildlife SOS Elephant and Bear Sanctuary.

Wildlife SOS Elephant Sanctuary was a 40 minutes drive from our hotel The Oberoi Amarvillas. Widlife SOS is an organization that rescues elephants and bears that have been abused and neglected in India and give them a better life and a family! The sanctuary has more that 40 elephants in Agra and around 200 bears. They also have another location in another city in India with other rescued elephants.

Visiting Wildlife SOS is so worthy and you will have the chance of learning about the elephants and being part of their daily routine. Wildlife SOS not only rescues this gentle giants, they also rehabilitate the families who used to own them and they are fighting to stop the use and abuse of animals for entertainment and for work. The elephants in the Sanctuary are so happy and I cannot tell enough how much I love this place, my eyes get watery just talking about this organization because they are true heroes and the elephants are survivors with a second chance in life.

If you really want to make a difference in the world and if you ever visit Agra make sure you visit Wildlife SOS Elephant Sanctuary (is really easy to emailed them and get an appointment). They are the most selfless and kindness organization I crossed paths with. They are just pure love and compassion for elephants, bears and any living animal in the planet.

Where to Eat in Agra, India:

Well the only restaurant experience we had in Agra was at our hotel The Oberoi Amarvillas. We had two breakfast, lunch and room service dinner there and the food was really good and amazing service.

Visiting the Taj Mahal was one of my highlights from our trip to India. The Taj Mahal is a very special place. Our stay at the Oberoi Amarvillas was perfect!! And our visit to Wildlife SOS Sanctuary was so magical. I know in the near future I will visit Agra and see the Taj Mahal again…

“There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who have seen the Taj Mahal and love it, and those who have not seen the Taj Mahal and love it too. I would like people to watch the Taj Mahal and fall in love with it” – Bill Clinton.

If you need any suggestions for your visit to Agra just comment or email me!!

 

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