Taj Mahal Extension Trip Notes

Taj Mahal Extension

Last Modified: 18 Feb 2016
Taj Mahal Extension
Trip code: HHAJ-C
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
India is rich in culture, colour and character, and this mini adventure provides a taste of this amazing country of contrasts. Experience sensory overload in the busy streets of Delhi, where commuters, animals, food and cultures collide. Travel from Delhi to Agra to see the iconic Taj Mahal – a majestic monument to love. There is plenty of sightseeing on this short break, including a trip to the magnificent sandstone Red Fort and the expansive deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. With opportunities to sample spicy curries, bargain at the markets and interact with locals, to get a true feel for this unforgettable country on this Indian short break.
Table of Contents
StyleIncluded activitiesAccommodation
ThemesOptional activitiesMeals
ItineraryMoney ExchangeTransport
We also recommendSpending moneyJoining point
Itinerary disclaimerTippingJoining point instructions
Culture shock rating Important notesFinish point
Physical ratingGroup sizeCarbon offset
  • ‘Comfort travel’ means encountering all that the real world has to offer, but with an added degree of, well… comfort. We use more private transport, the travel pace more relaxed, the accommodation a touch nicer. And by paying a little more up front, you’ll be treated to more included meals, more leader-led activities and get a greater immersion in all things local.
Short Breaks
Day 1 Delhi/Agra
Namaste! Welcome to India.
Travel to Old Delhi by the modern rail network, the Metro.
Your tour begins at 9am on Day 1.
Your English speaking guide will escort you on a tour of Old Delhi that pulses with the energy and colour of thronged bazaars and is laced by a maze of narrow lanes full of the sights, sounds and smells of India.
Visit the Jama Masjid mosque, which boasts wonderful marble domes and tapering minarets. You can also ride a rickshaw around the back streets to experience the hustle and bustle of everyday Indian life.
After a busy morning, you can stop for an optional lunch in Old Delhi before departing city around 2 pm for the drive to Agra by a private air conditioned car (approx 5 hrs).
Upon arrival, check in to your hotel with the assistance of our local representative who will provide you with a briefing of the next day's itinerary. The rest of the evening is free for you to explore the local bazaars or enjoy an evening meal.
If you wish to visit the Taj Mahal for sunset, your driver will transport you to and from the monument. You need to pay your own entrance fee. Please allow INR750 per additional visit.
Please note: the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Old Delhi Walking Tour
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Taj Mahal/Agra
If you opt to view the Taj Mahal at sunrise you will be met at your hotel at approx 6 am by your guide who will brief and accompany you on today's activities. Alternatively if you opt for a later 2 pm visit to the Taj your guide will meet you at a time decided the previous evening (this is usually around 8.30 am in order to visit the Red Fort first).
Visit the Taj Mahal - a masterpiece of shimmering white marble set amid beautiful formal gardens. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz, this 'teardrop on the face of eternity' (as it was described by writer Rabindranath Tagore) lives up to all expectations.
Visit Agra Fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. Built in 1565 by Emperor Akbar, the fort was originally designed to be a military structure. It was converted to a palace in Emperor Shah Jahan's time and eventually became his prison after he lost power in 1658.
During the day you will also have free time to unwind and relax, explore the back lanes of Agra, visit the Taj again, or watch local artisans and villagers making handicrafts, marble inlay work, or carpets.
Included Activities
  • Local Guide Agra (Full Day)
  • Agra - Agra Fort
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Delhi
After breakfast you will be met by your guide who will assist in checking you out of your hotel. Travel by private A/C vehicle towards Delhi - we stop en route at the deserted Mughal kingdom of Fatehpur Sikri (approx 4 hrs).
The magnificent deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, but was abandoned after 15 years due to the scarcity of water. A highlight of the settlement is Jama Masjid, a striking mosque featuring elements of both Persian and Hindu design. The main entrance of the mosque is the impressive 54 metre-high Buland Darwaza, the Gate of Victory, constructed to commemorate Akbar's military victory in Gujarat.
After this visit your guide will bid you farewell as you begin your journey back to Delhi.
Your driver will drop you off at the Connaught Place finishing point. You can expect to arrive back in Delhi by approx 3 pm. If you are departing today, please do not book your flight before 8 pm to allow enough time to get to the airport and check in.
Intrepid Travel can assist and book additional post trip accommodation or post trip transfers. Please let us know your preference at least 14 days prior to your departure so we can make the necessary arrangements for you.
Included Activities
  • Fatehpur Sikri
    We also recommend
    If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
    • Classic Rajasthan (HHSC)
    • North India Highlights (HHKH)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
    Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
    Culture shock rating

    Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
    Physical rating

    Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
    Included activities
    Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
    Optional activities
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
    India has very good opportunities for shopping, especially for locally made goods, and during your trip it is highly likely that your local guides will take you to emporiums as well as workshops where these goods are made. Many people find this a great opportunity to buy local handicrafts, silk, jewellery and carpets. Guides will often assume that visitors will want to go shopping, it is very much part of the culture, but if you do not wish to go please make this clear to your local guide at the time.
    Money Exchange
    The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR).
    The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), which are readily available in most towns.
    Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, so please bring clean bills, and small denominations are most useful.
    While traveller's cheques have security advantages exchanging them can be a lengthy process, commissions can be high and they can be difficult to change in rural areas, on weekends and public holidays. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels/establishments.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
    The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
    Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest INR20. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
    Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest INR100 per day for local guides.
    Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a porter in addition to your leader. We suggest INR50 per day for porters.
    Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of INR100-INR150 per day is generally appropriate.
    Local transport: For a half day city tour we suggest INR50 per day. For a full day city tour we suggest INR100 per day.
    Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $US 4-6 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    Important notes
    Please note that while activities on this tour are on a join-in basis with up to 12 participants, depending on the number of travellers booked on your travel dates you may be the only person on this tour or staying at your chosen level of accommodation. If you are anxious about travelling alone, please ask your booking agent to advise which tour dates may already have bookings.
    Please note travelling during major festivals such as Holi and Diwali can, at times, cause disruption the the published itinerary. Please see the 'Safety' section for more details.
    Group size
    Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
    Hotel (2 nts)
    2 Breakfasts
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    USD 80.00
    Shuttle Bus, Private vehicle, Metro, Cycle rickshaw
    Joining point
    New Delhi
    New Delhi
    Joining point instructions
    We ask that all guests call our local office to reconfirm their pick up details on arrival in India: +91 11 4500 6400 during business hours (9.30am to 6pm).
    For your short break adventure we have 3 pick up points in Delhi, where pre and post accommodation can also be booked. Please note not all accommodation styles are available for all trips.
    Hotel Perfect
    16A/2, W.E.A Karol Bagh,
    New Delhi, 110005
    +91 114 250 2294
    Hotel Swati
    5A / 56, WEA, Karolbagh Opp Roopak Stor
    Ajmal Khan Road, New Delhi-110005
    +9199104 81922
    Hotel Jivitesh
    11 Pusa Road - Opposite Metro Pillar no. 87
    Karol Bagh
    New Delhi
    +91 14921 4444
    In the event the above hotels are unavailable we will advise you if we if book one of the following alternatives:
    Hotel Rockwell Plaza
    5/14, Ajmal Khan Road,
    Karol Bagh , New Delhi-110005
    +91 011-45608457
    Hotel Gulnar
    7A/45, W.E.A. Channa market ,
    Karol Bagh , New Delhi-110005
    +91 9818490563
    Hotel Taj Princess
    15 A/25 WEA Ajmal Khan Road
    Opposite Jesa Ram Hospital
    Karol Bagh, New Delhi - 110005
    +91 112574220
    Pick up time for all hotels on day 2 will be at 9.00am. Please be ready and waiting in the foyer 15 minutes prior to your pick up time.
    If for any reason you are not able to meet our representative at your nominated pick up point, kindly call the Intrepid representative on number + 91 9560 849 444.
    Getting in from the Airport:
    The taxi ride from Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport to this hotel takes about 1 hour and should cost between INR 500 - 600 (prepaid traffic police booths) depending on your arrival time and whether it is at the Domestic or International airport.
    IMPORTANT: Please AVOID taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport. Previous passengers have complained that they have been charged hefty amount for the transfers.
    If you have organised a pre-purchased an arrival transfer our local operator will have sent a driver to the airport that will be holding a sign with the 'Intrepid logo' and your name. You will need to advise arrival flight details at time of booking and confirmation.
    If you are arrived at Terminal 1(Domestic terminal) of the airport, please meet your driver at the exit (there is just one exit) after you go through the baggage claim area. Please note that Delhi Airport can be very crowded so please be patient. You may have to walk a little further outside to find the representative with 'Intrepid Logo'. If you have any problems finding the driver go to the information desk close to the exit and ask them to call our emergency mobile number + 91 9560 849 444
    If you are arriving at Terminal 2 (International) of Delhi airport, please meet your representative at the main Arrival Hall/Lounge after passing through the customs where you'll see people standing with placards with the intrepid logo and your name. If you have any problems finding the driver go to the information desk at the right side of Exit B, and ask them to call Intrepid Representative on + 91 9560 849 444 (helpline).
    Finish point
    New Delhi
    New Delhi
    Carbon offset
    Carbon Offset C02-e 53.00 kgs per pax.