Summers are on full swing and people are rushing towards hill stations to escape the scorching heat of Delhi. But as much as it is fun to see the hills and enjoy the moderate climate, it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the crowd and rush, these hill stations witness. One way to avoid the chaos is to visit some off-season places, provided the weather is good. So, here's our travelogue for the Delhi to Agra day visit in the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.
Start of the journey
We decided to take the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz for a spin to Agra, the famous town in Uttar Pradesh that holds the crown as the site where the Taj Mahal stands, one of the seven wonders of the world. Agra is a popular tourist destination not only for Indians but also millions of foreigners who come there for only one reason - the Taj Mahal. Even the head of states, including the U.S President, Barack Obama is fascinated with the Taj and during his recent visit to India, he was scheduled to visit the place, which got cancelled due to some reasons.
Agra is situated some 220 km from Delhi via a road network as well as railways. The road network is well built with the route passing through historical towns of Mathura and Vrindavan. But the Delhi-Agra commuting scene changed completely in 2012 when the U.P government inaugurated the famous Yamuna Expressway. The expressway is 165 km long and starts from Greater Noida, reducing the overall distance to some 200 km.
But it's not the distance that attracted the travelers, but the road itself that reduced the journey time from 4-5 hrs to hardly 2.5 hrs. The road is well paved and wide enough for eight lanes and has a maximum speed of 100 kmph. The traffic is generally low due to high toll rates and public transport like the buses generally takes the Faridabad- Mathura route. Hence it becomes easy to reach from Delhi to Agra in around 2.5 hrs.
You can even go till Kolkata if you feel like
We drove from Delhi to Agra in a Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. Ciaz is the first successful premium product from the Maruti Suzuki in India and is selling good numbers in the mid-size sedan segment. Coming from the stable of the Maruti ensures that the car is reliable and efficient and that made our journey easier. We took the top-spec ZXi+ petrol variant for the drive.
The Ciaz petrol is powered by a 1.4-litre unit that produces 93 PS of power and 130 Nm of torque. The sedan returned us a healthy mileage figure of 17kmpl for the overall journey. The handling and ride comfort of the Ciaz felt like a car from one segment above. Though the cruising seed was limited to 100 kmph, occasional run above that proved that the car is extremely stable at high speeds.
We incurred the following costs in our journey -
Fuel - 450 Km overall, 17 kmpl efficiency, Rs 67/ litre fuel rate, Total - Rs 1800
Toll - Rs 575 overall
Food - Rs 1000 for two person, 2 meals
Entrance charges - Rs 100 for 2 person
Safety is necessary
Things to do
When in Agra, make sure that you do following things -
1. The Taj Mahal visit is a must and it should be everyone's wishlist.
2. Agra Fort/ Red Fort is very near to Taj Mahal and is again a must visit site. Don't forget to see the place where Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was captured. The view of Taj from there is simply mesmerizing.
3. Visit Sadar Bazar for budget shopping, ranging from marble handicrafts to cotton clothing.
4. Don't forget to buy the famous 'Panchi Petha', a traditional Indian sweet. You will find numerous counters in Agra.
We were blessed to visit on the day of Eid
Things to Note
1. You can actually do a day trip to Agra without an overnight stay.
2. Leave early to avoid traffic in Delhi.
3. Keep ample cash as the toll taxes are high and in between restaurants only accepts cash.
4. Stick to the speed limits - 100 kmph. Interceptors and cameras are everywhere.
5. Maintain air pressure in the tyres. High speed run can damage the wheels.
6. Limited fuel station are available. Do a tank full before leaving.
Have a safe and memorable journey!
The Wonder itself