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We thoroughlly enjoyed our time with our marvelous guide Sanjay...he was incredibly knowledgeable about the Taj Mahal and the entire Agra region. Pankaj was our driver once again and he ensured we had a pleasant drive. Both gentlemen made sure that we were safe and had an enjoyable experience....my friend celebrated her birthday and we both got gifts!!!! She was serenaded by local musicians, given a cake and we were even showered with rose petals!!!! All in all, a wonderful day!!!
Originally had concerns about the price compared to other company offerings but Shanjay Shukla guide and Shanti driver delivered an exceptional experience for two amazing UNESCO beauties. The term behind the scenes is a bit overstated but Shanjay's ability to expedite access to both locations provided significant benefits and warranted the use of VIP. The fellow is like a rock star amongst his peers. It would be very difficult to find a guide that knows more about all aspects of both structures and related personal history.
The lunch on the rooftop was very good and even though it equated to a decent portion of the tour cost, in the end it was certainly worth the cost of entry.
Driving down versus taking the new high speed train is a toss up. Shanti provided significant local favor and history. Evidently some of the time the train can't reach high speeds due to livestock and other impediments that happen to cross the rails in various locations.
The only negative which is out of the company's control is the absolutely horrible air pollution that is literally choking the life out of the country.
The driver Sanjay G was very nice and pleasant. The car was clean, supplied with water and diet coke and AC! The drive took 4 hours when leaving at 830am from JW Marriott in Delhi. This was due to heavy traffic for the first 5 miles. However, the trip down to Agra went very fast and even included a pit stop where you could take a quick break and shop a bit. The drive back was also 4 hours but was pleasant after the 4 hour guided tour was complete.
The tour guide Sanjay S was extraordinary in his knowledge of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. He was personable and provided great tips for navigating the area surrounding the Taj Mahal. I highly recommend him!! Once the Taj Mahal visit was complete 1.5 hrs, we headed to a local shop where they provided a quick tour of how marble is crafted with gems and stones, similar to that of the Taj Mahal 45 min. Very impressive! We were allowed to shop in their store for gifts. This was nice as the stores contents were all very impressive but we did not feel pressured to purchase anything.
We then headed to lunch at the Taj Gateway on the Sky Deck with a fantastic view of the Taj Mahal 45min. We followed this up with a tour of the Agra Fort. This was also a great tour, guided by Sanjay S. who provided more in depth history of the fort 1hr.
The trip back to the hotel took 4 hours as well with 1.5 hours once we hit the traffic of Delhi. All in all, well worth it!
1 I would leave earlier than 830 to bypass the traffic. Possibly 7am or 730am.
2 We were not allowed to bring our backpacks with us into the Taj Mahal or Fort Agra. While they were completely safe in the car with Sanjay G, it would have been nice to know this information ahead of time so we could organize our things as needed.
3 I would pack a light snack to eat on the way down as we didn't end up eating until around 230-330.
Excellent driver and Sanjay was the best tour guide!
This tour was amazing!
What a great trip!! Our driver met us at our hotel in New Delhi and was ready to go at the time requested. Nice comfortable van with bottled water. We received a nice driving tour of various temples in New Delhi with a description for each. Along the way we were offered rest stops and breaks if needed.
We were joined by our tour guide Mr. Sanjay in Agra. Our first stop was to the Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah / sometimes called the Baby Tāj. What a great intro to Agra.
We proceeded to the Taj Mahal and Mr. Sanjay was simply fantastic, handling every detail from tickets to water to entry into the Taj Mahal. Our personal tour was complete with a full history description, photos and finally time alone to soak up the grandeur of the Taj Mahal.
We opted for high tea at the Gateway Hotel. It was simply fantastic with wonderful service.. Tea, coffee plus an assortment of sandwiches, samosas, fruit bread and chutneys. We chose to eat inside but a quick tour of the Sky Deck revealed a superb view of the Taj Mahal and Agra.
We declined to take the tour of the Red Fort we were to exhausted and returned to New Delhi. Upon returning to our hotel we received beautiful gifts from our driver as a memento of the day. What a fantastic journey. Take this tour, you wont regret it.
The driver was very good and knew exactly how to make us comfortable on the 3 hour drive. The guide was super fun and spoke perfect English. The marble shop is mostly a scam but you can skip it. The lunch was the best we had in India and we had an amazing view of the Taj Mahal while dining.
The driver was on time at our hotel and even offered rest stops.
The tour guide Mr. Sanjay was so knowledgeable. He explained the history in a simple and interesting way! All at our own pace.
The restaurant at the Sky Deck restaurant was great! Food was awesome and the view breathtaking!
Went for the optional photographer as well, the photographer was good and took pictures of us while at Taj Mahal and the restaurant. Even natural pictures while you are not aware he is taking them. Provided us with 5 printed out pictures and a USB full of our pictures.
It was all magical :
Overall, worth it!
This was an excellent tour Sanjay Shukla did a great job as a tour guide - the Taj Mahal was outstanding. Sanjay Gupta our driver did an excellent job, safe, clean car with lots of snacks.
Excellent driver and guide. Very polite and knowledgeable. Would recommend this tour to anyone.
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