Agra Warnings and Dangers

  • Glorious Taj Mahal!
    Glorious Taj Mahal!
    by RAVINDRAN72
  • Taj Mahal Entrance Gate...
    Taj Mahal Entrance Gate...
    by RAVINDRAN72
  • Taj Mahal up close....
    Taj Mahal up close....
    by RAVINDRAN72

Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Agra

  • RAVINDRAN72's Profile Photo

    Group Pickpockets!

    by RAVINDRAN72 Updated Nov 11, 2012
    Glorious Taj Mahal!

    Please be careful when you walk along the long corridor extending from the Taj Mahal electric bus parking bay to the security check point at the main entrance. Group of boys holding hands suddenly swarm the unwary tourist and you can feel them groping through your pockets in a systematic way. I had may hands in my pockets all the time so no big deal , lessons that I learnt in my years in Indonesia.

    So in summary...
    1. Leave your valuable at a safe place before approaching this area
    2.Wear clothes with few pockets unless you want to experience how deftly they go through your pockets in 30 seconds
    3.The pickpockets are only 10-13 years but are pros....as soon as they swarm a tourist...in 30 seconds they scatter and are not to been seen , till of course they regroup latter for another strike.
    4.Interesting to watch them in action if you dont have anything in your pockets.

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  • RAVINDRAN72's Profile Photo

    Nice to see , Nice to Hold....

    by RAVINDRAN72 Written Nov 7, 2012
    Taj Mahal Entrance Gate...

    Our tourist guide warned not to hold any items on offer from touts/peddlers and even he had a fearful expression on his face. Heard later that if you refused to buy their items ,things can get pretty nasty depending whether it was a good sales day for them or not....

    So...
    1.It is perfectly O.K to look and negotiate for an item of interest , while of course minding your pockets as these can open you to pick pocket attacks.....
    2.If you decide to buy , just beware most of these item are cheap imitations and not likely to last long...

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  • RAVINDRAN72's Profile Photo

    Botteled Water: ?Safe

    by RAVINDRAN72 Written Oct 26, 2012
    Taj Mahal up close....

    During our travels for Delhi to Agra/jaipur/amritsar , we stopped to buy bottled water but were quite surprised to notice that some well sealed bottled caused sore throat almost as soon as we have taken a drink. Which leads be to believe that about half of the water are not treated water even at the point of bottling. We as tourist cant complain but some of my friends had fever with sore throat from funny tasting bottled water. So be safe!

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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Rundown Agra

    by MM212 Updated Jul 26, 2011
    Rubbish with Jami Masjid in background, Feb 09
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    With all the splendour of its monuments, one would expect Agra to be a great city whose name evokes the most beautiful fantasies. Sadly, this is nothing but a fantasty for Agra was the worst city I visited in India in terms of poverty, infrastructure, and cleanliness. The pristine lawns of its Mughal gardens, well kept for visitors, lie in great contrast to the crumbling buildings, pot-holed roads and filth allover the city. Stepping from the enclosure of any of its treasured monuments to the street outside is like walking through the looking glass, worlds apart. In fact, some of the neighbourhoods looked as though a war had just happened, not to mention the incredible piles of stinky rubbish everywhere, which is dumped into the River Yamuna along with sewage. On my visit in Feb 2009, I was told the blame mainly lay in the corruption in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the resources allocated for improving the infrastructure were often pocketed by those in power. I don't usually like to write anything too negative about places I've visited, but I feel a warning is merited in this case. Some of the scenes I witnessed in the streets of downtown Agra I'll remember forever... Attached are random photos I took when I wasn't too shocked to photograph...

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  • global-drifter's Profile Photo

    Terrible Touts

    by global-drifter Written Nov 28, 2010

    It is almost always safe to assume the worst of any friendly stranger you meet in Agra. There are predatory tuk-tuk drivers, terrible touts and unsavory vultures lurking on almost every uneven city corner. There is a heavy influx of foreigners on any given day, and many who are on package tours are unfamiliar with Indian bargaining and 'outsider prices' - so the chances of being ripped off are sky high. Unfortunately this practice is not just limited to rickshaw wallahs and street side merchants, expect travel agents and even retail vendors to cheat you, all with a smile on their face.

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    Hot and humid weather season

    by victorwkf Updated Dec 27, 2008

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    Walking along a passage at Agra Fort, India
    2 more images

    The best time to visit Agra and surrounding areas of the Golden Triangle (e.g. Delhi, Jaipur) is during the cooler and dry season between November and March. After this, the weather will get really hot and humid. Unfortunately, the cooler season is also the main tourist season so do plan ahead.

    Another thing to note is that the temperature can get very cold during the cooler season, especially at night so do be prepared.

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    Things to note in Agra

    by victorwkf Updated Dec 27, 2008

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    A shop at Agra, India
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    Below are the main things to note in Agra:

    - Beware of pickpockets as this is a major tourist city in India.
    - Traffice is chaotic (this is India, so it is the norm).
    - Touts are very aggressive, especially at attractions such as the Agra Fort. The roadside sellers are very persistent and it is quite difficult to shake them off.
    - Beware of fake items, especially the marble souvenirs. If you buy from roadside sellers, most likely the items are fake and made of chalk instead of marble. Better to buy from reputable shops even though you have to pay more.
    - Remember to always bargain and slash the price as low as possible, because the prices quoted have been inflated many times (especially roadside sellers, camel rides, trishaw rides etc).
    - When locals offer you help e.g. helping you to take photos, it does not come free and they will ask you for money after that. This practice seems to be the norm in India.
    - You can try the roadside food, but be mentally prepared that it may cause diarrhoea especially if you are prone to it.

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  • 850prc's Profile Photo

    The Taj Mahal is CLOSED ON FRIDAYS

    by 850prc Updated Nov 21, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The distant Taj, as viewed from Agra Fort

    Keep in mind, as you plan your time in Agra, that the quintessential symbol of both Agra and India - the Taj Mahal - is CLOSED on Fridays. All other days of the week, you can visit the world's most beautiful building from sunrise to sunset.... but NOT on Friday.

    For what it's worth, the other major attactions in Agra (Agra Fort, Akbar's Tomb and Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb) are open seven days of the week.

    If by some tragedy you find yourself only able to "view" the Taj on a Friday, you have two choices for a good look... maybe three or four depending where you're willing to stay, hotel-wise, in Agra.

    > You can take a cab to the other bank of the Yumana River, and will get a spectacular look at the "other" side of the Taj, the side that faces North.
    > You can get a good look, albeit from a distance, from the edge of the Agra Fort. (See the photo accompanying this warning tip)
    > You can stay at one of the Taj Ganj Hotels or Pensions, just beyond the South Gate. It is said that these hotels have the cheapest "free" view of the Taj of any of Agra's hotels. Many have rooftop viewing areas.

    Oh, there's one other place with a great view of the Taj... that would be the Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel. Rooms there start at about 40,000 Rs per night. (That's US$ 800)

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  • bashboo's Profile Photo

    Guide rip-off

    by bashboo Written Aug 15, 2008

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    Location- taj mahal. Guide name- Ashoo, he has a beard and is slightly dark with black hair.

    it was a hot day when we arrived by car from delhi to agra and walked along to the west entrance of the taj mahal. we were tagged on to by a travel guide who seemed legit, he spoke with an american accent which we are still trying to figure out. anyway i had seen taj before but my boyfriend who is english wanted to hire the guide because he spoke with confidence and could be understood unlike many of the other guides. NOTE- please do not bother with a tour guide who you can not understand, it will make enjoying your visit here impossible as they will want to drag you around to other places you dont want to go- it is NOT WORTH IT!

    So back to the story... we asked him to come along and he hesitated, saying it wasnt his turn in the queue to take us in or something similar and out of nowhere another middle-aged indian man shows up. he can not speak 5 words of english and even I cant understand him though i have lived in india for many many years. so he is supposed to be our tour guide! i was really angry that they had made this last minute switch and so was my boyfriend. we then asked to have the first guy be our guide and he reluctantly agreed. after trying to palm us off onto someone else, he came through with us. when i was at the security check before going in, the lady asked me to not take my earphones in with me so i turned around and headed for the locker rooms. the tour guide saw this and turned around and told me he would take my earphones and put them in the locker room , and that i should continue on. when we reached the first gateway of the taj, he took our picture and began the tour. he then told us to carry on through as he needed to register himself. we never saw him again and when i asked the registrar if he had seen our guide, named Ashoo, he has a beard and looks fairly young, he is a bit darker and has black hair. the registrar said that he was a fraud and wasnt allowed inside (maybe he was banned or something).

    LUCKILY i got my earphones back from him when we went back outside, he had not done a runner and even more luckily i had not given him anything else to put into this 'locker'. when we asked him why he wasnt there his reply was vague, something about not having the right papers to get in to the taj mahal.

    Moral of the story and warning for other travellers: PLEASE look carefully at the photo ID's that your guide has on him.
    PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR VALUABLES. make sure you put them in the lockers yourself and keep the key on you at all times - be very wary of your things. carry just your essentials with you such as phone, keys, camera.

    if you dont like the look of the bottled water, dont drink it. if you think it tastes funny - PLEASE dont drink it! Do NOT be fooled by bottled water that has a sealed cap on it but is from a suspicsious place, there are many many tricks used to seal those bottles up again with water from the taps or garden hoses. usually i try and avoid the non-branded waters and stick with what i know, thats aquafina, bisleri, himalaya (in this part of india).

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  • Hawkers

    by raj_barara Written Sep 5, 2007

    The hawkers around famous monuments are terrible. One should avoid them like plague. They are cheaters. Always ask your friendly guide to give you input regarding them and if you like something sold by them just quote 25% of the original price quoted by the hawker.

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  • Emile72's Profile Photo

    Drive safely

    by Emile72 Written Aug 1, 2007
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    Traffic in India is crazy. No rules and everyone (humans and animals) do as they please. The trip from Delhi to Agra takes about 4 hours and make sure you get a safe driver. We got a driver through info@indohimalayantours.com . He was a safe driver, name is Krish. Even though they would take him off the road in Finland, for India he was safe :)

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  • tremendopunto's Profile Photo

    safety-checked power supply - Electrifying!

    by tremendopunto Updated May 12, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    hm....how did they do this?!?

    Wherever there is power in India there is DANGER! Electric engineering is a kind of art in India - to use the words of an Indian biting on the wire to connect our TV to make it run: "That´s Indian style!"......and that means freestyle.
    Whenever you get close to any power cable - on the streets or in your room - be careful with touching anything.
    Now I can imagine why there are so many power fall outs - in Agra we witnesses a loud bang with a lightning and suddenly FRIED doves fell from the sky - this was not Cockaigne nor paradise, NO, there were just too many doves on the wires making them touch......and BANG!

    In Varanasi we were told that quite some monkeys die from hangling on the wrong "trees"....

    So keep that in mind and be careful!

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  • tremendopunto's Profile Photo

    Public Toilets!

    by tremendopunto Updated May 12, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    An average public toilet

    If nature calls, pray for not having to use puplic toilets. You get used to missing doors saying "Namaste!" to people passing by....but c´mon, a bucket of water for cleaning should be possible once a week, or at least a month!

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  • XKuger's Profile Photo

    Delhi to Agra Cars (Hidden Costs)

    by XKuger Updated Apr 3, 2007

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    One has to note that when you reserve a travel agency car from Delhi to Agra and there are a number of hidden charges that are never explained by a travel agency. Some of them are below.

    1. A driver Fee of approx RS.150 to Rs.200 per day (Called Bata)
    2. Road Tolls Approx 35+65 collected at two toll booths (both ways)
    3. State extry Tax Rs.4000 ( Almost a 100$)

    Over and above this the you pay the driver based on milage depending on the car that you hire. I.e. Rs. 6.0 to Rs.10 depending on the car that you hire.

    What they do not tell you is that 4000 Rs. Uttar Pradesh (One state) & Haryana (Another state) tax that you have to pay. So all of a sudden its almost make up a 40% more or your hire rate.

    If I had known these hidden costs I would have taken the train and hired a car locally in Agra which would have worked out a lot cheaper.

    My total trip cost was approx US$ 250 for 2 people for 2 days. I was picked up from the Airport to the Fathepur Sikiri, Taj Mahal & Sikindra and dropped off at the International airport.

    I hired a Toyota Innova.

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Touts

    by keeweechic Written Nov 28, 2006

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    On all I read prior to going to India, it seems that Agra has one of the worst reputations for touts and being ripped off. Either book yourself on a tour where everything is taken care of and you are transported to your lodgings or be aware that rickshaw drivers may want to take you to other hotels where they can obtain commissions. You will also probably go via various shops where they will also get commission for bringing you.

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    • Architecture

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