We recently had the opportunity to receive a sponsored tour with Agra Day Tours Packages and we were blown away with the level of service. This amazing tour company was started by one man, Imran, who used his experience as a freelance tour guide to cultivate truly unique experiences for visitors. Imran is self made man who, through hard work and determination, has created a company that employs individuals who are as passionate and knowledgeable about travel as he is. There are many things that set their tours apart from the endless other operators in the surrounding area, the most important being the personal touches.
When we decided we wanted to visit Agra to see the Taj Mahal, Imran and his team worked to provide a customized tour so that we could get the most out of our limited time we had available. All their tours, including the Agra day tour, have planned itineraries but the company’s flexibility are what made for an amazing trip. Our guide provided us with numerous options but asked for our input to see what sounded most interesting to us. This personal human element is so rare in tour packages and it ensured that we had the best time possible.
Our interaction began with our personal driver picking us up at the Delhi airport. Our driver had a clearly marked sign and immediately took our bags and welcomed us to the city. The vehicle was spacious, air-conditioned and had amenities such as cold water, face wipes, hand towels and some snacks. The drive to Agra is 3 hours, so all these thoughtful touches made for a comfortable journey. Our driver was funny and highly engaged but let us rest in the quite confines of our transport after he asked if we were tired from our travel day. We made one stop halfway through our journey to freshen up, use the bathroom and grab a bite to eat.
When we arrived to Agra, we were overwhelmed by the amazing accommodations that are part of the tour package. We were escorted into our beautiful 5-star hotel where every effort is made to provide the utmost luxury. The hotel was so impressive that I can easily write a whole blog post just covering how beautiful and comforting our stay was. In short, it was everything we could hope for and it had several superb restaurants with astounding service.
We met our driver and tour guide a few hours later, when they arrived to pick us up from our hotel. Our guides vast knowledge and passion for his culture and the history of his home town were immediately evident. We were happy to find that the Taj Mahal was only 10 minutes away and were we given an overview on what to expect upon arrival.
This wonder of the world takes your breath away when you see it in person. The awe inspiring spectacle is only heightened when you begin to learn the in-depth history of how this monument came to be. We were escorted to the best places to capture photographs and our guide took wonderful photos of us enjoying ourselves. We learned about he dying art of Pachikari (stone inlaying), that can only be found in Agra. We could have spent the whole day at the Taj Mahal but with our limited time, we decided to see what else the city had to offer.
We were provided several options on how to continue for the day. The biggest factors our guide wanted to know was our energy level after a full day of travel and what we would find most interesting. Most tours tell you exactly what you are doing with no regard to the fact that everyone is different. Having options made it so that we had the best time possible. Since we had expressed such an interest with the art of Pachikari, we had a special treat. We were taken to the workshop of a master artisan who implements the same techniques used to decorate the Taj Mahal 400 years ago. The coolest part was learning that the artisans in his shop are direct descendants from the artist who made the Taj Mahal so beautiful.
There are 11 families in the city that are direct descendants of the men who did all the stone inlay at the Taj Mahal. The secrets of this craft have been passed down from father to son across the many generations up until today. The level of skill, dedication and preservation of time honored techniques is unbelievable. We were given a full history and demonstration of this dying art. The owner was funny, gracious and the whole time was insistent that there was no pressure to purchase anything fro his shop. He was happy to share the story of his forefathers without having any concern about pushing his goods on any guest.
After leaving the shop, we had the option to continue exploring but found ourselves feeling the effects of traveling all day and decided to return to the hotel for a delicious dinner and then sleep. The following morning, we visited a garden that sits across from the river bank that separates it from the Taj Mahal. The garden is very famous for being the location for Bollywood movies because of its amazing view of Taj Mahal. This garden was where the Mogul Emperor, who commissioned the Taj Mahal, would come to view this monument to his lost love.
After admiring the beautiful landscape, we were provided with more options for the remainder of the tour. We decided that we would love a tour of “Old Agra” and proceeded to walk the streets of this ancient town. It’s amazing to explore the markets and alleys that have had the same way of life perpetuating since around the 2ndcentury BCE. We were able to observe and immerse ourselves in the day-to-day lives of the locals.
Our driver wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to catch our flight, so we concluded our tour with a delicious lunch at a local restaurant where we had the opportunity to meet Agra Day Tour’s founder, Imran. We quickly realized why these tours are so unique when we met him. His passion and experience helped create his vision for a company where the needs and expectations of each individual participant are met.
We have been fortunate to travel all over the world but we were so surprised about all the unknown wonders that India has to offer. We are eternally grateful to Agra Day Tour Packages for opening our eyes to all the possibilities for future travel that India holds. Let them open up your perception of travel and join them on their amazing tour packages. They will change the way you view travel and provide you with an unforgettable experience.