By: Tour East Contributor
Indian roads are everything from horrendous to ultra-modern, and thankfully the 4(ish) hour drive between Delhi & Agra is the latter. Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, and to some, the only reason to visit the city. There are other monuments to see, notably the Agra Fort and Itimad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj), and other experiences to be had, but the reality is that many visitors are in Agra to the see the Taj and out shortly thereafter. The city of Agra has everything from standard accommodation to good 4 & 5 star hotels up to the notably extravagant luxury hotels Indian is known for, but now with this new train service between Delhi & Agra, the journey is now faster and operates at reasonable hours, making an overnight for those on limited time not a necessity. This means, you can ultimately do a day trip from Delhi to Agra, experience comfortable train travel in India, see the Taj Mahal and other city sites, and then return back to Delhi in the evening.
The train is called the Gatiman Express, India's fastest train (reaching up to 160km/h), and departs at 08:10 and reaches Agra at 09:50 (100 minutes). The train operates 6 days a week. Friday is the exception as the Taj is closed. The return journey from Agra to Delhi is from 17:50 to 19:30.
The 160km/h speed is a far cry from bullet trains in other parts of the world, but this is clearly the start of what is surely to be faster train travel to come on the subcontinent.
This is no luxury train, but it's modern, comfortable and comes with on board service and snacks. There are 8 A/C chair cars and two executive chair cars. If you are on a tour around India, you'll likely want to continue with staying overnight in Agra, but if your time is limited, the Taj just got a lot more accessible (from Delhi!).