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Taj Mahal overnight tour from Cochin

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We're interested in arranging our own tour (winter of 2020) to the Taj Mahal from Cochin rather than take the excursion offered by Celebrity. We're looking at Viator, which offers two nights and three days.  We're also interested in information about other reputable companies including those that offer private tours.

 

Would you recommend two nights in Agra or one night in Agra and the second in Delhi? A short tour of Delhi sounds worthwhile if it can be fit in.

 

Any advice and/or travel details from someone who has done this?

 

We have two to three nights before we need to rejoin the ship in Mumbai. 

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We did a Golden Triangle tour and can say that one night in Agra is enough. There's really only the Taj Mahal  and the Baby Taj of interest. As long as you dont spend too.much time travelling, I'd recommend spending the extra day in Delhi. You could catch the Gatimaan Express which takes only 100 minutes to travel between the two cities

Edited by suekay

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You will need an extra day in Dehli just to take care of the traffic jams.

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We used Culture Holidays, We left the ship in Cochin and reboarded in Goa.  Just the 2 of us with driver and a guide for the Taj.

The driver was wonderful - he invited us to his home to meet his grandbaby.  The trip was wonderful, 5 star hotels and 1/3 the price of the ships tour.

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1 hour ago, jelayne said:

We used Culture Holidays, We left the ship in Cochin and reboarded in Goa.  Just the 2 of us with driver and a guide for the Taj.

The driver was wonderful - he invited us to his home to meet his grandbaby.  The trip was wonderful, 5 star hotels and 1/3 the price of the ships tour.

Thanks Jelayne. Actually we've booked a tour through that company and so far have found them very easy to deal with. 

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We just did this trip in May of this year.  We left the ship in Cochin and reboarded the ship in Penang (the other way), as we visited Mumbai first, before Cochin.

 

We used Kaimur Holidays in Agra.  We reserved our own flight arrangements and hotel arrangements in Agra and New Delhi, (stayed at amazing 5 star hotels), but Kaimur Holidays would have also made hotel arrangements for us.  Kaimur Holidays picked us up from the Airport, and drove us to Agra to spend the evening/night, (seeing some sites in the afternoon) and we were first to see the Taj Mahal in the morning sunrise.

 

After our day visit in Agra, they drove us to New Delhi, where we spend the night and the next day toured New Delhi with them.  We spend the night again, and flew back and met the ship the next day.  Much more relaxing than the ship excursion, saw much more, no where near the ship's price and a private tour to do exactly what we wanted to do.     

 

Even if you use another Tour company, I would highly recommend spending the night in Agra for the very early Sunrise view (no other tourist there) of the Taj Mahal  the next morning and spending another night/day to visit New Delhi, before returning to the ship.  Well worth the planning, the savings, and the experience.

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Have a look at Lijo Jose's site. He organises trips for cruise ship passengers at all Indian ports and does a trip to Agra. We used him in Mumbai and Cochin this year. Nice bloke and good service...despite having his home wrecked by the Kerala floods in November last year!

https://www.tourwithlijo.com/

 

Simon

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On our Golden Triangle Train trip in February, we arrived at the Taj Mahal very early to watch the sunrise but there were already a lot of tourists waiting patiently and taking selfies.  So do consider staying the night if you can then see the sight at least momentarily without a cast of thousands!  We ate breakfast at a nearby hotel afterwards outside with a view of the grounds.  That was nice too.  Delhi is great but very polluted some of the time and  very congested traffic wise so you cannot see everything.  Do your research and pick and chose.  The whole train trip was good but the most moving thing was a night boat on the Ganges at Varanasi to see the cremations and a religious service.

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I'd second  Lijo Jose's tours.  
But definitely go for two nights. 
Day 1 - we flew to Delhi, then had a coach to Agra.  Got their late, ate and slept.  
Day 2 was up early - very early - but we were inside the Taj complex to watch the colours come over the building.  Magic.
After breakfast we then did the Red Fort of Agra, a visit to the marble carvers (descendants of the people who build the Taj), great lunch then a visit to an embroiders.

Don't list to people who say the 'factories' are a waste of time. 

We then bused back to Delhi - the trip was one of the most exciting parts of the trip. Saw so much.

Day three flew back to the ship.

Fantastic side trip and half the cost of a ship tour. Taj-12-copy-1200x418.jpg

 

 

 

Agra-Fort-33-1200x800.jpg

 

 

Marble-2-1200x800.jpg

 

On-the-road-back-21-1200x753.jpg

Highly recommend the trip.

Raina

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