Travel Guide for weekend trip from Delhi to Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary


During my 14 years of stay in Delhi, I have visited Taj Mahal multiple times with guests visiting me from different parts of the world. Most of the times, I have planned a day trip to Agra to visit Taj Mahal and also visit Fatehpur Sikri. Recently I planned a weekend road-trip to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary for watching migratory birds this winter and that's when I realised that how easy it has become to travel to Bharatpur, Fatehpur Sikri and Taj Mahal, because of awesome connectivity through Taj Express Way. 


This post shares all the details one would need to plan a trip to Agra and surrounding areas from Delhi/Noida.     Related Blog-post - A super aggressive tour of Taj Mahal & Jaipur city during a weekend around Delhi

This post shares all the details one would need to plan a trip to Agra and surrounding areas from Delhi/Noida. 


How to commute : There is Shatabdi train available from Delhi to Agra but I recommend to commute via road to save time, as taking a train would also mean commute to/from railway stations and anyway you need to hire taxi for moving between Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Now, there are 3 options - drive your own car if you live in Delhi/NCR and if you are visiting Delhi, you can either take a taxi or rent a car for self-drive.     Related blog-post - Birds of Prey at Keoladeo National Park || Watchful Eyes that Track your Every Movement

How to commute : There is Shatabdi train available from Delhi to Agra but I recommend to commute via road to save time, as taking a train would also mean commute to/from railway stations and anyway you need to hire taxi for moving between Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Now, there are 3 options - drive your own car if you live in Delhi/NCR and if you are visiting Delhi, you can either take a taxi or rent a car for self-drive. 


Where to stay : If you intend to visit these 3 places, 2 obvious places to spend night are Agra or Bharatpur. And I recommend Bharatpur as an option to stay because that would be most beneficial in terms of managing your time and travel distances on both days. As itinerary mentioned below mentions to cover Bharatpur on second day and early you start your day at Kaoladeo Bird Sanctuary, the better would be your day with thousands of birds with hundreds of species at one place.

Where to stay : If you intend to visit these 3 places, 2 obvious places to spend night are Agra or Bharatpur. And I recommend Bharatpur as an option to stay because that would be most beneficial in terms of managing your time and travel distances on both days. As itinerary mentioned below mentions to cover Bharatpur on second day and early you start your day at Kaoladeo Bird Sanctuary, the better would be your day with thousands of birds with hundreds of species at one place.  

Related blog-post : Hotel Sunbird @Bharatpur || A Great Place to Return to After a Tiring Walk through Keoladeo National Park    Related Blog-post : ITC Mughal - One of the popular hotels around Taj Mahal in Agra


During my 14 years of stay in Delhi, I have visited Taj Mahal multiple times with guests visiting me from different parts of the world. Most of the times, I have planned a day trip to Agra to visit Taj Mahal and also visit Fatehpur Sikri. Recently I planned a weekend road-trip to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary for watching migratory birds this winter and that's when I realised that how easy it has become to travel to Bharatpur, Fatehpur Sikri and Taj Mahal, because of awesome connectivity through Taj Express Way.


Scams to be aware about :    One of the important thing to be aware of is to know about these places in advance so that nobody takes advantage out of you and you feel like a fool at the end of your trip. If you plan to visit via taxi, we strongly recommend to have a trustworthy drive with you. If you have good driver, he would not let you come under influence of local touts at these places. Be sure about choosing people for help at these tourist places. If you intend to take guides, ensure that you hire from counter and always chose govt approved tour guides. Ask for identity card. Don't miss the link below, as it has some specific details about scammers around fatehpur Sikri.     Related Blog-post : Travel makes us wiser : A very interesting experience at Fatehpur Sikri, UP (India)

Scams to be aware about :

One of the important thing to be aware of is to know about these places in advance so that nobody takes advantage out of you and you feel like a fool at the end of your trip. If you plan to visit via taxi, we strongly recommend to have a trustworthy drive with you. If you have good driver, he would not let you come under influence of local touts at these places. Be sure about choosing people for help at these tourist places. If you intend to take guides, ensure that you hire from counter and always chose govt approved tour guides. Ask for identity card. Don't miss the link below, as it has some specific details about scammers around fatehpur Sikri. 


Let's now talk about a good itinerary for a good weekend around Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Bharatpur Sikri :   Start early in the morning from Delhi/Noida, so that you reach Agra entry gate by the time entry starts. The drive is approximately 4 hrs, so plan accordingly. Visit Taj Mahal as you reach Agra, spend time around Taj Mahal and then can plan Agra Fort. Have your lunch in Agra city and then head towards Fatehpur Sikri.  Visit Fatehpur Sikri Palace and the Jama Mosque compound with Bland Darwaza & Dargah.  All these 3 places (Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri) can be visited in a day and then you can head towards Bharatpur. It's 30 minutes drive to Bharatpur from Fatehpur, so there is no need to rush in Fatehpur Sikri.  On the way to Bharatpur, buy some fruits, drinks and snacks for next day and I recommend not to book hotel with breakfast option unless you want to take it easy next morning and it's ok for you to start a little late for sanctuary.

Let's now talk about a good itinerary for a good weekend around Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Bharatpur Sikri : 
  1. Start early in the morning from Delhi/Noida, so that you reach Agra entry gate by the time entry starts. The drive is approximately 4 hrs, so plan accordingly.
  2. Visit Taj Mahal as you reach Agra, spend time around Taj Mahal and then can plan Agra Fort. Have your lunch in Agra city and then head towards Fatehpur Sikri. 
  3. Visit Fatehpur Sikri Palace and the Jama Mosque compound with Bland Darwaza & Dargah. 
  4. All these 3 places (Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri) can be visited in a day and then you can head towards Bharatpur. It's 30 minutes drive to Bharatpur from Fatehpur, so there is no need to rush in Fatehpur Sikri. 
  5. On the way to Bharatpur, buy some fruits, drinks and snacks for next day and I recommend not to book hotel with breakfast option unless you want to take it easy next morning and it's ok for you to start a little late for sanctuary. 
  6. Check-in to your hotel in Bharatpur, have dinner and take rest. 
  7. Plan to get up early in the morning as entry gates of Bird Sanctuary opens at 6:30 am. Bird sighting is best in the morning hours. 
  8. Depending upon how much time you want to spend inside the sanctuary, plan your checkout. I recommend to check-out before going inside the sanctuary. 
  9. Take enough eatables with you as it may take good amount of time inside and there is not much inside to have breakfast of lunch.
  10. When done, come out and have late lunch. Start your journey back to Delhi.
Check-in to your hotel in Bharatpur, have dinner and take rest.  Plan to get up early in the morning as entry gates of Bird Sanctuary opens at 6:30 am. Bird sighting is best in the morning hours.  Depending upon how much time you want to spend inside the sanctuary, plan your checkout. I recommend to check-out before going inside the sanctuary.  Take enough eatables with you as it may take good amount of time inside and there is not much inside to have breakfast of lunch. When done, come out and have late lunch. Start your journey back to Delhi.

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