Auto Expo 2018 + Delhi + Agra sightseeing in 3-4 days- Best Itinerary?

Auto Expo 2018 Delhi

As a tourist visiting Delhi for the Auto Expo, you would want to see as many places in the short time you are there. And most people are more than delighted to put an ‘Agra’ in there too. But let me tell you beforehand, it takes almost 3 days in Delhi and 2 days in Agra to completely soak in the Mughal, Colonial and modern architectures of these cities. Anything less will feel rushed and will not satisfy the traveler in you.

However, if you are in Delhi for only 3 or 4 days, this is the best way to see most places along with the all-important Auto Expo.

For automotive enthusiasts, the prime time to reach Delhi should be during the Expo. During normal days, the event is split between normal business hours and general public hours. The Business hours command a premium over the normal hours but you get to enjoy the show for 2 hours more, that too with relatively lesser crowd. Once the general hours set in, it’s like a free for all and the queues keep piling up. You can complete the show if you rush but there won’t be enough time to carefully check each car.

In the weekends there are no business hours and the show starts at 10:00 but as expected, the crowd will be overwhelming.

Day and Date * Business Hours General Public Hours
Friday, 9 February, 2018 1000 Hrs – 1300 Hrs 1300 Hrs – 1800 Hrs
Saturday, 10 February, 2018 1000 Hrs – 1900 Hrs
Sunday, 11 February, 2018 1000 Hrs – 1900 Hrs
Monday, 12 February, 2018 1000 Hrs – 1300 Hrs 1300 Hrs – 1800 Hrs
Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 1000 Hrs – 1300 Hrs 1300 Hrs – 1700 Hrs
Wenesday, 14 February, 2018 1000 Hrs – 1300 Hrs 1300 Hrs – 1700 Hrs

 

This travel itinerary is for people who are completely new to Delhi. We hope to provide the most hassle-free way to complete it. If you have any advice to improve it, feel free to share.

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Delhi Travel Tip #1

 

Having a good night’s sleep will equate to a long, tireless sightseeing day. Select a hotel in a safe locality that has good facilities. Don’t go for the cheapest option available online, as they have their own associated problems. It’s better to reach the Delhi a day prior to the Expo in order to stay fresh and energetic the next day.

 

My experience in cheap hotel that I booked online in Delhi– Bad room, no wifi, no mobile network, crowded shady locality

 

If booking online, try to reach there atleast 2 hours early to check the rooms and cancel if necessary (you can’t once the allotted time sets in). Though it gets very crowded during the Expo time, there will still be several hotels available.

Auto Expo 2018 Ticket price, Booking

Ticket prices start at Rs. 300 and booking will be done via Book My Show. It’s better to book early and avail the home delivery service if you are low on time in Delhi.

Day of Auto Expo 2018- Transport, Shuttle Service, What to See?

India Gate

Wake up early on the day of the expo; it is chilly around February so always remember to pack winter wear. Don’t try to bear the cold (even if you feel you can), or risk having a very bad fever/cold the next day.

If you plan to visit during the Auto Expo’s general hours only, I’d recommend visiting Rajiv Chowk first. From there you can set your foots to the secretariat building and the India gate. Both these marvels look absolutely fantastic in the morning and you are sure to be soaked with an indescribable sense of pride. Walking from one end of the Raj path to other is an exciting endeavor in its own. The parliament building is also situated in the premise.

By doing this you can check off a very important itinerary from your Delhi checklist. Most travels (including Ho-Ho, stated below) do not have a stop at this place and only shows these building en route.  Rajiv Chowk is one of the best place to eat as well.

By 10:00 AM, you can catch a metro to the Botanical garden metro station. There are free shuttle buses that operate from the station to the India Expo Mart (where Auto Expo 2018 takes place) which is the frankly the best way to reach there. You can also try catching Ola or Uber cabs to the location, though it may cost a bit more (or may not be available). If you are new to the city, I’d recommend not to rent cars or come in personal vehicles. It gets very crowded, especially after closing, and rash driving and accidents are very common. You will be free from the traffic once you reach the metro station on the shuttle service (which will be very crowded, but free in the return as well), which is not the case if you are self-driving

Tip– It’s better not to plan anything big on the night of the Expo as the traffic Jam (that WILL occur) is sure to shave off a good part of the night. You will also be extremely tired from all the walking inside the expo mart.

Tip- If you are entering the expo in general hours, don’t queue up in the luxury car segments, or risk not seeing something interesting bikes/cars further inside.

Auto Expo 2018 busy

Delhi Travel Tip #2 – Transport for sightseeing

 

Avoid any kind of public transport like Metro, buses, autos, rickshaws as sole means of travel. While the Metro is the fastest from point A to B, transport from stations is cumbersome. Most Auto, Rickshawallas demand unfair amounts for travel, so always ask (infact demand) to use the meter. But most importantly, there is no time for you to waste in these intermediate places.

 

One way to travel would be to use your own private or rented transport. An even better way is to use Delhi governments Ho Ho(Delhi Darshan) sightseeing tours. Started during the commonwealth games, Ho Ho (short for hope on, hope off) uses a series of exclusive buses traveling between major landmarks. People using the facility will be dropped off at a specific landmark and exactly 40 minutes later, another bus comes along to take you to a different place. In this way, you can cover most of the landmarks.

 

Main Places in Delhi that you need to see

 

There are lots of places in Delhi worth seeing, but these are the once you definitely need to put on your list. Delhi is all about its rich history and beautiful buildings, so don’t visit if these are not your cup of tea.The list is made keeping in mind your time constraint and thus museums, zoos etc are avoided(Even though they are some of the best in the country).

The list is made keeping in mind your time constraint and thus museums, zoos etc are avoided(Even though they are some of the best in the country).

Travel Tip – Make a list of landmarks you want to visit beforehand. Do a quick Wikipedia search to know about the places (Trust me, makes it better). But nothing beats the audio books that are available at some of the monuments. Also most landmarks are closed on Mondays, so plan carefully.

Qutub Minar

Inside Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar and its allied complexes are a must see if you are in Delhi. The place is a world heritage site and attracts close to 4 million people each year. Apart from the tower, there is also the iron pillar- most famous for its rust resistant properties, mosques and madrasas, all of which are an insight to the Mughal, Indo-islamic architecture.

The area surrounding the Qutub Minar is vast and there are enough places to sit down and relax.

Timing and fee

Timing  All days, morning
Fee Rs. 30 (Indian)

 

Rs. 500 (Foreign)

 

Lotus Temple (Bahai Mandir)

Baha mandir

Lotus temple is one of the most beautiful pieces of modern architecture that Delhi has to offer. It is made in the shape of a lotus, which is not just significant for the Bahai faith but also the national flower of India. It is believed to be one of the most complicated constructions in the world.

The Lotus temple and its allied plot span over a large area, making it ideal for just sitting around and taking in sanctity and peacefulness of the place. You can also enter the complex, after taking off your shoes that is.

The temple gets very crowded during the weekends.

Timing and fee

Timing  9 am -5.30 pm
Fee Free

 

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun Delhi

The Humayun’s tomb marks many ‘firsts’ in Mughal Architecture in India. It was built by Hamida Banu Begam in 1556, after the death of her husband and Mughal emperor Humayun.

The monument is seen as the first distinct, Mughal style architecture built in India and provides inspiration for the more popular ‘Taj Mahal’ in Agra.

The well maintained, four quartered garden and the water channels are a treat for the eyes, along with the building itself. The sheer brilliance of ‘larger than life’ architecture is definitely a sight worth seeing.

Timing and fee

Timing  Morning
Fee Rs. 30 (Indian)

 

Rs. 500 (Foreign)

 

Purana Qila or Old Fort

Purana Qila or Old Fort is a fort in ruins. It was built by Humayun and has combination of Hindu-Islamic architecture. Depending on your time, you can skip it for the Red Fort.

Red Fort

Red Fort Delhi independence

Red fort is a must see in Delhi for a good number of reasons. It is built on the banks of Yamuna and has a history dating back to the time of Shah Jahan. The whole monument is huge and once used to be home to more than 3,000 people.

Inside the monument, you are treated to a whole lot of Mughal Architecture. But that’s not all, there are reminders of British era as well, which can be seen on some of the ‘out of place’ buildings that they constructed. All these are best enjoyed with Audio books available at the ticket counter.

More to the present, the is the place where the Prime Minister of India makes his Independence day speech.

Barely 100m from the Red Fort is the Jama Masjid, which is one of the largest mosques in India. The sight of the Red Fort from here, during the evening, was one of the most precious moments of my travel to Delhi, as it encapsulated what life was like in the Mughal era.

All these make Red Fort one time-consuming place in Delhi, but I assure you that your travel will not be complete without visiting here.

Timing and fee

Timing  9.30 am to 4.30 pm
Fee Rs. 10 (Indian)

 

Rs. 250 (Foreign)

 

Parliament, Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan

Central secretariate building

As an Indian, all these buildings are worth seeing on your trip to Delhi. They are best seen early morning (personal favorite) or late evening.

Rajpath, India gate

Rajpath connects the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India gate. It is the path through which the Independence and Republic day marches go through. If you are staying near Rajiv chowk, an early morning walk through Rajpath to the India gate will definite boost your morale.

You could also make it an evening stop, when the India gate is beautifully lit up. This will make it easier for some late night shopping and fine dining at the Connaught Place– one of Delhi’s most popular shopping centres.

The India gate is definitely a sight to behold. It may not have the sheer architectural brilliance as some of the others on this list, but as an Indian, the patriotism that it brings out has no leaps and bounds. It was built in 1931 as a memorial to 90,000 Indian soldiers who laid their lives fighting in the First World War.

Akshardham

Akshardham is the largest Hindu temple in the world, officially recognized by Guinness world records. It was opened to the public in 2005 and is a testimony to what modern architects are capable of.

The entire complex is huge with many attractions and will take away half your day or even more. It is situated in Noida, the other side of Yamuna river and Ho-Ho buses does not travel through this route. If you are really keen on visiting this place, use the metro.

Timing and fee

Timing 10 am to 5 pm
Fee Free ( exhibition & fountain is paid)

 

Delhi to Agra Transport

Taj Mahal Agra

While there are many options to travel from Delhi to Agra, the best way to do so, in your limited time, will be to book a Volvo AC tourist bus from any reputed travel agency. They usually have a guide to take you through various monuments in Agra.

You could also catch an early morning train to Agra Cntt. railway station, and join up with Agra tourism’s bus which takes you through the places given below. The sightseeing tour begins at 10:30 am and prior booking is needed.

Travel tip: At the time of booking, please ask for the travel itinerary. Some agencies will have Madura, Agra (Agra fort and Taj Mahal) combined, while others have only Agra(with Fatehpur Sikri). Make sure if a guide is available.

Price: Rs. 1000/- (Indian)

Main Places in Agra that you need to see

If you are in Agra for 1 day, these are the places you must visit.

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri is considered as one of the best-preserved regions of Mughal Architecture in India. The whole place is a diverse blend of Indian, Islamic, Persian architecture. If you are a fan of Akbar’s legends and stories of his famed Navaratna courtiers, this is the place where that was born.

The only reason why you might not visit this place is because it is nearly 45km from Taj Mahal.

Agra Fort/Red Fort

Inside Agra Fort

If you have visited the Red Fort in Delhi, you might ask why you should visit a similar looking Mughal Fort in your short time. The reason is its famous sister monument- Taj Mahal.

The view of the Taj from ‘Muasamman Burj’-a white marble balcony, where Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan spend is last days, sends you catapulting into a hopeless Romantic mood. The spectacular pure white beauty, across the Yamuna River, will be a definite treat to your eyes

And yes, certain fans of James Bond would want to visit the place too (Remember Octopussy?).

Timing and fee

Timing  Morning
Fee  Rs. 40 (Indian)

 

Rs. 70 (Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries)

 

Rs. 550 (Foreign)

 

Taj Mahal

Inside Taj Mahal

Have I kept the best for last? Oh, yes. The Taj Mahal is one building that you must see to believe. A beauty so pure, every nook and corner keep your heart racing with excitement.

For me, it is a building that signifies wide range of human emotions including joy, greed, patience, hard work, lust, pain, grief and not merely loves. Maybe that is what drives me to this place time and again.

The Taj Mahal is uncontrollably crowded most of the time, so avoid weekends if possible. It does take away some of the essence, but being a part of that crowd, who am I to complain

It is a known fact that the Taj Mahal is losing its brilliant white colour due to pollution and other causes. As sad as I am saying this, just don’t wait too long before you visit this place. Some of the effects are even visible now.

Timing and fee

Timing  Sunrise to sunset (Friday closed)
Fee  Rs. 40 (Indian)

 

Rs. 530 (Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries)

 

Rs. 1000 (Foreign)

 

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