Distance from Agra Cantonment (AGC) railway station to Taj Mahal is about 6km. So, how to reach Taj Mahal from Agra Cantt Railway Station ?
Come out of the railway station, you can see a Pre-Paid taxi counter. Taxi fare from Agra railway station to Tajmahal is a flat rate of Rs150, or even at a hotel in Agra city. This is bit pricey option (like everything touristy in Agra!).
If you walk a little ahead, you can see Auto Rickshaws lined up. It should not cost more than Rs50 for a drop at Taj Mahal. Negotiate everything upfront. Tell emphatically that you are interested only in getting dropped at your destination, and not any other detours.
A word of caution here. Despite it being a prepaid taxi, people would try to sell you additional services like 'extending' the ride for a full day or including a guide service, taking to shopping etc. Ideally you'll hear theses kinds of offers in about 30 seconds into the ride! And you convincing the driver that you are not interested in all these extras would last for about 10-15 minutes, by the time you are at the parking area of Taj.
By the way, at the pre-paid place in Cantonment Railway station there are many packaged offers , generally about booking the cab for a full day sight seeing of Agra (Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandra etc). The price hovers around Rs1000 to Rs1500 based on the type of car (AC/non-AC).
There is even a fancy named 'Shatabdi to Shatabdi' taxi package in Agra. It means you arrive at Agra Cantt, station by the the early morning Shatabdi Express (Train No: 12001/12001) from New Delhi around 8 in the morning and returning to New Delhi by 9 in the night by the Delhi bound Shatabdi Express.
These packages are quite practical, as it sounds. However keep in mind that you would be facing unsolicited shopping halts at one pretext or other. If you can manages these irritants (in other words, know how to say NO) you would be alright with these packaged offers.
Well, we started with how to reach Taj Mahal from Agra railway station , and ended with how to manage touts! Once in Agra you'll appreciate that this diversion was not way off the mark...
Taj, while unparalleled for its beauty and fanfare, overshadows this otherwise majestic and historically far more important attraction, located just a mile east of the Taj.
Agra Fort , also called Red Fort is located on the southern banks of the river Yamuna. At this point the river makes a steep bend leaving a huge sandy bed on its south bank. The fort stands beyond this sandy bed. In its alignment the side of the fort facing the river is almost parallel to the river.
The local guides may just make a passing comment of these gates and moves on, as there are so much other attractions to be seen inside the fort. In fact the so called "Somnath" Gates now stored in a room in Agra Fort has a curious story to tell.