How good is 'Panickers travels' Delhi to Agra. Any other similar Tours?

#1 Feb 5th, 2009, 16:34
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  • barochallo is offline
#1
Hi Guys,

Has anyone used the services of 'Panicker's Travels' especially their one day trip by AC volvo bus trip Delhi to Agra? Can anyone tell me if they're good or not.

I'll be going in April. With two small children. It'll be difficult to multiple trips by cab then train then cab etc. So I guess I'll have to use the services of a Travel Co. offering One-Day Delhi-Agra trip, who'll show us Taj and Fatehpur Sikri. Also considering the heat, I guess I'll have to opt for an AC Bus. Panickers seems to be the only AC bus service on the Internet that I could find. Also no one in the Agra Forums has talked about it.

If any of you can suggest any other Services offering One Day trips Delhi to Agra by AC Bus service, I'll be grateful to you.

Much indebted.

barochallo
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#2 Feb 6th, 2009, 16:45
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#2
I have travelled in their busses on a number of occasions however not on a tour. They were always on time.
#3 Feb 6th, 2009, 16:52
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Panicker's Travels is one funny name !
#4 Feb 6th, 2009, 23:36
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#4
They're OK...
#5 Feb 7th, 2009, 03:26
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I was thinking about using them for a trip to Agra. But, you only visit 4 places on that trip. You can take a non ac bus for 300 (round trip) from Delhi to Agra. Uttar Pradesh Tourism said that they can arrange for a prepaid cab (ac) to take you around the city (200 km, which they say should cover all the locations in Agra) for 1200 to 1500 INR. If you are traveling alone, it works out to about 60 % more, but you will see a lot more stuff and travel at your own pace. The cab will carry up to 4 people at that rate, so if your traveling with people, the cost per person will come down. They only allot 2 hours for the Taj according to their itinerary, which includes the amount of time to get through security.
#6 Feb 8th, 2009, 11:44
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#6

No panic here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by artisticanurag View Post Panicker's Travels is one funny name !
Oh, I'm sure it has nothing to with creating panic! :-)
Unless I'm mistaken, Panicker is a common surname in people from Kerala.

Thanks friends for all your valuable suggestions. Much appreciated :-)
Last edited by barochallo; Feb 9th, 2009 at 22:58.. Reason: add a 'thank you'
#7 Feb 12th, 2009, 15:29
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#7

Thumbs up My final One day Agra Tour Plan

Hi guys, thanks to all your inputs and suggestions/ articles posted elsewhere, I have my final plan ready.

I am not ultimately booking through Panickers. I find that they work out to be more expensive and the travel-time is more.

I checked out with UP-Tourism and found that they have a convenient Agra City Bus Tour that suits my needs (http://up-tourism.com/tour/agra_darshan.htm).
This tour waits for the Taj Express train to arrive and start from the Agra Cantt. Railway station itself. Then the tour concludes at the Railway Station, in time for the Taj Express back to Delhi.

The only hitch in the tour is that they allow only 1 hour and 20 minutes at the Taj Mahal. But since the Taj is the last on the tour, I've decided to leave the tour at the Taj, stay on until 6.00 PM (until the doors to the Taj close for the day) and then return to the Railway Station by auto-rickhaw (who I'm told should charge about Rs.50). That way I can enjoy an extended 'evening view' of the Taj and still be in time for my Bhopal Shatabdi train which departs Agra at 8.30 PM.
Yup, I won't get a chance at the 'Sunrise view' of the Taj , but then hey, there's always a next time, wot?

For your information, I've found two convenient trains from Delhi that connect to the above Tour (source:http://indianrail.gov.in/)

Trains Delhi To Agra

2002 Bhopal Shatabdi (Book 3 months prior)
Dep New Delhi Station (NDLS) Dep: 06.15 (Source station)
Agra Cantonment(AGC) Arr: 08.12 (halts for 5 minutes)
AC Chair Car

2280 Taj Express (Book 1 month prior)
Dep H.Nizamuddin (NZM) 07.10 (Source station)
Arr Agra Cantonment(AGC) 10.07 (halts for 8 minutes)
Second Seating

Trains Agra to Delhi

2001 NDLS Shatabdi (Book 3 months prior)
Dep Agra Cantonment (AGC) 20.25 (halts for 5 minutes)
Arr New Delhi (NDLS) 22.30 (Destination)
AC Chair Car

2279 Taj Express (Book 1 month prior)
Dep Agra Cantonment (AGC) 18.47 (halts for 8 minutes)
Arr H. Nizamuddin (NZM) 22.00 (Destination)
Second Seating

The Taj Express works out much more inexpensive, but my kids insist that they want to enjoy the 'Airplane-style seats' on the Shatabdi Train. Kids....!!
But then again, I'm guessing they'll enjoy that train ride more than the visit to Fatehpur Sikri/ Agra Fort etc, so probably they're rightfully entitled to their 'Airplane-style seats'!

A couple of questions:
1.The above tour stops at 'Gulistan Tourist Complex' for lunch. Does anyone know how good or bad this place is? As I have my two small kids with me, should I make my own arrangements for them?

2. As I will be returning to Agra Station at 7.00 pm or so, can anyone suggest any good restaurant just outside the station, where we can have our dinner?
I think they serve food on the Shatabdi, but I'm not sure if it's good or not.

Thanks again,

barochallo
#8 Feb 12th, 2009, 23:34
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#8
If you're foreign: rent a car (taxi) for the day in Agra and pay for your own lunch. You can do everything at your own pace and it will be much cheaper.

If you're Indian: rent a car (taxi) for the day in Agra and pay for your own lunch. You can do everything at your own pace

Hans

Tips for trips to India with (young) children: India with kids
Our travel blog (mostly in Dutch): Reisfamilie
#9 Feb 13th, 2009, 00:09
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#9

Thanks Hans

Thanks Hans, I had checked out the car option. But I'll have to pay extra everywhere for the monument fees. The UP tourism bus tour includes the monument fees. So I save at least Rs. 1000. And since I'm also going to be doing Shimla, Manali and Delhi in the same trip, I'm trying to cut costs wherever possible.
But thank you again for your suggestions.
barochallo
Last edited by barochallo; Feb 13th, 2009 at 19:25..
#10 May 1st, 2009, 20:38
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#10

Update on my Agra tour

Hi guys
Just got back. Did as per my above plan. The Bhopal Shatabdi train was comfortable including turbaned waiters serving an average breakfast. The UPTDC Agra City tour was reasonably good. It started 30 minutes late but covered Fatehpur sikri, Agra fort and the Taj. The tour guide was knowledgeable (spoke in Hindi and pretty decent English) but the lunch at the Govt Tourism rest house was atrocious. The 'Comsum' restaurant at Agra Cantt railway stn provides good fare. As planned we left the tour at the Taj and took a rickshaw (Rs. 50) back to the Rly stn.
#11 May 21st, 2009, 18:19
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#11

city linkers/revel tours (delhi/agra)

just sharing the email that i wrote to city linkers travel in delhi which arranged my trip to agra. my contact was from city linkers but the trip was handled largely by their partner in agra, revel tours. overall experience was okay, with some glitches. hope this helps.

--

i havent heard from you ever since my trip to agra despite my repeated requests for a copy of my official receipt.

in case you are interested in feedback, the trip to agra went relatively smoothly but i really wouldve appreciated it if you had dropped off the official receipt which i need for documentation.

the driver that picked me up at the delhi airport was okay, but he left me to fend for myself with the "porters" that were harassing me for a bigger tip. i gave the "porters" 5 rupees as they had grabbed my luggage from the driver maybe only 5 meters away from the vehicle. i actually assumed that they were companions of your driver. had i known that they were not, i would have demanded that they not take my luggage from your driver. the "porters" saw the 50 rupees in my wallet and heckled me for it! very tired from a long flight and genuinely scared of their demeanor, i gave them the 50 rupees.

the tour guide in agra (ive forgotten his name. he is a university student in agra who is taking up french.) discouraged me from buying souvenirs from the perimeter of the taj and promised that he will take me to a proper souvenir shop (government-run, he said). instead, he brought me to an extremely expensive marble shop where the owners heckled me and tried their absolute best to make me buy their wares. i was placed in a very awkward position because they made me feel bad that i refused/could not afford their marble items (some priced at more than 20,000 rupees!). the tour guide was nowhere to be found as i was being heckled and so i ran out of the marble shop by myself. contrary to what the tour guide had promised me, there were no keychains, leatherware or small trinkets in the very expensive marble shop. i asked the tour guide if we could go back to the area of the taj or in any of the souvenir shops that abound in agra because i really wanted to buy a small taj replica, at the very least. he refused, saying that i would be better off buying from delhi. i realized during my stay in delhi that i was better off buying souvenirs and the taj replica in agra.

the same tour guide had the gall to ask me to fill up an evaluation form where i remarked that the tour was okay but the marble souvenir shop was extremely prohibitive. i assumed that the written evaluation will be kept private. instead, the tour guide read the form and pressured me into writing a better review so that he will not be troubled by his boss! having had enough awkwardness and wanting to leave for delhi at the soonest possible time, i agreed to note in the form that the "tour guide was excellent!" even when i made a mental note to relay this incident to your partner in agra (revel tours).

on a positive note, the drive from agra to delhi went well. the driver was able to brave the highway even when we were caught in the middle of a hale storm.

hope this helps. hope you can do something about the marble place situation as it ruined an otherwise perfect trip for me. would appreciate if you could email me a copy of the official receipt.
#12 Apr 19th, 2010, 21:56
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  • kuppuda is offline
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by barochallo View Post Hi guys
Just got back. Did as per my above plan. The Bhopal Shatabdi train was comfortable including turbaned waiters serving an average breakfast. The UPTDC Agra City tour was reasonably good. It started 30 minutes late but covered Fatehpur sikri, Agra fort and the Taj. The tour guide was knowledgeable (spoke in Hindi and pretty decent English) but the lunch at the Govt Tourism rest house was atrocious. The 'Comsum' restaurant at Agra Cantt railway stn provides good fare. As planned we left the tour at the Taj and took a rickshaw (Rs. 50) back to the Rly stn.
Hi,
I am planning a trip to Delhi end of May with my two teenage kids. What is your suggestion - to take the train and the local tour by bus just like you did? Any special tips to avoid?
Thanks in advance
Raj
#13 Apr 28th, 2011, 11:49
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  • SeemaRamprakash is offline
#13
We have enjoyed the trip with Panicker travels. It is very nice.They are well taking care their customers.Ramprakash
Quote:
Originally Posted by barochallo View Post Hi Guys,

Has anyone used the services of 'Panicker's Travels' especially their one day trip by AC volvo bus trip Delhi to Agra? Can anyone tell me if they're good or not.

I'll be going in April. With two small children. It'll be difficult to multiple trips by cab then train then cab etc. So I guess I'll have to use the services of a Travel Co. offering One-Day Delhi-Agra trip, who'll show us Taj and Fatehpur Sikri. Also considering the heat, I guess I'll have to opt for an AC Bus. Panickers seems to be the only AC bus service on the Internet that I could find. Also no one in the Agra Forums has talked about it.

If any of you can suggest any other Services offering One Day trips Delhi to Agra by AC Bus service, I'll be grateful to you.

Much indebted.

barochallo

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