Life's been a rat race for us. My new job was taking a toll on me. So me and two of my friends decided to go on a short vacation. Plenty of vacation plans were made and cancelled at the last minute. So, previous week, I decided that we needed a de-stressing vacation. While we couldn't take a full week vacation, a mini-trip on the weekend was still possible. So, I searched the internet and stumbled upon 'Myles'- a self-drive car rental service from Carzonrent. The charges seemed decent. The rates started from just 800 INR for a day and a minimum refundable security. It was enticing enough for me to rent a car for the weekend!
On Friday, I rented a Swift Dzire and was informed that the daily rental offered me unlimited kilometers and free fuel. Once I had the keys in my hand, with a suitcase already packed, we drove from Delhi to Agra!
While I don't drive cars very often, the experience of driving in a sedan was fascinating. Plus, the six lanes, straight superhighway toll road to Agra made the travel more comfortable. The surprise trip, with the convenience of traveling in a car was an incredible experience for us.
Initially, I thought that the three hour drive would take a toll on my back and neck, but it was just an erroneous belief. The seats were comfortable, the addition of air conditioning services along with a radio ensured that driving was nothing less than fun.
We started late afternoon and reached Agra in the evening. Decided to rest for the night before embarking on the trip next morning. We stayed at a 3-star hotel and enjoyed our meals, we were happy about our decision to make a trip to Agra.
After resting for the night, we embarked for a sightseeing trip to Taj Mahal. We wanted to avoid the heat, so woke up at 4:15 and reached the monument at 5:30 am. Alas, the gates were closed. A guard informed us that the monument would open at 6:30 am. So, we decided to go for a long drive and explore the city.
We drove our rental car through the narrow lanes and streets of Agra, witnessing the difference between Delhi and this city. Both of the cities played a pivotal role in the Mughal Empire, but Delhi went on to become the capital, while Agra strongly holds on to its traditions and culture. When we drove around in the car, we saw men and women taking charge of their life, most of them walking to their shoe factories or setting up small stalls for selling indigenous crafts, jewelries and accessories. One of my friends, a photographer at heart took hundreds of pictures to capture the cultural essence of the city.
We were back to Taj Mahal by 6:30 am and purchased tickets. We walked through the security and explored Taj Mahal. Built by Shah Jahan, this palace is a mausoleum dedicated to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. While we walked across the palace, our rented car waited for us in the parking!
Later, we visited the sandstone marvel, Agra Fort. Built by Shah Jahan, this fort is an enormous compound of buildings that worked together to protect the city from intruders. We also visited Fatepur Sikri, where we realized that how the trip took away all our work stresses.
Once we covered major places of interest, we decided to explore the city with our rental car again. Instead of walking into large restaurants, we ate savories and nibbles at small eateries, called Dhabas and brought back Pethas, a common delicacy in Agra.
On Sunday morning, neither of us wanted to leave. But we had to. Thankfully, the ride was comfortable in our hired car. We reached back by afternoon and returned the car without a fuss.
Today, it's one of the best memories I have with my friends. And it wouldn't have been possible without Carzonrent's self-drive car rental services. Well, now I am planning another weekend getaway- this time to Manali!