Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 13:25
Agra, the city of Taj Mahal, is finally on the Air map. Beginning Sunday, 7th November, Flight IT4367 operated by Kingfisher will connect New Delhi and Agra. Flight departs from New Delhi at 13:40 to Agra and starts return journey back to New Delhi from Agra at 15:05. Kingfisher Airlines will use 66 seater ATR aircraft to operate this one hour flight.
Kheria airport at Agra is located at 6 Kms from Taj Mahal. Presently, the airport at Agra welcomes more charter flights than regular commercial flights. The commencement of regular service is expected to boost tourism and help Agra hotels , especially the star rated hotels achieve higher occupancy rate. Today, the best way to reach Agra from Delhi is thru the Shatabdi Express or by a taxi.
Agra is a key attraction owing to many Mughal monuments that dot the landscape. Popular monuments at Agra include – Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World; Agra Fort, the red stone fort built by Akbar; Akbar’s tomb and the nearby Fathepur Sikri. For all the key attractions, tourism infrastructure at Agra is severely limited. For instance, there are very few good budget hotel options near Taj Mahal. Tourists wishing to witness Taj Mahal at night are severely handicapped because of lack of budget hotels near Taj Mahal, Agra.
The enduring image of Agra is that of a chaotic dirty city. Years of mismanagement has resulted in an woeful tourism infrastructure and an unpleasant experience for the tourist– touts are an irritating part of one’s visit to Agra, quality hotels are either over priced or away from the key monuments, crowd control in key monuments are not very friendly and the list of shortcomings can go on. However, things seem to be improving – the recent cleanliness drive at Agra was received with some enthusiasm by the Public. The core issue has also been identified - Agra has only 2,500 sanitation workers – this is only 33% of World Health Organisation stipulated strength of 7,500 for the city of Agra.