I was in Delhi for a week in July, 2012 and decided to take a day trip to Agra.
I booked my trip about 5 days in advance through Culture Holidays/travelchacha.com and I have nothing but good things to say about my trip.
I was booked on the Shatabdi express train between Delhi and Agra. The train starts around 6:30 am from Delhi and reaches Agra in about two and a half to three hours. Breakfast is provided on the train. As soon as I reached Agra, there were a driver and a tour guide waiting for me with an air conditioned car.
I went and saw the beautiful Taj Mahal first. The tour guide was fluent in English and was extremely informative about the history and significance of the Taj Mahal. After visiting the Taj Mahal, I was taken to a souvenir store. We then proceeded to Agra Fort and spent an hour and a half there.
I was then taken to the ITC Mughal for a sumptuous lunch buffet. After lunch, we went to Fatehpur Sikri which is about an hours drive from Agra. I came back from Fatehpur Sikri around six in the evening. Since I had some time to kill and did not want to go shopping, I again returned to the Taj Mahal and saw it during sunset.
I boarded the Shatabdi from Agra back to Delhi around 8:30 pm and was back in Delhi by around 10:30 pm. Dinner was provided on the train. Overall, it was a wonderful day and I had a great time.
Some points to note:
1. It gets really hot & humid, and there will be a lot of walking at the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Make sure you are hydrated throughout the trip.
2. The guide will take you to a few shopping stores where tourists can buy souvenirs. You are under no compulsion to buy anything and can let the guide know so.
3. I had about three hours to kill between when I came back to Agra and when my train back to Delhi from Agra was scheduled to depart. I requested the driver and guide to take me back to the Taj Mahal so that I could see it again during sunset, and they obliged. That way, they were very accommodating.
4. Both the driver and guide were very professional. The car was neat, air conditioned and there was no time wasted waiting for the car when we came back from a tour of any point of interest.
5. Mr. Vikal, who was the manager of Culture Holidays in Agra was extremely courteous. He received me in the morning at the Agra station and made sure I got to my taxi. He came by to check on me during lunch and also personally made sure I boarded the train on my way back from Agra. He made the whole trip very comfortable.
6. As a single traveller, I had a driver and a tour guide all to myself during the day trip. Culture Holidays were also very flexible with the way the trip was setup. While their website mentions that they will pick up and drop off the tourists from anywhere in Delhi, since I had a pre-arranged ride to/from the delhi railway station, I could negotiate the package price by a bit. But the tour does get cheaper if you have two or more people.
I highly recommend Culture Holidays/ travelchacha.com for a day trip to Agra from Delhi. I had a fantastic experience overall!