Agra - Day 1

This is a link from my blog about my trip to India in 2014
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Agra - Day 1

Post by david63 » 29 Oct 2014, 09:53

Upon arriving at our hotel we were given a temporary room as, not unsurprisingly at 08:30, our room was not ready. After leaving our cases and bags, and freshening up after the train journey, we set off for our first view of the Taj Mahal – well it was actually our second view as all rooms at the hotel have a view of the Taj Mahal.

The journey from the hotel to the Taj Mahal is only a few minutes by a “golf caddy” as vehicles are not allowed close to the Taj Mahal. Our guide was explaining the whole complex as it occupies somewhere around 40 acres. Eventually we reach the entrance gateway and get our first close up view of the Taj Mahal which just becomes more impressive every step nearer that you take. We have seen the pictures, we thought we knew what it would be like but there is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for that first view of the Taj Mahal and all the time that you are there you just keep marvelling at the whole building – it is something that you cannot take a bad photograph of.

We were, conned is not the right word, but informed that we could have “professional” photos taken of us whilst we were in there. It was explained that we could choose as many or few as we wanted and that they would be 100 rupees each. We opted for this, and in a way were glad that we did because it would have been impossible to take some of the iconic photos ourselves – however it ended up costing about £30 for the 30 or so photos plus a CD of them. It was, however, money well spent.

The history of the Taj Mahal is well known – it was started in 1631, taking 22 years and 20,000 workmen to build it. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal and is in fact a mausoleum and not a palace.

On our way round we had several photos taken some gimmicky ones such as holding the Taj Mahal by its finial and some iconic ones at “Diana’s bench”.

Eventually we moved inside to see the marvellous inlaid marble. Now this where I found something unexpected as I knew that it was inlaid with jewels but for some reason I had in my mind that they were the likes of diamonds, emeralds, rubies etc. but in fact they are what we would consider semi-precious stones that have been sliced wafer thin and then made into various designs – totally breath-taking. The Taj Mahal is a place that you really do not want to leave and you could just sit there for hours marvelling at it because all the time you are seeing something different as the light is constantly changing.

Time to move on and next stop was the Red Fort where Shah Jahan, the creator of the Taj Mahal lived and where he also spent the last years of his life imprisoned by one of his sons. This is another magnificent building and it is easy to imagine how it must have been in those days – it was, as its name implies, a fort for the protection of people, it was a palace for the Emperor and his family and it was the “court” of its time.

From here it was back to our hotel where our room was ready and for us to have a relax before the late afternoon outing.

Late in the afternoon we were taken across the river to see “Baby Taj” before moving down to Metah Bagh to see the sunset on the Taj Mahal but, unfortunately the weather was not on our side and we could not witness the sunset due to the cloud cover – but we did see the Taj Mahal from another perspective.

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Re: Agra - Day 1

Post by GillD46 » 29 Oct 2014, 10:01

It does sound as though this was a very special day.

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