I’ve been promising you people some pictures of the Taj Mahal. To tell you the truth, the trip to Agra was HORRIBLE! We (me and ThaRum) left the hotel (bus picked us up) at about 6am, then only returned at about 2am. Altogether we spent approximately 14 hours sitting in a bus.
To make the trip worse, on the way back, there was a tourist guide, who on a microphone talked (in HINDI, so no, it wasn’t very interesting) for an hour. Of course at first, ThaRum and I were laughing and stuff because hello, Hindi and English… mutually unintelligible? Yeah juvenile, but after 15 minutes it was evident that he wasn’t going to stop talking anytime soon so we were like… *confused expressions*. And then and then, towards the end of his “speech” people were like chanting and cheering to the man’s speech. We had absolutely no idea what was going on and concluded that he’s.
So for those planning on going to the Taj Mahal sometime in the near future, TAKE THE TRAIN.
Anyway, away from the bus, life was a bit more… bearable. It was warmer in Agra than in Delhi for some reason, and there were more farm animals on the road than usual, and plenty of horse drawn carriages. We took a tuk tuk (more like shoved in there by the people from the bus), and went around the town before going to the Taj Mahal.
Horsies are hard at work.
Our first stop was Agra Fort‘s…. backyard. The fort was supposed to have a magnificent view of the Taj Mahal, which is only about 2 kms away. We weren’t really interested on this fort, but the driver of the tuk tuk insisted on educating us on what it is made of, when it was built, yada yada yada. Here’s a video of the fort by the way (also a glimpse of what Agra’s roads look like).
Yeah people in the middle of roads, no concept of sidewalk, carriageway, road-lines and stuff. However, I must add the situation is better there in Agra than in Delhi because the haze is not so intense.
Here are some more pictures of Agra.
Deals being made.
Kids train themselves to walk in the middle of roads early. Haha.
Ahhhh, my infatuation with tuk tuks.
Anyway, after the fort, we went to the Western Gate of the Taj Mahal. It looked like the Agra Fort, so initially, I thought the tuk tuk driver had actually brought us to the wrong place. Bimbo moment which I wasn’t very proud of.
No pictures of the outside since it didn’t feel very safe to whip out a camera then. Here is a visualisation: first you buy an entry ticket for RS750 (approximately BND$20 or so?), with which you get a bottle of mineral water and shoeshine (haha) for free. Indians however, go in with a RS20 Then you leave your bag, your phone, any food, knife, guns and whatever transmission devices you possess in a locked locker outside.
The only thing anyone was allowed to bring was their cameras, their passports and their wallets (money). They didn’t play with this rule because upon entry, everyone was scanned for any metal devices and such, with armed guards waiting nearby ready to expel unconforming visitors. Men stand on one line, and women on another.
I have never felt so many pairs of breasts (of different sizes and shapes) pressed against my body. Ever. Personal space? No such thing while standing in line to get into the Taj Mahal. What I did: I just clutched on to my belongings tightly and just followed the crowd, receiving friendly smiles from little Indian ladies also in the same line, and getting lost in a sea of uncomprehensible Indian dialects.
But lo, what greets us inside?
An enormous, ENORMOUS, red building which we entered…
The huge red building functions somewhat as a gate. As we entered, this marvellous sight greeted us.
Took the obligatory postcard picture. I now wonder how postcards have pictures ofthe Taj Mahal when it actually has no people. There is just so many people coming in and out everyday. Hmm. Anyway, the Taj Mahal had some repairwork done while we were there. Stars for anyone who can spot its “braces“.
Here is a video. 🙂
After that I didn’t take anymore pictures. Stunned really. I will see if my friend took any (and if he will upload it anytime in the near future hehehe).
However! The journey to the Taj Mahal is definitely worth it when you are in the vicinity. As of now… one down, six to go.