Monday, February 8, 2010

Agra - Taj Mahal and Other Agra Monuments

Taj Mahal!

We've been seeing it for 2 days now, and yes, it looks like the photos, but bigger. The inside is pretty too, with incredible floral inlays of semi-precious stones in marble. Nearly as impressive as the Taj were the red sandstone gates, red sandstone Mosque on to the left, and an identical building off to the right, just for symmetry. You should go at some point.

After seeing the Taj Mahal we ate breakfast at the wonderful Taj Café. Then we walked to Agra Fort, which is big, and red. Also worth seeing. But not much to say about it -- we've seen a lot of awesome architecture by now.

Continuing on foot, we walked to/through Kirani Bazaar. This must be where the locals shop, as there were almost no foreigners there, but a bazillion people. We bought shower sandals and a sari (red and gold) for Mary. It was really crowded. Some silly folk even tried to get through on motorcycles.

Next we crossed the river as part of a rather long walk to Itmud-Ud-Dauluh, which looks like a miniature Taj Mahal, hence the nickname Baby Taj. This tomb predates the Taj Mahal, and appears to have been its inspiration. The inlays were off less valuable materials, but arguably prettier, and more intricate. There was also a lot of nice painting inside. And we met a guy inside who was working on stone inlay repair work for the tomb.

Finally we walked to Chini-Ka-Rauza because it was close. This tomb was probably pretty amazing when it was new, with this great blue work which is now almost gone. But let's just say, we could tell why they don't charge an entrance fee. It wasn't really worth the walk.

And all that was on foot. We opted for a tuk-tuk home as we were around 8km from home. We got stuck with 2 co-pilots, strangely, who tried to extort a commission from the cafe we were going to (which we've been visiting regularly) over the phone. Just in case they got through we walked to the hotel and freshened up for 15 minutes first. Now we're eating dinner. Yum -- we missed lunch.

1 comment:

  1. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. This is an amazing trip.