January 16, 2017

India Day 16 – Agra

Filed under: Trips — pearsey @ 7:26 pm
Tags: , , ,


The train was late arriving, so we didn’t get in until about 9.30ish. That wasn’t too much of a problem except that we only essentially 24 hours in Agra, so it was going to be tight to fit in a few things to see. The train was another interesting journey – this time we were sharing a little cabin area with a young Indian guy who offered us his wifi and nicely turned his mobile into a hotspot for us. He also spoke a little English so he was happy to have a chat. We did the right thing and gathered our rubbish and put it all in a bag. We took it to the attendant, who, when seeing the bin was full, promptly tossed it out the window. Alongside the tracks is a parallel track of rubbish, it all just gets tossed out the window/door.

Train to Agra

Train to Agra

Once we go to our hotel and checked in, some of us decided to use the pool, but most of us headed to the red fort and were guided around by a local guide. I learnt a few cool things, all of which escape me now. One thing I can remember though, was that if they were invaded, they poured boiling oil down the front fort ramp. The guy, I presume the king, had 3 wives, a Christian, Muslim and hindu and some of the fort carving designs reflect the three religions.
From the fort you can see the Taj Mahal.

Agra Fort Entrance

Agra Fort Entrance

The fort is very impressive, especially when you consider they built it hundreds of years ago without machines.
After the fort there was time for a quick late lunch before heading to the taj mahal. I headed round the corner to Pizza Hut, where the staff broke into a couple of choreographed dances to entertain the customers.

Customer Service Dance, Pizza Hut Agra

Customer Service Dance, Pizza Hut Agra

The gates leading into the Taj Mahal are impressive and so are the security measures and queues.
There are gardens all around the taj and leading up to it, and are all well kept.
The queues to get into the actual Taj Mahal were enormous for Indians. It went around the base, then back around the court area when you’re actually on it. As foreigners we pay more for a ticket, so we get to go to the front of the queue. Saves hours!

High value ticket holders that way!

High value ticket holders that way!

Inside the actual Taj Mahal tomb area, it’s dark and there’s a couple of headstones. You file around it, or more accurately, are pushed around it by the Indians, and then you leave. Good thing it actually looks good outside otherwise it would be a waste of time! The forecourt of the tomb area and inside the tomb is made of marble and everyone wears shoe covers to protect it. You’re given shoe covers right back at the start when you get your tickets, so you need to keep them safe on the golf buggy to the complex, through the security gates and gardens and finally up to the entrance of the area! Don’t lose them or you might encounter the wrath of the security guard as you end up trying to steal a used one from the pile on the other side of the fence!

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

When I was there they were doing up one of the marinet’s and part of one side of it, so there was scaffold around some sections. The sun brought a golden glow over the mosques as the sun set on another day in India.

Sunset, Taj Mahal

Sunset, Taj Mahal

We managed to find a quiet place nearby, away from the crowds, but it was perfectly aligned with one of the marinets, so one was perfectly hidden, providing some odd looking photos. The marinets are also built at an angle of 95 degrees so if there’s an earthquake and they fall, they’ll fall outside, not on to the main area.

And then there were two. It just doesn't look right.

And then there were two. It just doesn’t look right.

After that we went to a restaurant where I had butter chicken which Agra is supposedly famous for. Tasted no different to the one in Delhi.


1 Comment »

  1. Yep, remembered the day I went till today!
    Back in the day, it was a long and bumpy drive from New Delhi!

    Comment by Mel & Suan — January 17, 2017 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

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