Day 5 – Agra – December 3rd, 2017
Shailesh, my host, was generous at breakfast in asking if I wanted to go to the Taj with him. I obliged. He is a tour guide as well as being a restaurant owner. He pretty much knew everyone around the Taj so that was very helpful. With a quick walk past the main gate and a few pointers, I was left to be. By the way, breakfast was awesome as well! What can I say, you have to see the Taj for your self. Breathtaking it is, marvellous it is, stunning it is, gorgeous it is, etc etc. You really need to take your time and just take it in all in while taking as many pictures as possible. I can’t imagine how they built this structure with such symmetry, geometry, and skill back in the 1600s without modern technology. It just goes to show that technology isn’t everything and it’s about what the mind can conquer. One tip of advice; go early in the morning in order to beat the LONG queue and the crowds. Take time to see the other two buildings as well (the Guest House and the Masjid). They both are excellent and picture-worthy! Take time to walk around the edges of the garden. There are many trees that are identified with labels, and it’s peaceful.
I met up with Shailesh a couple hours later. He took me to his restaurant, called Taj Restaurant. I needed a Beer and so I had one. With my thirst satisfied, I head over to Agra Fort. Take time and walk through for you will have some awesome views of the Taj, not to mention the Fort itself. Most of the rooms are very ornate with detail and carvings, inlaid stones and awesome carvings. Then again, a lot of the monuments that I’ve seen so far are just that. Tomb of I’timad-ud-Daulah or more commonly known as Baby Taj was the third stop. The main tomb is small and the gardens are plush green. It feels like you’re in an orchard. As you walk towards the end you reach a wall with the Yamuna behind it. Kids playing below and cows strolling across grazing is just a normal part of everyday life along the river. There are no worries. The fourth and final stop was the Black Taj Mahal. Although there is no real building it was the foundation or was supposed to be a mirror image of the Taj but for Shah Jahan himself. What you get instead is a view of the Taj and the surrounding guest house and mosque across the Yamuna River. This was a quiet place as well; not hectic and there were not many people. You again have a pretty great view of the Taj which makes it worthwhile to visit. I think two days in Agra is plenty to get the main attractions in. There was a bit more I would have liked to see but take your pick. I’ll save it for next time. Back at the house I had time to relax with a Fosters! A yummy dinner followed.