Agra and the Taj Mahal

We were up at 5.15 to get to the Taj before the crowds.  If you do go don’t bring a large bag, or cigarettes, or lighters, because you will hold EVERYONE up at security.  (This means YOU, Italian tour group.)

The entry for foreigners is R750, but this was included in our tour fee.  It was cloudy so we didn’t have a sunrise over the Taj.  Never mind.

The entranceway

We had a 20min spiel from the guide, with everyone becoming progressively more impatient to go off and take photos.

Special angle to avoid crowds in shot

To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed.  The interior is all inlaid marble, and out the back you can look at a river now covered in scunge.

You don’t miss much from the cliche postcard shot, except these side buildings.

There are quite a few of the incredibly cute squirrels wandering about here.

It seemed like it was compulsory to have some sort of religious experience here, but I was unaffected.  It wasn’t as good as the Rajpath.

About 10am we moved on to the Red Fort.  This was occupied by the chap that built the Taj.

This is much more impressive than the one in Delhi.  We were given a toothless 80-year-old guide and shown inside.

Inside the residence

View from the verandah

The central section was filled with tigers, snakes, etc, to deter Jehovah's Witnesses

 

Interior decoration and restoration.

 

Private mall

 

Private mosque

 

Maharaja's audience area, and grave of one of the governors of the North West Province

From here we went to the ‘Baby Taj’.

Mausoleum of the grandfather of Mumtajmahal

After this everyone was quite unavailable.  It was still only 11.30 so we returned to the hotel.  I went wandering in the local area, eating from stalls, then found an internet place.  About 4 hours later the stall food decided to take revenge and that didn’t finish for the next 48 hours.

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