Taj Mahal and Fort Agra
We left for Agra today in the early morning fog of Delhi. Me, Neena, her aunt, uncle, cousin and a driver all piled into a van for our overnight road trip.
On the way, there was a checkpoint. It looked a little shady to me, with sellers on the side of the road and guys with wild monkeys on leashes, leading them to cars, trying to convince you to pay them for a photo… but Justav said this is a normal checkpoint here in India.
It was a beautiful ride to the Taj Mahal…
Two hours in, we all stopped for lunch at a rest stop.
Two hours later, we were there. Hans Raj hired us an English-speaking tour guide named Rom.
Rom took us through the gates, explaining that the Taj Mahal (which is a tomb) was constructed using lots of mathematics. He pointed out how everything is based on the numbers 4 or 8 because it’s an octogon. Amazing how the Indian people were able to build such a magnificent structure in the 1630s!!! In my first view of the Taj Mahal, it’s a little hard to see it because of the fog that day.
Inside, it was dark. Rom pointed out that the walls are made of semi-precious stones, which let light through. With his flashlight, he demonstrated how they sparkle wonderfully in the light.
We took lots of photos at the Taj Mahal, wandered around, joked a lot. I’m having so much fun with Neena’s family!
Saw some more free-roaming holy cows… very skinny in India!
After geting our fill of the Taj Mahal, we went to a place called Agra Fort. Obviously, a former military complex. The local monkeys have settled in, here.
We walked around a lot, and still we were only seeing one tiny portion of the Fort.
One thing I have to say about visiting these sites, they charge tourists ten times as much for entrance fees as they charge the locals! It turns out to be something like 3 dollars versus 30 cents, which isn’t all that bad, but as Neena pointed out, they really should put that money back into the town. She pointed out as we drove through that aside from the Taj Mahal Agra’s a dump! I agree with her that yeah, it would be nice if they could revamp the roads or bring in some social services or something for all the poor people who live nearby.
Anyway, after our long drive and seeing the two main sights in Agra, we drove to Jaipur where we spent the night. In many of the videos I mention “Rajthastan.” That’s the state. Agra and Jaipur are cities within that state.