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Agra and The Taj Mahal

Jan 23, 2014 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

Back to India (sadly, not physically), and to a freezing cold train from Delhi to Agra. Seriously, if you ever take this journey during the winter, wrap up warmly. My two layers were not enough and the journey, although only 2 hours, was miserable. It wasn’t helped by the thick fog preventing us from seeing anything from the train.

Upon arrival in Agra, we checked into our hotel, that had the same song playing on repeat all day (Right here waiting for you by Richard Marx incase you were wondering). Luckily the fog was starting to lift, so we headed straight to the Taj Mahal to see it in the sunshine.

I have to say, despite the crowds, it is spectacular.

We were also there with the Google Maps men. They were literally walking up and back recording images of the Taj Mahal and surrounding gardens. We might have tried to be in a few shots!!

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum, built by the emperor Shah Jahan for his third wife, Mumtaz Muhal. Everything in the Taj and its gardens is symmetrical, except for the two tombs inside. Mumtaz is positioned centrally, with Shah Jahan to the left.

The Taj built entirely of white marble, and decorated with arabic designs and text from the Q’ran, created by precious gems set in the marble. The intricate work is amazing- they even wrote the text in different sizes so that it appeared the same size to those reading from the ground.

That afternoon, we took a trip around Agra Fort with our tour guide. If you visit Agra, I highly recommend getting a guide to take you around, we didn’t have to queue for tickets for the Taj or Fort as he’d already collected them, and he was incredibly knowledgeable about the history and area.

Interesting fact- the entrance to the Fort is a twisted path on an incline to armoured doors to try to make it harder to enter by those invading on elephant or foot!

The Fort is a walled city, built by the Murghals, featuring a mixture of Hindu and Islamic design. There was an amazing view of the Taj down the river from the fort. The white of the Taj and red stone of the Fort looked even more impressive outlined on the bright blue sky. Apparently the Taj appears as different colours throughout the day and during the four seasons. Sadly the fog prevented us from seeing the Taj during sunrise/sunset. I still took about 8000 times this number of pictures of the Taj and Fort but I won’t bore you with all of them on here! (Even Tom asked me to edit them down before showing him!) 

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