Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Travelogue: Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Of course, it is not all sad in India. We took a long and excruciating 5 hour bus ride (with only one toilet stop if you're lucky) to see one of the Wonders of the World - the mighty Taj Mahal. If you don't know what exactly is the Taj Mahal, it is actually a mausoleum and a symbol of love, built by the Mughal king in 1632 for his queen (Mumtaj Mahal) who died in childbirth. The monument is constructed with marble and decorated with semi-precious stones (many are removed by now) but you can still see some leftovers on the white marble dome, glistening in the sunlight. This wonder is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh state, and nearby is the Agra Fort which we also visited. 

Weather: Winter, 17C and sunny (perfect weather for walking outside!)
Time difference: 2 and half hours behind Malaysian time
Accommodation: None, took a bus here from our hotel in Gurgaon, Delhi.

A trip to India is incomplete without a sight of a snake charmer.

The Gate to Taj Mahal

The beautiful Taj Mahal

This lady posted a video on youtube which caught my classmate dancing on camera...and a glimpse of me as well! Her baby, Emperor, is only 5 weeks old!
Here's the video if you're interested.

Those eagles just love circling the dome...and here you can see the amount of people trying to get into the mausoleum. 

We were given booties to cover our shoes because no shoes are allowed inside. The locals usually prefer to go barefooted so be prepared for some not so pleasant scents inside...

The carvings on the marble. Apparently there used to be semi-precious stones on the coloured parts. 

No photography allowed inside the mausoleum hence this blurry "illegal" picture. This is a replica of the real tomb, the real tomb is hidden beneath. 

The river behind the Taj which is drying up and causing the minarets to tilt...

Spotted an Indian girl in her traditional outfit

A tired camel.

The entrance to Agra Fort

More eagles!

There are a lot of monkeys in here..

View of Taj Mahal from Agra Fort

One of my faves :)

I found baby breathes! 

...and squirrels! 

Hope you learnt more about Agra today! Unfortunately, after looking at two beautiful places..its back to the ugly sad truth of India's reality. Off we went on another excruciating long 5 hour journey back to our hotel tucked far away in the rural areas of Gurgaon....what happened after that was nothing short of horror stories and hospitals. Till my next post =) 

Edited 7/10/13: Watch this beautiful documentary of the history and love story behind Taj Mahal here

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