Home of the Taj Mahal

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
Trip End Sep 05, 2007

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Flag of India  ,
Sunday, April 16, 2006

We absolutly loved Delhi, its such an amazing city, so diverse,and so much to see. Delhi is everything you imagine India to be about - its the heart and soul of the whole country.

We visited Old Delhi and went to the amazing Sandstone structure - the Red Fort - it was spectacular, as you entered the Fort through the magnificent Lahore Gate, and through a shopping bazaar, you come to a multitude of buildings - Royal Baths, Mosque, and various building that the emperor would have used, there are beautiful leafy areas and lawns - sometimes we had to slap ourselves to remember that we were in the same city!

After visiting the Red Fort, we took a tuk tuk (the mode of transport to use when in India!) which manouvered its way at the usual Indian fast and furious rate through the chaos that is Delhi.
He dropped us at the entrance to Paraganj main bazaar - the area in which we were staying, we wandered through the street - or should I say dodged - thats dodging the cows, dogs, spit, tuktuk, rickshaws, horse and carts, cow and carts etc etc...
We did a spot of shopping at the ever so cheap stalls and went back to our hotel - also known as the prison cell!!!

This morning we left early, our train was departing New Delhi train station at 6am, so we were up and out by 5.15am, it was still dark and there wasnt a huge amount of people about, but there were still people asking us the whole walk to the train station if we wanted a tuktuk, rickshaw, water, food etc etc!!! There were also the cows, rolling around in their natural Indian habitat - the rubbish on the streets of the capital city!

Our train was so posh!! It actuall left on time (the first of all the trains we have caught so far!), we had nice comfy seats in an air con carriage and we were served tea and coffee, bottled water, newspapers, and breakfast at our seat!

When we arrived in Agra Cantt train station after a short 2 hour journey south of Delhi we had arranged in advance to be met and taken to our budget hotel. We hate booking in advance, but this place is always full, mainly due to its spectacular Taj views and its proximity to it. We wizzed through the city of Agra and arrived at our hotel, we went up to see our room, which we had requested with a Taj View.

It wasnt like looking out of a window, it was like looking at a picture perfect postcard, right in front of our window, over the rooftops of the other buildings, over the hoardes of monkeys we later watched from the rooftop terrace - was the magnificent Taj Mahal - we couldnt believe that we were looking at it for real, something which you look at in books your whole life and then all of a sudden there it is - right in front of you...standing high with only sky in its background - its everything its said to be and more - just stunning!

Our room is large, and we are being a bit posh, what with our air con and tv, not to mention the views! But maybe we just feel like that because we just got out of our prison cell in Delhi!!! No really, its really nice!!

We are here for 4 days, in which time we intend to see Agra Fort, the Taj and the baby Taj.


Ali and Matt
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cristeeen on

a life's dream....
Hi Ali and Matt. I too admire your attitude about India, positive and refreshing. I also wondered if you stayed at the Shanti Lodge? Perhaps not, your accom sounded a little too grand!

I rose at 5 on Christmas morning 2007 and walked the few 100 yards from the Sheela Hotel, a good, basic, very accommodating place, to the Taj. With tears, in the moonlight, I had come to say goodbye to this majestic monument. Only the day before I had said hello, having taken in the wonder, the architecture, the breathtaking beauty, so many photographs... Well you know, you have been there. It was a lifetimes's dream for me, come true at 62 years of age. My Taj, My India, I love them to bits

alinmattrtw2005 on

Thank you :)

I am the first to admit that India can be very tiering, but we could look over the poverty and rubbish to the postives quite easily. We did indeed stay in the Shanti Lodge, which is a budget hotel, but is in an excellent location, with super views and offers the little luxuries that I spoke about in my blog in some of their rooms.

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