Day 5 Agra

Trip Start Feb 08, 2013
Trip End Mar 01, 2013

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Flag of India  , Uttar Pradesh,
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 5 Agra
Its now about 4 pm and Mick and I are relaxing at the poolside. We have just returned from seeing the Taj Mahal, The Agra Fort and Itmad -Ud-Daula (Baby Taj).
This time our guide was an older somewhat bossy chap called Taron. He fancies himself as a bit of a photographer as well so we had to stand in countless poses! It felt like it was our wedding day again!
Well - what can we say about the Taj Mahal? Amazing, Beautiful, Marvellous, Stunning, Awesome, Incredible - we just ran out of adjectives! So exciting to see one of the wonders of the modern world for ourselves.
I remember some of the facts about it - it took 20,000 men 22 years of working 24 hours a day to build it. Commissioned by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. She died giving birth to their 14th child at age 38. Its all unbelievably symmetrical with her tomb at the very centre - his is larger and has been placed beside it. When you get up close you see the intricate marble carving and that it is inlaid with semi precious stones such as lapis lazuli, mother of pearl, onyx, malachite etc.
It really does take your breath away - and although there were lots of people it really didn't feel too crowded.
We then had a personal guided tour around the Agra fort. Built by the 3rd Moghul Emporer - its what the Red fort at Delhi was modelled on. We saw the palaces inside for the Emporer and his daughters, The Hall of Public audiences; The bit where they watched dancing (with thick carpets and silk curtains in those days) and the place where poor Shah Jahan was kept under house arrest until his death. He was able to gaze across at the Taj Mahal where his wife was buried but wasn't allowed to go there - this was because his son decided he wanted to be Emporer so killed a few siblings and arrested his father! Poor Shah Jahan!
We also visited another exquisite mausoleum - built by the Empress Nur Jahan for her father in 1628. Much smaller in scale than the Taj Mahal but similar in style and absolutely covered with intricate inlay detail.
Incidentally the British have a lot to answer for - they removed all the Gold from the domes of these buildings and replaced with brass, in fact they whipped quite a few things!
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andrea mukhtar on

Lovely photos of the taj , the architecture and yourselves . Nice clear blue sky what is the temp like? The locals could be Pakistani people on the big map it is not far away.

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