Magical Taj

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
Taj Hotel

Flag of India  , Uttar Pradesh,
Sunday, September 26, 2010

Unlike other monuments or natural wonders that are over advertised or pictures of which you have seen far too often the Taj Mahal actually is magnificent. It is raised up on a platform with only the sky for a back drop and is so white that it looks otherworldly and unreal.  Unlike other Indian temples or mausoleums we have seen which, in their day would have had mini rivers or water features within heir grounds the Taj still does, enhancing its beauty.  If that weren't enough, it sits within a complex of other buildings which on their own would be amazing buildings but as ...... to the Taj make it an awesome sight when you walk in. Its almost disappointing that there isn't any intricate historical significance behind it and its merely a mausoleum for some not particularly awe-inspiring King's wife! 

Unfortunately our own experience of visiting the Taj was slightly less magical than the Taj itself.  Waking up at 5am is no easy feat for either of us, but we did it in order to make sunrise.  We got to the ticket counter before it opened - first in line - and were second in the queue to get in (some people with a guide had got there first whilst he went to get the ticket the cheeky you-know-whats!). We then stood in the queue for 20 minutes, watching the sunrise over some less amazing buildings before they finally let us in.  Unfortunately when i got to the bag check the jobs worthy female security guard decided that girls aren't allowed to take rucksacks in, only small bags and tried to send me back to the bag lockers! As you can probably imagine i didn't take this lying down and i made a bit of a fuss, which only caused them to decide men couldn't have rucksacks either and i got a few other people sent back too (including Kevin)!  However it didn't ruin the day too much and just gave us something to laugh about when an hour later everyone was wandering around with massive rucksacks!

That evening we went for a few beers on top of one of the hotels south
of the Taj and sat there watching the sun go down with the most amazing
view. When the call to prayer rang out from the mosques at about 6
o'clock it was a pretty surreal experience.

We also visited Agra Fort, the Baby Taj and a couple of other sites around Agra and there are some pictures loaded with this entry.

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