Day 30 & 31 -Vrindavan and Agra
Trip Start Sep 27, 2012
20Trip End Nov 06, 2012
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The Mahabharata states that this is the town where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. He was born in a nearby town called Mathura.
This is a very religious place and this was obvious by the numerous little stalls that lined the streets selling small statues of Krishna. Unfortunately the town was not well looked after. There were monkeys and dogs that roamed the very narrow streets. It was very crowded with open sewers and the constant motorbikes made walking in the village difficult. W reached an old temple where we prayed. The priest who took us around was quite funny and insisted that we should laugh randomly in the place of god. He had the most awful teeth... I ached for my dental forceps to pull them all out for him! A pair of dentures would do him the world of good lol
All in all I had a slightly disturbing experience although felt privileged to walk the same ground as Krishna had apparently been brought up on.
Another long drive and we arrived in Agra...to see the monumental Taj Mahal!
On first impression I felt like I wasn't really there. The Taj Mahal is linked with India so intimately that I thought I was just looking at another picture of it. It was beautiful. Closer inspection however, showed a different perspective. The Taj Mahal was built in 1632 and completed in 1653. It was built as a memory to Mumtaz Mahal....the third wife if the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It shows a mixture of Hindu, Persian and Muslim architecture and once was adorned with gold and gems. It is rumoured that the hands of all the sculptors who created it were cut off after it was built so ensure the work could not be repeated elsewhere.
We stood in the incredibly crowded queue that goes into the main area inside and were constantly being pushed aside by people who all fought to get through the narrow doors. There were cracks in the walls and the tiles were coming off on the outside. The inside of the dome is a blur as all I remember is crowds of people and feeling claustrophobic. I stepped outside the dome and carefully looked at the structure built on the blood of so many people. A structure which is the pride of India and although the rest of the world respects it....Indians themselves do not seem to. The structure needs some restoration and the tourist board really needs to look at how to organise its viewings. Needless to say, I would not return here again unless someone I came with insisted in seeing it.