Taj Mahal

Trip Start Mar 09, 2006
Trip End Mar 28, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Wednesday, March 22, 2006

This morning we woke up at 5:30 to try and catch the sunrise at the Taj. Our hotel was only a short walk from the from eastern gate so we figured it would be easy to get there before the gates opened at 6:00 am. Despite the gates of the Taj being open the gate to our hotel was not open and so we had to jump the fence.

Now before coming to India we had talked to Joe about the whole sunrise thing and he had said that he was able to get into the Taj before the sun was up and that he was pretty much the only person there. So you can imagine our surprise when there is a pretty long line to get into the Taj and it was only 5:45. Needless to say we didn't really get to see the Taj until around 6:30 and by then the sun was already up so we figured we had missed our chance at seeing the Taj turn a red color. Again we were wrong though and after about an hour the eastern side of the Taj began to change colors. I took a bunch of pictures so you can see what I am talking about.

The Taj itself is an amazing site to see. Viewing the Taj from a distance doesn't begin to prepare you for how large it is. It isn't until you get up right next to it that you realize the sheer size of the building and all of it just for one tomb.

We spent a couple of hours just walking around and at one point I was almost attacked by a group of monkeys (and if you were wondering I am exaggerating). Rachel and I were walking around the main platform and a very large (at least to me it was large) group of monkeys started coming towards us. I of course stopped to take a picture but Rachel kept walking. When I finished with my picture I noticed that a dog had decided to antagonize the monkeys and one of the males decided he was having none of it and so jumped to scare the dog away. After the dog ran away I figured the monkey would join the others on the fence and I would be able to continue walking by. The monkey however decided to sit right in the path I wanted to take and I of course was not going to walk by a pissed off monkey so I was stuck until he decided to move on. Let me just point out that at no point during this ordeal did Rachel even turn around to see how I was doing or if I was still following her. I see now what kind of friend she is ;).

After the Taj we had to catch a train back to Delhi, a plane to Ahmedabad and then a bus to Baroda. Everything we had to do was already planned and booked except the bus to Baroda. Between the train and the plane we did have some time to walk about Delhi so we hung out in Puharganj and bought some saris for the wedding. As for the bus we got really lucky and there was one leaving right when we got to the bus station and it wasn't full yet.

When we got to Baroda we went directly to the hotel. Now I know how for a little extra money you could probably travel in style in India. The hotel we were staying in was really nice (compared to the other places we had stayed) and it wasn't that much more than we were paying elsewhere. Anyway, once we got in we showered and had dinner in the hotel. The food was amazing and we couldn't even begin to finish it all. The rest of the night was pretty much spent trying to learn to put on the saris and at one point Amol stopped in to say hi.
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