Agra Day 2
Trip Start Nov 27, 2010
16Trip End Dec 18, 2010
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The Taj turned out to be so much better than we'd expected, it is simply stunning, especially at sunrise, when the colour of the building gradually changes as the first rays of the sun hit it. I ended up getting hijacked by a guy who, attracted by my camera, firstly offered to take our photo and then gradually revealed himself as a photographers guide to the Taj, whisking us round the entire place at lightening speed to all the 'best' places to take photos, as the sun quickly rose over the site, in return of course for rupees
Once he was gone, we were able to slow down a whole lot and stroll round the place for another hour or so and simply take it all in - you really have to see it in person to understand just how stunning it is, I realised that I'd only really ever seen the standard front-on photo of the place but it's far more than that and you only really get a sense of scale close up. It was also really good to go when it was (relatively) quiet as I'm sure it gets a whole load busier during the rest of the day.
So wonder of the world visited, we then went back to the hotel for a shower and breakfast before heading out with our drivers to Fatehpur Sikri, although they did sneakily take us there via a visit to see 'local craftsmen', a marble place that handily had a shop! Anyway whilst their skills were amazing, the end result was just chintz city as far as I was concerned so I just looked disinterested for about 10 minutes and they let us go, rather than wasting any more of their time or mine!
So next we headed out to Fatehpur Sikri, which is a complex of royal palaces and a mosque about 40KM away from Agra
Anyway we managed to get shut of him and carried on looking at the mosque, which was amazing but as it was free entry we were still mithered majorly in there by all the locals and it took the shine off a bit. Only when we went into the separate paid entry section of palaces next door did it feel calm and quiet and it was a nice place to wander round in peace.
So tour completed, we jumped back in the Sooty van and headed back, the guys dropped us at a lovely restaurant on the way back which overlooked fields and we could see the farmers out and about and the women carrying massive loads of branches on their heads
We finished off the day by visiting Itmad-ud-Daula's Tomb in Agra, better know as the 'Baby Taj' which was a nice quiet place and a good spot to see at sunset. It also had loads of monkeys wandering round which looked nice and cute initially until once tried to attack me for getting to close when taking photographs of another one! Vanessa was chased too so we called it a day and headed off just as they were closing, back to the hotel ready for the next day's trip to Jaipur.