My Date With Taj
Agra Travel Blog› entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
After having such a great time in Jaipur, it was time to leave for Agra. This was the last city that we would visit to complete our Golden Triangle trip. It was another 5 hours journey, and man, the road to Agra from Jaipur was a lot worse than the road from Delhi to Jaipur. I was sleeping at the start of the trip and then I was awaken with the constant rocking, Santosh was driving like mad, and he sang louder today. After few days in India, the sight of elephant, camel and other livestock on the road was nothing but normal. The stretch from Jaipur to Agra was where I experienced India driving at its best • its mantra • “Good horn, good brakes and good luck”.
It is quite noticable the change of people’s clothes from Rajasthan state to Uttar Pradesh (where Agra is). Most people in Uttar Pradesh wear something islamic but one can still see colorful saris. Before heading to Agra, we passed by Fatehpur Sikri. It used to be the political capital of the Mughal Empire. However, Eventually, it is believed that water sources dried up and the fort had to be abandoned. The three of us were a bit drowsy and when we were informed that we have to leave our shoes outside, we decided not to get inside the complex of the fort. It is something I regret now.
After Fatehpur Sikri, we headed to Agra. Once there, Santosh, our forever cheerful guide started to make fun of the place. He said Agra is one big mental hospital because the place is but crazy, the people, the traffic, the animals on the street.
After checking in to the hotel, we had our quick lunch at 3 PM . Then we headed to Agra Fort. Oh dear, I love this place! It is another World Heritage Site. From Agra Fort, one can already see the Taj Mahal… like a mirage, it looks so beautiful even from afar. After the fort visit, we didn’t go to Taj. It was a Friday, Taj is closed for the public. We went to mable shops instead. I bought the small Tajs as souviniers. Then we asked Santosh to drive us to some market where we can buy the “normal” stuffs. I ended buying three books: Life of Gandhi, Secret Life of Jesus and Rough Guide Rajasthan. After buying stuffs, we asked Santosh to join us for a round of their local beer.
We were up early in the morning. Our driver asked a friend of him to fix the saris of my friends. That was incredibly nice of Santosh. He was really not just our driver on this trip, he was more than a driver. Just having a quick bite of some noodles, we headed to Taj Mahal. And when we saw her, she was just simply breath-taking. We spent some hours there, enjoying every corner of the Taj, loving every stories told about her. Another thing that I enjoyed here was my interaction with the locals. At around 10, we left Agra. When we were on our way back to our hotel, it was when we realized that we were hungry and how surreal the experience of seeing Taj Mahal. Another tick to my To Do’s list.
After packing, we headed to Delhi to catch our early morning flight the following day.