Revisiting the President, Fakra sikri and The Taj.
Bharatpur Travel Blog› entry 5 of 13 › view all entries
March 2nd 1990
Visiting the President again, Fakra-Sikri, ghost city, and The Taj.
Had an excellent nights sleep woke feeling much better, and was up at dawn leaning over the balcony enjoying the freshness and the view, when I became aware I was looking directly into our tour bus and the spectacle of the two drivers, who always wore western clothes during the day, lying curled up on the floor of the bus all wrapped up in their sari’s, they in turn were looking up at the spectacle of the western lady standing in her pink frilly shortie nightie! Oops!
Discovered that there was no hot water for a shower, this happens quite often in India either no hot water or no electricity or both, but we were getting quite used to it.
The next-door building to Bharatpur Palace, I have found is the President of India’s Summer Palace and what’s more he is in residence at this moment, the flag is flying. (Remember I 'visited' him in New Delhi at his city palace!)
I decide to visit him again!
There was a strong fence around his Palace but nothing that could keep an active keen Kiwi out, so I gave my camera to Dave and Sharon and climbed through the fence. I could see a nice little garden seat not too far in from the fence, the idea was I would run fast, to the seat sit down have photo taken, and run just as fast out again. There were Palace guards with guns protecting the President just as there had been in New Delhi, but I banked on being fast enough for them not to notice me.
After that little adventure I enjoyed my breakfast very much. I find that Julie has come down sickly and so have several others, maybe I was the lucky one not eating any dinner last night.
Lots of the group were looking quite seedy on the bus we went rather quietly to Fakra-Sikri a Ghost city built in 1585 by a Mughal Emperor who didn’t think about where he was going to find water for the people of the city before he built this impressive set of buildings. No water was found so no one ever really lived in this city for long. The major problem for us was the enormous number of hawkers and the difficulty in pushing your way through them.
The bus took us out to Agra Fort where we fought off more hawkers and beggars to the extent we hardly saw the fort, then on to a lovely Bazaar, we all enjoy these bazaars, and bargain and haggle for lots of little souvenirs. I have decided to bring back about 20 - 30 small carved wooden elephants for my work mates and all my family and friends, and some marble ones for me, I won’t buy them all in one place so I can have lots of fun haggling and bargaining in lots of different places, in every place I get them very cheaply, about 20 • 50cents my money! I am getting extremely good at bargaining. But this wasn’t getting us to the Taj…..
We are all keyed up waiting to go to the main event • the Taj Mahal.
We arrived to see the Taj in bright beautiful sunshine and waited there until sunset to view the taj in glowing sunset colours. We were not disappointed.
It’s so big, so stately, so majestic, so lovely; so ethereal, so perfect, what more can I say. Took heaps of photos, oh yes I was very impressed.
Really, I just sat myself down on the steps and gazed in awe at the snowy white marble that looked almost transparent in the sunshine and almost opalescent pink in the sunset. Built for the love of a lady and the love shines out of it.
There I stayed for at least an hour, without talking; we were all the same, before wandering down the pathway to go inside the building, it was still impressive close up, but inside there were two big sarcophagus tombs, not the most exciting things in the world, also there were marble screens all carved like mesh, quite delicately.
I marvelled that I could ever have managed to get here, who would have dreamt that I would touch the Taj Mahal! I said a quiet prayer in gratitude for those who had helped make this trip possible.
Back to the hotel where I dined with Caroline an English nurse, Sandy, Sharon, Dave and John, on the usual Indian fare of curry, soon Fiona and Cynthia joined us for coffee and we sat and talked the night away. Eventually Eric joined us too, he had been back to see the Taj by moonlight, but there wasn't a lot of moon.When back in our room Julie and I sat together and wrote out about a dozen postcards each to send home, all with various pictures of the Taj on them.