The Taj

Agra Travel Blog

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If you travel to the Taj Mahal you’ll find that you can only drive or take a taxi to about a mile from the entrance of the outer most wall. Here you will find a parking lot and then you can either walk, pay one of the locals for a ride on a bike, or there’s a city owned electric bus which goes from the parking lot to the gate. Our tour guide at the time (we had a different tour guide everyday, which was included in our price, that accompanied us to our tourist destinations. He/She was great because through them we were able to talk to our driver) told us that he recommended we take the bus. It was cheap (about 1 rupee and probably the safest thing to do. Also he said once we got off the bus to keep a good hold on our money and valuables as there were swarms of pick pockets on that small strip. When we finally got inside, it was raining unfortunately but at least it was off and on. Even in the rain words can not describe how amazing it was to be standing there. Once we got back to the driver we spoke through our tour guide and arranged for the driver to pick us up earlier to take us back to the Taj in the morning. We had a few more stops and went to dinner. After dinner we decided to walk across the street of the hotel to a mall. We walked around the mall for a bit and went into an arcade. It was very interesting because the two guys working at the arcade basically followed us around. We attempted to play Time Crisis and unfortunately one of the guns wasn’t functioning. So we moved on, and next thing I know the one guy working was trying to fix it. We went and played some other game which you toss these balls into a bucket. We started I think with about 2 balls but minutes into the game the guy was behind the machine throwing more balls up over the top so we could use them. I must say in the hour we spent in the arcade we had so much fun.


So it the morning, our driver picked us up at about 6:30am. (He was always on earlier then we told him to meet us) He took us to the place where we were to get the electric bus and parked the car. We got out and walked the bus. Of course by this time we were getting approached by so many people offering a bike ride to the Taj. We did our best to ignore them and went right for the bus. We got on but the bus was not running yet. We waited for awhile and had more and more people poking their heads into the bus, tapping on the windows, and doing everything they could to get us back off the bus and onto one of their bikes, saying the bus wasn’t running, it’s going to be a long wait, etc. Finally we got off and started walking. It wasn’t very far and would only be able a 10-15 minute walk. Of course we had a mob of people following us still doing their best to get us to pay for their ride to the Taj. We were off the bus no longer then 5 minutes and soon the bus pulls up along side us and off jumps our driver, motioning for us to get on. We were the only ones on the bus so somehow he found the driver for us and got him to come get us. That was the second he miraculously saved us. The Taj this time was in perfect weather and somehow seemed even more incredible then the day before. I got some amazing pictures with a beautiful blue sky. The only thing that could have made a prefect opportunity somehow better would have been if the reflecting pool was filled. But that just gives me a reason to go back.

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photo by: rotorhead85