December 23rd, 2009 – by: herman_munster
Taj Mahal - the most extravagant monument ever built for love.
So I left the horrendously thin wall hotel near the Train station leaving for Agra
. Departed at 6.30 and scheduled to arrive at 9.30 delayed to be 10.30. Prepaid autorickshaw at the trainstation helped a lot dealing with touts. So I checked in to Shanti Lodge not far from The Taj for 200 Rupess. Hot water by the bucket was not so strange anymore as I’ve been showering by them in Delhi. There were many water tap knobs but only few served its purpose.
After much negotiated and hard bargain I rented this autorickshaw for the whole Agra sighseeing comprising the must see list. Although I wasn’t too eager for Taj Mahal due to overcrowded tourists on most corner for shabby shots.
Face of India
Taj Mahal has become too touristy , for me seeing it infront of my very eye just suffice. Everyone's winding up about the same spot for picture perfect that it's become mundane. I could enjoyed it more if I had spared much time in Agra to choose an ideal time to visit it which would be in early morning. But I only had 1 full day - leaving early next morning. The rickshaw brought me to Chini-Ka-Rauza, a riverside tomb of Afzal Khan, a poet and high official in the court of Shah Jahan. Next stop was Itimad-ud-Daulah. The two sighs located across Yamuna River where Taj mahal and Agra Fort was on the opposite, the driver drove and dropped at the rear view of Taj Mahal. Back to southpart of Agra, I spent time abit at Agra Fort- a massive red-sandstone fort and palace.
Portrait of Slumdog Milionaire.
Didn’t get inside as time was much needed to relax before visiting the Taj.On the way back to hostel he stopped somewhere at the souvenir shop or his scam accomplish. Well not really, more like garment and leather footwear shop. Who’s going to buy that in Taj Mahal? I was never been interested in buying souvenir craft either.
I took a nap soon arriving back to the hotel and by 3.30pm I was in front of The Taj. December daylight reduced the ideal long hour sunset time. When I purchase the ticket 750 Rupess for foreigner
and 20 RUPEESS FOR INDIAN (!),
I should have acted smart lying my nationalities, been mistaken to be an Indian most of the time, I should have take advantage of that. The ticket counter didn’t even look at any ID. The day started to get darker and along queuing to get inside made it impossible for me to take a look in detail how this extravagant columnless monument ever built.Didn’t get to see the Mumtaz Mahal Tomb inside. So in the end 750 rupess just for the Taj panoramic view with a bit less than 1 ½ hour time spent.