Thursday, August 16, 2012

Agra Wonders

I have just been through a Very Peculiar Week. On Friday we set off to Agra where Taj Mahal the 8th Wonder of the World (according to my coursemates). We took a train and I entertained myself taking pictures out of the window by a few stations.

Cows are everywhere of course...

When we arrived we had dinner on one of the famous roof-top restaurants of Taj Ganj the cheap backpacker area.

A blurry view of the street just before the rain caused another power-cut.

Sweet Hani our waiter who joined our conversation with Ralph another traveller. Don't worry by the way - I didn't let him touch me that intimatedly...

It's 5.30 am - and we're ready for Taj Mahal! I'm sure it's only because Ralph made us promise we'd manage to be ready at this early hour that we actually managed. There was really something beautiful in the air that time of day.

As a symbol of love the myth goes that when you go as a single, you will some day return with the love of your life.

We met a young boy, around 12 years is my guess, dressed in long ironed trousers, probably the best his money can afford, a polo t-shirt and well-combed hair. He initially introduced a few good angles from this platform, but suddenly we found ourselves in the most peculiar places looking for symbols on the ground to stand on for the very best pictures. Just in time to seek shield from the rain we said goodbye to our brisk little photographer.

From inside the mausoleum, looking through the intricate marble works.

After breakfast we planned to go to 'Baby Taj' - Itimad-ud-Daulah which is across a massive bridge. Our rickshaw cyclist was an old strained man with a beautiful smile. It's difficult to just sit there accepting that someone else, so much weaker than oneself is trying to transport you on a bike. Fortunately our man below was quick to suggest we jumped out whenever we were going to go uphill. He also let us walk ahead when the bridge traffic completely shut off. It was actually super interesting suddenly walking on the ground in the midst of heavy traffic, queuing like everyone else to get ahead. I also had much better time to look around.

Baby Taj is beautiful. It's in a way more comprehensible.

After a few hours trying to get back over that bridge, we finally reached the Agra Fort. A beautiful massive construction which encapsulates several temples or mosques (depending on when they were added and by which emperor) all part of the palace within. It's such a fantastic view from the balconies across the Yamuna River over to Taj Mahal. 

We finished off the Saturday with a little bite and mango lassi on our hotel rooftop. That was the end to our lovely times in Agra. At 2am I woke up from sweating and all night I kept feeling bad until around 8-10 am (I have no idea) when Samantha had the hotel arrange for a motorcycle to transport me to the hospital.

4 days passed slowly in this room. I had contracted an e coli infection and with bad dehydration I needed IV and all sorts of tests done.

Driving on the new expressway back to Delhi yesterday. The landscape is incredible.

No comments:

Post a Comment