Friday, 18 May 2012

Agra - Taj Mahal

We decided that Agra would be a good spot to end our jaunt around Rajasthan. The Taj Mahal is one of the most inconic structures in the world and we definitely needed to see it!! We got the sleeper train from Bundi to Agra, not the greatest sleep in the world but we got to meet some nice India people without the fear of being killed in a road accident!

Agra is not a nice city at all. It baffles me that it is home to one of the seven wonders of the world and yet the city and the area surrounding the Taj is one of the filthiest places we have seen during our time in India. There is huge concern for the future of the Taj as pollution is taking it's toll on the structure, but with 5 million people in this city, you can imagine the smog and pollutants in the air.

Anyway, we battled our way through the hordes of vendors trying to sell us their tack and entered the Taj grounds. As we were approaching the gate a family stopped me and asked if they could have their picture taken with me. I agreed and as they walked away another family was already queing up. After standing with five different families I told the group waiting before me that I had to leave now! The Indian's are hilarious! They LOVE having their photo taken with westerners....even if they are by one of the seven wonders of the world!!

As we walked to the gate we caught our first glimpse of the Taj. It was pure magic...

The size of the building is colossal and the symmetry is so perfect it gave me the creeps!!!! It was definitely a special experience standing before the giant marble structure.

people like ants they were, look at the size of the thing!!!!

LOTS of people/ants!
verses from the Koran inscribed beautifully into the marble work

We tried to get a picture of us together, not really one for the cheesy tourist snaps but it had to be done here. Anyway, it was a massive FAIL!

Attempt 1
yes of course we want you in our picture too oh random Indian man!

Attempt 2

yes, we are blocking the entire Taj!...

Taking matters into our own hands then...


                                                                                  Luke doing push ups!
We spent about two hours walking around checking out the intricate decoration in the marble work and marevlling at the sheer size of the monument.

                                                                    hundreds of pairs of shoes left outside
We ended the day by going to a near by roof top resteraunt for a beer and watched kids on different roof tops battling with their kites high in the sky. India, you really are incredible :)

                                              kites dotted around the Taj...and one unfortunate stuck in the tree!

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