We woke up at the crack of dawn the next day, still jet lagged but ready for the four hour ride to Agra and the Taj Mahal. Having stopped by what Krishna calls the Anytime Money Machine….better known as the ATM, we had some money and were ready to go.
The four hour drive was littered with monkeys, cows and well…me sleeping which can be seen per this vine by friendly ex-roommate Ben Forer.
Wander to Wonder…
They say the Taj Mahal is one of the six wonders of the world but seeing it in person really is incredible. Shah Jahan commissioned this tomb for his third wife (who by the way was Persian) so the rest of the world would remember her along with him. This seems silly when men nowadays struggle to open doors for us ladies. I think what struck me the most about the Taj Mahal was that in a place that is very densely homogenous in culture as there are few tourists and many many Indians, one of the icons for the country is this beautiful site built for a foreign queen by architects and jewels from the far reaches of the world. Also, the Matt Wald took more jumping pictures…
At this point, our guide told us why TajMahal is the number one. “Turkey is a country in Europe. I will tell you why the Taj Mahal is number one. First I will tell you this.” We never really did get that answer but then again we were missing our friend Krishna. Anyways, we had a great time! We walked ourselves around the grounds, many random people took photos of me, they were genuinely curious why I would bring a giant DSLR so I obliged.
Of course, before we left we made a pit stop, I ate another artery clogging $2 meal with lots of garlic naan and we headed over to Agra Fort. We also stopped by a shop that inlaid marble with stones. They showed us how the process worked so that we could reflect back on the enormity of a project like the Taj Mahal which was covered head to toe in these stones. I know this is meant to be some sort of tourist trap where we get talked into walking into this shop as a part of the “tour” but honestly we didn’t mind it, it was very cool and a great excuse for me to take photos.
Agra Fort is a hop skip away from the Taj in Agra. The fort firstly is definitely strong enough that it could be used in battle today. As a side note this is where Shah Jahan was imprisoned towards the end of his life. If I had to be imprisoned somewhere this would be a pretty sweet place to do that.
We then had a very long drive back to Delhi. During this time I’d like to bring up our impromptu Hindi lesson via Krishna and the BEST EVER ringtone I like to call “Honey Bunny” accompanied by his dance.
And courtesy of Matt Wald….the best picture ever: