Monday, 26 November 2012

Taj Mahal, Baby Taj and Agra Fort

Monday 26th Nov

It’s Taj Mahal day!!!

We woke for the Taj at sunrise, so we left at around 6.30am. Was in a que for ages before it opened but luckily Yash had gotten all our tickets the night before so we didn’t have to wait long. I was told I wouldn’t be allowed to take my teddies in as hardly anything other than camera and money was allowed in, so I didn’t take them with me – even though I blatantly saw a Chinese girl with a small cuddly toy – was gutted!
We went through security and were frisked, the woman told me to ‘open open’, the stupid girl that I am, I thought she was pointing at my legs, so I opened them thinking she wanted to frisk them, she didn’t know how to respond...turns out she was talking about my bag!!! She was in fits of laughter and was telling everyone around her what I’d done in hindi so I was the laughing stock of the entire Taj entrance staff, plus a few visitors! Doh.

Stupid moment over, it was time to enter. When you go through you got into the entrance gate area, which is just a long pathway and some green grass, then to the left is the gateway you have to go through...and then you see it! It was astonishing, so beautiful!! However, me and Laura agreed that it was much smaller than what we had expected – it just looks so big and majestic in all the pictures, but I suppose, as mother later put it, it’s a mausoleum rather than a palace, so it would be smaller, duh obviously. We also said that our future husbands would so have to build us one of these when we die!

We then took a million photo’s, some nice, some stupid, some funny, and actually went inside it – there’s not much other than a tomb, because it’s a mausoleum, obviously. But it does seem a little bigger when you stand next to it, looking up at it. We got a group photo at the end, when we’d grouped back together, and after spending almost 2hrs in there we got our tuk tuks to take us back for breakfast and then onto the next place.

Me, Laura, Julie, Josie, Paul and Ali went our separate way to the rest of the group, and we did the Baby Taj first, before Agra Fort. You can definitely see where the inspiration for the Taj Mahal came from – it was basically exactly the same, except it was much smaller, and more detailed in the patterns. I was able to take the teddies here, so I took some photo’s of them at the Baby Taj. We then sat for a while, watching the wild bulls in the river, and fascinated by something the stray dogs were eating off one of the sandbanks, we thought it would be human remains, turns out it was just a dead bull probably – boring!

We then took our tuktuks to Agra Fort, by which point it was so hot and we were bored of sightseeing, so we just walked around a little, had about a million photo’s taken with various Indians, sat at one of the windows overlooking the Taj for a bit, and then left. There wasn’t really much to see.

We then asked our tuk tuk drivers to take us to lunch, on a rooftop somewhere, where me and Paul think we had uncooked chicken, so asked for a vegetarian meal instead – they told us the chicken was pink as it was cooked in tomato sauce?! Errrr, yea we’d still prefer not to eat it. Had a few beers, then for the rest of the day our amazing tuk tuk driver took me, Paul, Laura and Julie around town for another 3hrs or so to do various things like getting sim cards. We also managed to get teddies with the driver for a picture, which he and the other drivers found hilarious!

That evening we freshened up, finally booked our flights to Kochin (£108, not bad considering we’d left it til a few days before!), and waited around to see whether we were actually getting our night train, as Yash had told us there was an ‘emergency’ because our previous train had been cancelled. Thankfully we’d managed to get booked on a later one, but unfortunately, this time we were definitely not all together and some were in 3 tier and others in 2 tier, in separate carriages – boo! This train was miles better than the last one and as we were all pretty tired from a long day we stayed up chatting a little and then headed to bed – this time making sure I set my alarm for half hr before we were due to arrive (5am) - so that Yash didn’t wake me with no time to spare to get ready before being rushed off the train!

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